Life can be so hard, no one ever said it would be easy. In fact John 16:33 tells us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This statement was not to bring us worry, anxiety, or fear. It was to tell us we can have peace, hope, and confidence. I have seen this and lived it, sometimes poorly, leaving destruction all around me. Other times well, bringing peace, healing, and growth. We have choices to make when trouble comes. Trouble of our own doing, or done by others. Both of which I have lived, we all have.
In my own life I have hurt relationships, caused pain, and a loss of hope and faith. I have damaged those I love most… I have also seen trouble happen and watched the ripple effect that it causes. I have been affected by both those hurting, and those that inflict pain more times than I could ever count. Those that inflict pain have left scars for certain.. That is a different kind of pain, and it is lasting. Although with God I have found healing. Those hurting however are in a more dangerous place in a way.. They don’t see what they are causing. They are so wrapped up in their hurt that they are blind to the ripple effect they bring. I have been that person..
Currently I have a situation that continues to disseminate. That was born of deep sorrow, and unimaginable pain. That pain has caused division in multiple relationships, only further causing themselves more pain. More pain, more anger, more separation. What a vicious cycle it is.. There is complete blindness (I believe) to all of this. I know there is conviction as well, but that is reasoned away, and brings forth more anger. Love has been poured into this relationship for years. People have left that were close to them. People have been pushed away, shut out. We are those people now. Others have been in the past. All from their hurt, and anger with God.
It hurts so much to be in that ripple, and to know that no matter what we do, how much love we show, how much forgiveness, and the multiple efforts to give new roads as a healing option, trying it all with God’s prompting and restoration in our hearts, it is still rejected. I wish, I have prayed, that these hearts would be softened, that they would truly want some healing. Apparently they are not there yet. I continue to pray, and do what I can to shield those I love from the hurt, and rejection. Ultimately it’s between them and God. God can do anything..
In my own life I have caused some of the same things. I have virtually lost one of my very best friends with my sin. I have become a stumbling block for her. I have caused her to lose faith, to lose hope. What an egregious sin.. I have asked forgiveness, and sought help in multiple ways. The damage is there now though, and it causes us both great pain. God can heal that, and I pray for healing. Not only have I caused her pain and loss of faith, but also I have caused those closest to me deep pain and hurt. We are all getting help for that. I pray for forgiveness and restoration. This is a work in progress, I am a work in progress. I do have faith, hope, and peace however. God has forgiven me, and continues to restore, but it is a long road. One that I must be committed to, and one that requires more than me to repair and put effort into. All of us are doing that.
How differently things turn out when you chose to shine light on the truth, the sin, and allow God to work by submitting to Him. By humbling yourself, and exposing the sins, the lies, God comes in and heals, and restores relationships, and hearts. He will not force it, we have free will. The other situation is an example of how we can limit God, and by doing so, cause further damage. The ripple never ends, in that place, unless you are willing to admit your sin, and seek help. How differently things work out then..
God showed me last night how large that ripple effect can be, and that, is just what I can see. Both in my life, and in the lives of the other people I mentioned. God showed me how alike in some ways I have been, and how different I have been in my choice to follow Him and allow Him to shine light on my sin. That was the most difficult thing I have ever done… Bar none..
Let me tell you that I reached out to two people that I respected and trusted, looking for help. To confess, and then receive guidance. One of those people judged me, judged us, and left my life.. The other heard all of the ugly, the unthinkable, and responded in love, and without judgement.. That second person is the one who lead me down this path. She will forever be incredibly near and dear to me. She knows me completely, and she still loves me, still doesn’t judge me, but you can bet she will hold me accountable. That is what I want. Without accountability, we can and likely will, fall back into our sin. I love her more than I could ever say for that… She still guides me, and is helping to heal what I have broken. She allows God to work though her. She is love to me, to us… I adore her, and am forever grateful for her ability to hear the ugliness without judgement, but telling me like it is. I respect her for that. I want to be like her. I want to be the person, the kind of friend, that people can come to with ugliness, and be truthful, but in love.. That is what I aspire to be.
I need relationships like that. Those are real. They will hold me accountable, and still love me when I fail. I am blessed to have a few like this. I thank God for that. That is true friendship, and so necessary for growth. I surround myself, well God has, with those people. I still have all kinds of friends, and love them all dearly, I pray they know that.
To the friend I hurt most. Please forgive me. Please don’t let my sin challenge your faith. Go to the one I spoke of, she will help you. I am forever sorry, and have asked God to forgive me for being a stumbling block to you. You are one of the most important people in my life. and always will be. I love you..
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