In every offense I am pretty sure anyone can come up with a reason to justify why they are angry.
I know I have offended a lot of people. One of the hardest things about an offense is they often result in multiple offenses that involve both parties. Most of the time an offense is truly only resolved completely (where reconciliation is involved) when someone is brave enough to speak up about the offense, take ownership of their role in the offense, and forgiveness is found by both parties.
I have several people in my life whom I need to forgive past offenses on a daily basis. My husband is just one of these people. So often I can get lost in all the reasons why I should be mad at him that I forget to remain connected to him.
I have this issue where if I feel something in my own life can’t be fixed then maybe it’s just time to move on. I’m not saying we don’t have to let go sometimes, because some situations and relationships are sinful and not God’s will for your life at all.
But that’s also not to say we should have these unrealistic expectations of our life and our relationships, nor should we just give up on relationships when true forgiveness and grace is merited and could potentially heal the relationship.
For me this journey has been a bit of a roller coaster, and God has truly taken me out of my bubble and my comfort zone. From starting from scratch and having to let go of all that brought me comfort and security, my life truly doesn’t look the same it did a year ago.
I have a new normal, and that new normal is better.
But as soon as God took away my security blanket, and removed me from my little bubble, I started to realize the fears that I was trying to hide and the insecurities in my heart.
I noticed the unforgiving heart I had, and the fact that I lacked mercy towards certain people and certain situations.
Even though I had forgiven these people, and these particular situations out loud to God, I had nothing to turn to to in order to ease the sting of those wounds that have not been attended to.
I’ve had to learn to accept the imperfection of others and the imperfection of life. It’s a life lesson I seem to have to learn almost everyday, if I spend all my time looking for the perfect people to surround myself with then I will spend my life alone.
I’ve also learned that sometimes the best thing you can do for someone else is to simply be there for them and not try to fix everything they are going through.
This is probably scary for most people because they will need to let go of control and trust God.
The fact of the matter is this, we don’t really believe the people around us have our best interest at heart, and that IS scary.
There just might be people who do not have your best interest at heart, and it might be for the very reason that they are scared to let their guard down, too. They might be more concerned with you not hurting them that they might hurt you in the long run. But when we guard ourself we are doing the same to them.
I know this is true for me. I have been more concerned about not getting hurt again that I have in turn hurt those around me.
But that’s where all of this is a catch 22. Who is going to be the first one to let their guard down? Who is going to be the one who is vulnerable enough to get hurt by the other person? If neither one do it then the relationship is likely to end. If one person does it then there will just be another wound for that person to clean up when it’s all said and done.
It’s almost impossible to know if anyone will respond to your forgiveness and vulnerability the way you had hoped.
My thought it if you aren’t going to let someone go then it’s not fair to give up on them while they are in your life.
It truly takes every part of me to find ways to set up boundaries with people, but not totally disconnecting them from my life.
This world will never be perfect, and relationships will never be perfect.
If God can change our heart then He can change theirs. We just need to learn how to surrender control.
This life isn’t about putting people back together again, it’s about becoming a new creation through the power of the Holy Spirit.
No where does it say that the fruit of the Spirit is controlling, or co-depedent. We need to learn to embrace the heart of Holy Spirit in our lives. It won’t be easy because we will simply need to trust in HIM!
If we want to be reconnected again then we need to be willing to do the small things. Building that reconnection will not come through big, over the top, moments. Anyone can feel a connection with someone when life is good and exciting. But the true test of a relationship comes when we are asked to put aside our hurt, and fear of getting hurt, in order to be there for that person. Sometimes we just need to be obedient, and other times we just need to be patient.
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.