I’m participating in Serenity’s prayer challenge this month. Read all about it on her blog here.
I’m a couple days behind on the challenge. This should technically be Day 6, but it’s Day 4 for me. And this blog is kinda sorta the story of why. But it’s more than that. So, just go with me.
Have you ever been so angry that you can’t really function? You don’t go around yelling and screaming, and if a person spoke to you, they probably wouldn’t even know it. But in your mind, every 20 minutes, you’re thinking about the thing that has you so mad you can barely see straight. That’s where I’ve been. Really, I’m still there a little bit. Or a lot. So, while I was writing my prayers, I attempted to do some soul searching on where this comes from and what I can pray for to fix it. Why, really, in my heart of hearts, I’m so mad. And if it’s really anger that I’m feeling, or if anger was just the best excuse for my thoughts and my actions.
In my line of work, conflict is inevitable. I have at least two conflicts a day with at least two different people. No big deal. I pride myself on being able to shake it off. Not a lot of things bother me to the point where I’m downright mad about them. Mostly, I can joke about it or find some humor in it and let it roll of my back. Mostly.
There is a person who is, quite honestly, the source of a whole lot of conflict for me. I have to deal with this outside of work. It’s personal. It’s a relationship that matters. But for years, and I mean years, it’s been a difficult one to manage for many reasons. I know that I’ve put more effort into it than I would any other relationship outside of my marriage, but the return on my investment often seems nil. Like, in the negative. The actions I mean for good are often misunderstood by the most important people, and many times I’ve found myself crawling out from under the proverbial bus. I have some responsibility in this, as well. Some of it is my fault. There have been some times when I have thrown fuel onto the fire and not cared about it at all. And there was one time when I just gave up. I didn’t care how or if it ended, I just didn’t want to deal with the grief that came with it anymore. However, for many reasons, I would always come back to give it yet another try. This week is one of those weeks where I’ve thrown my hands up and said “You know what, I’m done. I’ve done everything I can do and then some, and I’m going to start treating this person the same way they treat me.”
And that would be easy. It has been easy. But I know it’s not right.
There’s this other person. I don’t think it’s an understatement for me to say that if she disappeared from the face of the earth, I would not care at all. If her face flashed on the news right now as a missing person, I’d join the search party to steer them away from her and go back and kick her later. In my eyes, she has done some despicable and incredibly disrespectful things to me and it has caused conflict in my home – but she has also managed to become very close with a person in my family. This person knows very well how I feel about this chick, but they don’t know exactly why and they never will. As such…they choose to associate with her despite my feelings to the contrary. To me, this is the ultimate betrayal. I can’t describe how hurtful it is that someone in your own family would know that a person has caused you pain and choose to ignore it.
And there were the two words I’d been looking for. Betrayal. Hurt. On so many occasions, those two things have tricked me into thinking they were anger. Sometimes, an indescribable rage. Those two things are overcoming love. Y’all. I’ve been so stuck in betrayal and hurt that I started to want to stay there. I didn’t write my prayers because I started to choose the anger and give up on the love. As a follower of Christ, I know that love is above all the most important thing and there I was, finding ways to revel in anger. I know that I should love others the way that Christ loves me.
Which brings me back to the prayer challenge.
I know that the first act has to be forgiveness. The Bible tells us in Mark 3:28 that “There is nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven.” Unforgiveness severs your connection with Christ, and you can’t get prayers answered when you have hatred toward your brother. I can’t move forward because this is holding me back. I know that I have to forgive, I know that nothing that has happened that I’ve talked about in this post in unforgiveable. But, for me right now? Forgiveness seems to be a huge, almost impossible feat that must encompass many actions that *I* have been treating as unforgiveable.
This is a man down situation, and your prayers will be needed. I’ll be praying for help with this and believing that all things are possible through Christ. I know it won’t happen overnight, because it would’ve worked by now if that was the case. Hahaha. But I know that it will happen for these and for other situations and people. If you’re dealing with a case of unforgiveness, I’ll be praying for you, too. And I’ll keep you posted.