Disclaimer: My blog is about to take on new life. It is going to be different than what it has been in the past. I'm working through a couple of Bible studies that are taking me to places I haven't dared go before. I thought about getting a paper journal but being left handed makes it difficult to write in a spiral bound notebook (maybe an excuse to not manually write), but, also, sometimes my thoughts are so quick & fleeting that I can type faster than I can write. I've been working through these books for a couple of weeks & find that I don't have enough room to write my thoughts in the books so I'm going to start writing things here.
I will continue to keep thoughts like the ones I've previously written but you will see things here that you haven't previously seen from me. It's my hope that you will find encouragement in my journey. Smooches.
That said...Here I go...
From "This isn't the life I signed up for,"
Recall the woman that had been divorced for 22 years but was trapped in pain (still bitter about the divorce after all this time). Then, as you consider the condition of your health and your family, is there any possibility that your unforgivenss is part of the problem?
Unforgiveness can cause all kinds of problems. I think that when I look at my life there are people that I am unforgiving of. My situation now is not due to unforgiveness but caution in being hurt again.
Is there a person in your life to whom you invariably speak in a "certain tone of voice?"
I find myself speaking to John in a tone that I shouldn't. That tone comes out when unforgiveness creeps in.
What deep-seated bitterness might be causing your negative attitude?
Bitterness about the way our marriage started. Bitterness about his sleeping with my best friend 20 years ago. It comes back. Human nature.
One way to deal with resentment is to acknowledge the suffering of the other person. In detail, in writing, acknowledge the pain of each person who has hurt you. (Walk a mile in their shoes)
John, I'm sorry for the hurt that you have had in your life. Knowing now about the abuse that you suffered at the hands of someone that should have been protecting you gives me new insight into who you are. Knowing that your parents raised you to not show emotion; not be confrontational, gives me insight into who you are. I hope that over the next few months we can work through those issues & be able to repair our relationship.
Has anyone ever pressured you to "sweep it under the carper" rather than letting you deal with your pain?
Absolutely. I've been encouraged to forgive & move on without really dealing with the issues by people in my church and friends outside of the church.
What was the result?
Bitterness. Resentment. Isolation. Depression.
As you think of the person who has hurt you most, what is your response to the following question: What if God's judgement is to grant that person the same forgiveness you were granted at the foot of the cross?
This is tough. I know that God forgives unconditionally but I also know that when Christ encountered people that were not truly repentant for their behavior he moved on. He did not continue in relationships with people like that. A prime example can be found in Matthew 19:16-22. The Rich Young Ruler wanted to buy his way into heaven but when Christ told him the real cost, the king walked away. Christ did not pursue him.
I forgive John for the way things have gone as he has forgiven me. But we both need to work on gaining back trust.
I've just started reading The Heartache No One Sees by Sheila Walsh. There are questions at the end of each chapter to provoke thought. Here we go...
Why have you picked up this book? What do you hope to learn and/or gain from it?
I picked up the book because I have heard Sheila speak & have enjoyed her humor & heart for women that hurt emotionally, spiritually, physically. I hope to gain a better understanding of who I am as a woman loved by God without all the stigma Christians put on people with emotional hurts & depression.
What feelings that I (Sheila) shared or statements that I made did you really identify with? Let them be a touchstone for you to look back on & see what healing work God has done in your life.
When Sheila described meeting someone that asked what was happening in her life & she said, "I was diagnosed with clinical depression," the woman responded with, "I would have never known."
That is a big part of my problem. I have become used to hiding what is really going on inside me. I have become used to hiding it from myself as well as from others. Sweeping it under the rug.
What hope and encouragement did you find in this Introduction? Highlight those points so you can easily find them when you need them.
I've highlighted these things in the book...
"I am learning that God's overwhelming love gives us the courage and grace to look at our wounds, no matter how deep or painful they are, and to bring them out of the dark into His light...You might ask,
"Where were You, God, when these things were happening to me?"
"Where were You, God, when some of life's deepest wounds were being inflicted?"
"Do You see?"
"Do You care?"
These are valid questions and ones we will think about together, but let me say at this point, the same God who holds the universe in place loves you. Perhaps that is where you struggle, not wondering where God was, but questioning that God could love you in spite of where you have been. I believe that God loves you right now with all that is true about your life--externally and internally."
I want to believe that God loves me despite my warts.
"May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." I Peter 5:10-11
When I think about the struggles I have I know that it's because I am divided. I want to be the woman Christ wants me to be but I want to be who I want to be. I want to learn to reconcile those people.