“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me…” But words do hurt, they have power.. They can have the power to heal, but they also can have the power to cause pain. It depends on our choices. Recently I was reminded of this. I thought about the regret that can be felt with words. I myself have regretted mine countless times. In this situation, it was someone else that either regretted their words, or just didn’t want anyone to know of them..
I can identify with both. There were times I did not regret my words, but certainly didn’t want others to know them. Those were times when I was hurt, or wrongly treated, and felt justified in having said them. Words that came from my pain, my injustice..
As my walk with God became stronger, and closer, that changed for me however. I rarely say words I regret on purpose. Although like anyone, from time to time I lose my cool.
If I do say words that hurt, I truly regret them, and give a heartfelt apology. God has shown me that with my gift of writing, so also comes a great deal of responsibility. I pray and weigh my words carefully. Although I will likely make a mistake along the way, I will make amends when that occurs.
In my last post, a revised a previous one. I know some of you have mentioned it seemed like a new one, that was rather vague. That was done to make amends to a person that I hurt, even though I had done nothing wrong. Other than allowing some of the hurt they brought, to come through. At the time, I know I did what God wanted me to, not perfectly, but to the best of my ability. Once I became aware of the pain that was felt (even though I left so many painful details out) I did revise that post, and apologize.
Because this was never about them, if it were, I would not have held back so very much.. This is about what happens when difficult life challenges occur, and how God helps me to still follow Him, and reconcile all that occurs, through His filter. The point of this is to share that, in hopes of helping others do the same.. Because life is messy, and relationships are hard. Without God what, or whom, would we have left??
When I went up north with my family for Thanksgiving, I had this on my heart to share.
I was reminded of what it feels like to say something you regret, not just to be on the receiving end of that. I hoped it was regret that fueled those new hurtful words, and not just wanting to keep things secret, even though so very much still is.
We had the blessing of spending time with family immediately, then again after. That was also when new ground was taking place. I knew I needed to revise my post to nurture this relationship, and hopefully amend the one that is still broken. I pondered all of this as I was up there..
I woke bright and early, even though I was quite ill. I was very crabby, and felt miserable.. Instead of being crabby with my family, I decided to do something productive. So I went for a walk. The first thing I saw was that there were changes, many of them.. Bella was gone..no more sweet talks and pets/nudges with her.. I was sad to see she was gone.. I still am.. The other cows just aren’t the same..
There were fewer cats, and no kittens. It seemed as though there were a couple less chickens, and they weren’t laying as many eggs. So much change.. (Later that day, I would find some of our family missing from Thanksgiving dinner as well, besides the few I already knew would not be with us.) My children were gone for a time also. That was quite difficult for us.
So I began my walk, which was less than happy from the start.. I was not in a good place, and every second seemed worse than the last. As I began to walk, I was feeling sorrow over no longer being able to run. This was always my favorite place to do so..
So I began a conversation with God. I told Him just how I was feeling, starting with not liking that I could no longer run. As I made my complaints verbally known (because He always knows..) I heard Him say in my heart, “who said you need to run to spend time with Me? Who said you need to even walk? You can be still, and spend time with Me, in fact sometimes I want you to be still, and you can listen too…”
As I said ok, I will walk with you and I will listen, my heavy heart, foul mood. and lassitude began to change. I found myself feeling lighter, feeling happy, then feeling joy. God wanted me to slow down, and take in His creation. So I did, and as I did I couldn’t believe how I felt.. I was completely full of joy, and free.. I couldn’t run, but that no longer mattered, it doesn’t matter at all.
I took time to watch the sunrise, take photos, a hobby of mine, and just appreciate nature and that this time anyways, I could walk. I went off in the woods along some deer trails. I took photos, I looked at everything from a different perspective, God’s. It was amazing, it was truly beautiful, and I was sincerely grateful..
I looked at that long road, and enjoyed my walk with brief outings in the woods. I saw antiques along the way, beautifully worn, and some beautifully restored. All beautiful though.
I saw a Turkey. How fitting on Thanksgiving morning! I enjoyed watching it strut around. I saw trees, old and new.
I saw broken parts of the road, as well as newly resurfaced. I saw years of wear, yet it was still there. This road that takes people, places, whether in their vehicles, on bikes, running, walking, or wheeling down the road.
I saw paths to choose from, some less traveled, some highly trafficked. I saw clearings and I saw heavily wooded areas. I saw death, and I saw life. I saw refuse cast aside, left along side the road. I heard the river in the distance, and the train as well. I heard birds calling, and squirrels clicking. I saw much, and took in much.
As I was feeling so completely full of bliss, I saw an orange hat up in the tree. As I walked further, I saw the silhouette of a man all in orange.. Oh no! It was hunting season. And there I was all in black with my furry hood, and my outings in the woods, and on deer trails.. I believe my lack of (this pertinent) knowledge was protected by God as I talked with Him.. I heard all about how dangerous it was when I went back home. I was like a huge five year old out there, but a happy one. Fortunately protected from myself. I can’t believe I did that!!
During my time out there God showed me that though I had done nothing wrong with my blog, I now knew that post was causing pain.. So He showed me it was time to change it, and make peace and help healing to occur by doing so, and issuing the apology. I meant it, and that was all that mattered.
So I finished my time there, and once I was home and had a good internet connection, I did just that. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t hard to do at all. It was the right thing, and I am glad that I did it. no matter what has come my way since then.
Those words, they did hurt at first. This person didn’t even know me, she never met me.. Why did her ignorant, judgmental, and hurtful words cause me such pain? Well that’s just it, words do hurt. Unlike what we said growing up.. It should say “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always harm me.. and likely haunt me at just the wrong (or right) time, for the rest of my life.”
We have the Power through Jesus to free ourselves from those words however. It is as simple as listening to who He says we are, loved, redeemed, precious, sons and daughters, priceless, forgiven and worthy… We choose to forgive what has been said to free ourselves, and reaffirm in our minds what God says about us. When that takes hold, freedom occurs. Those wrongful words, those unjust, hurtful words, even those true words, can be left behind. In their place lies freedom, joy, hope, love, forgiveness, sonship, redemption, worthiness, value, and sanctification.
I choose to live in the place that God says I belong. In the place where I am His daughter, His joy, His love… True freedom occurs in that place no matter what our circumstances try to dictate. Only God, gets to define who I am… I am beloved, precious, forgiven, worthy, and His..
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