Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Forgiveness is sometimes hard to give

When I'm wronged, it's pretty easy for me to forgive. I haven't always been this way, but over the last decade or so, I've worked hard to change. I've made a conscious effort to become a more forgiving person. It seems I've learned how to separate the act from the person. When someone intentionally hurts me, I don't take it personally. I feel sorry for them because what they do is a statement on their character - not mine. Their actions demonstrate that they are hurting, so they lash out at me. I can get over that pretty quickly.

But when they hurt my family - it feels much more personal. I realize that doesn't make sense. A personal attack should feel more personal. But attacking my family is much worse in my mind. I feel the need to defend my family, even though I realize it's not my responsibility to defend my family. We're all adults.

A recent attack on my family is really testing my ability, and my desire, to forgive. I know the offenders aren't sorry. They don't care at all that they've been mistreating someone I love. I am hurt (for my family) and angry at the disrespectful, uncaring, and unkind actions. 

So I've been praying two songs:
Feels Like I've Been Losing, by Tenth Avenue North
and
Forgiveness, by Matthew West

I don't know how long this will take. At this point, I don't want to repair this relationship. I want to end it. But that is certainly not a Christ-like attitude. I'm realizing this is my issue - not someone else's. My heart needs to change. I can't fix "them," nor should I try. 

If you think of me, say a prayer that I'll find forgiveness.

Feels Like I've Been Losing, by Tenth Avenue North
I can't believe what she said
I can't believe what he did
Oh, don't they know it's wrong?
Don't they know it's wrong?


Well maybe there's something I missed
But how could they treat me like this?
It's wearing out my heart
The way they disregard


This is love. This is hate.
We all have a choice to make


Oh, Father won't You forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin'


It's only the dead that can live
But still I wrestle with this
To lose the pain that's mine
Seventy times seven times


Lord it doesn't feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
But I guess it's not that much
When I think of what You've done.


This is love. This is hate.
We've got a choice to make


Oh, Father, won't You forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin'
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losin' (oh no)


Why do we think that hate's gonna change their heart?
We're up in arms over wars that don't need to be fought
But pride won't let us lay our weapons on the ground
We build our bridges up, but just to burn them down
We think pain is owed apologies and them it'll stop
But truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not
Freedom comes when we surrender to the sound
Of Mercy and Your Grace, Father, send Your angels down (singin')



Forgiveness, by Matthew West

And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don't deserve
It's the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word...

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It's always anger's own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge 
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying 'Set It Free'

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it's power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Thursday, May 2, 2013

not all who wander are lost

A thought struck me today - caught me by surprise. Not that I haven't had the thought before. I've wondered about it over and over the last few years. Today it just seemed to come out of nowhere. There didn't seem to be a trigger. I was just brushing my teeth (maybe that's a common trigger and I just don't know it).

"What am I doing with my life?"

I don't know. I seem to be wandering, without real direction. I'm not being intentional about my moves, my choices. I feel as if I'm taking things as they come.

But maybe that's what I need to be doing. I don't feel lost.

I'm teaching for NNU, and I feel pretty successful at it. They keep asking me to come back.
My book is making progress - slow, but still moving forward.
My photography is improving. Not that I'm winning awards, but I feel like my vision is coming into focus (pun intended).
I'm the editor of the camera club newsletter and enjoying the creativity of that job.
My health is stable. I have no idea how long that will last, but for now I feel good.

There seem to be a lot of good things happening, in spite of all the challenges.

I'm grounded. I'm exploring. I'm seeking.

So although I'm wandering, I'm not lost.