Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NIV)
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Forgiveness. It is a concept I admit I struggle with daily. I have to consciously stop my negative thoughts about my current situation and sometimes fake it. But over time, that is working. I no longer cringe when I see the two people who hurt me so horribly. I even pray for them, and I do my best to make it a sincere prayer, not just words I know I have to say. I’m making headway.
But in all of that “growth” I forgot to forgive myself. I constantly question how I could have been so blind. How could I have been so naive. What should I have done differently? While it is important to take accountability, you have to be careful not to go down the road of self deprecation. Give yourself a little leeway of understanding and forgiveness, too. I missed the signs of betrayal…I trusted too much. I’ve decided that from today that is not my failing, but the failing of the ones I gave that trust to. So I believed someone to be something they weren’t. If believing the best about someone turns out to be the wrong thing, I just have to move on. I refuse to let that lesson color the people I meet in the future.
I am usually the person who volunteers to help. I like it, and selfishly I guess, I like the way it makes me feel. Recently, I had to be the one to accept help. I’d exhausted every other avenue to finish a house that we began building over 2 years ago, and I was now taking on the project as a single woman. I thought I might even lose the house, I just didn’t have any answers how to finish the house minimally so that we could move in to finish the rest. So close to despair, my friends reached out like it was nothing. Nothing to give up entire Saturdays after a long work week to come to my home to do back-breaking work. They brought friends, too. People who had no idea who I was came to help a person, out of the kindness of their hearts. I was so blessed by that, so overwhelmed, I just went on the deck and cried. It meant more to me than just getting my children into the house we’d been dreaming about for 3 years…it restored my faith in the goodness of others. It helped me forgive myself for my poor choices. It humbled me.
So, today I am able to breathe a little easier. My house will be livable soon, not perfect, but workable. Kind of like me. 🙂 All I can do is do a little better, keep my head up while I work on my forgiveness, my patience, my empathy, and my trust in God. I hope one day I can be as big a blessing to someone as these friends have been to me.
Inspired by: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/