Thursday, January 27, 2011
When unforgiveness becomes family drama
But it also reminded me of some recent family drama. I usually stay out of any and all such drama, especially family gossip. I call it "closing emotional doors", something similar to what I read the Schaeffer's did at L'Abri. Edith said every family has to have a time when the door is closed, even when they are in ministry... for them this was represented by the actual closing of a real life door but talking about protecting our family in all ways.
I am rather infamous in the family for not wanting to listen to anyone talk about someone else but especially as I developed more physical fatigue... emotional baggage brings with it physical ailments... that I do not need at this stage of life.
In this case, there were two sides to a story involving very serious accusations. I had prayed and asked God to show me who was telling the truth. I listened and asked questions and during one conversation, a family member told me gossip which another person had said about me and my family. One of the accusations being that I only "got online" (they have no idea what a blog is) to ask people for money. Others included treating my children very well and my husband... not so much.
Now, this person has only been in my house a few times in the past years and we have only spoken over the phone now and then. I had to stop and ponder if there was any truth in her thinking I didn't treat my husband well when she visited. For if any of you deal with a bi-polar person on a daily basis, you know there are times you do have to speak sternly, only because they are clueless as to what is going on around them in their very manic and very depressive states... but I didn't remember that happening when she was here.
As to asking for money or gifts, it may have been after receiving a financial gift from a blog friend... one who felt the Lord was wanting them to share with me to meet a need. That has only happened a few times and as for gifts... there are blog friends who have sent sweet gifts and I cherish them all but you may notice I rarely mention it (only recently showing one gift that I framed) because I never, ever want to make anyone feel I am asking for something. Well, other than going through the Amazon widget if you have no close friend or family who has one on their blog. ;)
The person sharing this with me had never told me any of this before and I knew it was God answering my prayer. As I talked to her further, I realized the other person had lied to me about other events surrounding the accusations against her... and that they were true. Accusations which I refused to believe as they didn't seem like something this family member would do but over the years... she has changed.
As I pondered what this person and others have said, I realized she had become very bitter through the years, most likely her emotions as a simmering pot on the back of the stove concentrating all anger and hurt from her youth until now... much older... she filters the world through dark emotional glasses. Where once was a strong, dependable woman whom we all teased as being rather "bossy"... her soul was filled with the darkness of not letting go. Any actions of others are not seen as what they are but what she sees them as... through her worldview so to speak.
She has never believed in a God who forgives so she hangs onto guilt from bad decisions, never finding freedom and release to go on. For there is freedom from a teenage pregnancy... freedom from (I highly suspect) abortions... freedom from anger at parents and ex-husbands... freedom, forgiveness, a lightening of the load.. "I'm sorry" covers it all as one truly repents and follows Him who washes away it all and leaves one as pure as the white snow.
On one hand, it was shocking for me to realize what the family member had become... that the accusations were true. However, I wasn't angry at what she had said about me... much more then I had shared here. She had also spoken badly about others. Somehow I understood... it was as if He gave me a glimpse into the darkness of soul and showed me where it all started... all those years ago... and how her words against all of us were nothing more than the outpouring of that bitterness within. I knew how to pray.
Oh, I did examine my own heart and my own ways in case there was any truth within her words... another mental Post-it-Note to be more gentle with my husband when he is having a bad day... writing here to make certain blog friends never, ever think I am asking for anything when I share how we live with beauty on such a low income... and definitely a reminder not to make immediate judgements on who is right or wrong about a situation... for it was the person I never suspected who was the guilty party. Only God knows the heart of man.
I also took from this recent drama the need to daily ask Him what needs forgiveness in my own life, burdens to lay before His altar, forgiveness to accept, bad feelings toward others (which I HAD been guilty of last week) put away, not to be a stumbling block to another... giving grace, breathing grace, walking in grace.
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 3:37 PM