i said i was going to get real and just be a little more transparent.
ready. set. go.
if i was going to summarize what the topic of this is, it would be very difficult.
it is personally about me.
but it flows down into my relationship with God.
it all started many years ago when i was in college. i received an email from someone i considered a very close friend. it was basically tearing me apart.
my character, my motives, my life.
it devastated me. truly. i remember printing it out so i could re-read it, and i actually carried it with me for a pretty long time. it was about 3 years after i got married that i found it again and thought…why in the world am i keeping this?? i do not need to go through this again. so i threw it out. and i’m glad i did.
a few years after that, something similar happened with a different person.
this time with a phone call.
a couple years after that, it happened again. with an email.
see. when i meet people. i kind of like…fall for them right away. i don’t know if that makes sense. but it is not uncommon for me to just have to get together with someone. i literally have hit up starbucks with probably 25 different people. kind of random people, if you think about it.
just because i like to get to know people.
i love people!
i like to show people that i care about them.
i like for people to feel important. because i believe that they are.
along with doing that, i open myself up. i mean…i don’t really open up? but i open myself up.
i open myself up to hurt, to potential judged motives, and to accusations.
just recently, i have had a similar situation happen again.
because it is so recent. so raw, and so in-my-face, i am not going to go into details, but i am going to say that this time it involved 7 different people.
i promise you that i am not asking for your sympathy. i am not asking for you to say – oh wow. poor rachelle. she does not deserve this!
i am not trying to whine or to cry. i simply want to be an encouragement to someone who has or is going through something similar. see…i am hoping so badly that something good will come out of all of this!
that was the background.
this is the current, real life application.
there is a verse in corinthians where paul writes “i will gladly spend myself and all i have for you, even though it seems that the more i love you, the less i am loved.”
i have read this verse many times and thought…yes! that’s it!! it sometimes seems like the people that i have put the most time and effort into, are the ones who turn around and hurt me the most!
but yet paul persevered.
here’s how this trickles down into every single aspect of my life if i let it.
myself: God has forgiven me of my sins, i can forgive any other person. i also can not allow myself to turn my hurt into pride. my goal should never be to remind myself of how i would never do that to them! how could they ever do that to me? this quote has helped me so much..forgiveness doesn’t make them right, it makes me free! i have a choice with how i handle any kind of circumstance that comes my way.
my relationship with God: i can not. NOT. allow people and their actions to affect how i feel about God and how i trust my Father. God knows what i can handle, and does not ever give me more than i can take. not ever. if i let myself take the hurt and frustration, and turn it into anger, resentment, bitterness…i am the one who suffers. and my relationship with God suffers as well. the Bible is very very clear that if i regard sin in my heart, He doesn’t even hear me! i can not even think about what my life would be like if i did not have a close, personal relationship with Jesus! matthew talks about how God does not even want you to bring him a sacrifice until you have made things right with your brother/sister! i have to have that relationship with God strong. it’s what gives me my very life.
my marriage: if i am so caught up in the details of other relationships, it really puts a strain on my marriage. when i start realizing that all we are talking about is these issues it prevents us from talking about bettering our marriage, raising our kids to be godly, where we are in our ministry and in our lives. i do not want that.
my children: not gonna lie. this one is a little scary. see…with my actions, i am determining how my children see relationships and just friendship in general. when i make a comment about the person who has hurt me in front of them, i am showing them that it is ok to talk bad about others. i have to really watch myself on this one, especially because i am with my boys so much during the day. i have to to guard my stinking rotten mouth. i can not let my pain excuse my sin. i don’t let them do it, i can not let myself do it either.
my friendships: and here is the last one. after the first 2 times of going through this, i remember thinking – i can never trust another person again! but then i did trust that third person. and it happened again. and on and on it went.
in one way, i don’t know why i keep doing it, but i just feel like i can’t let myself not trust someone just because another person hurt me! i mean, it’s really not fair, right? but it is a challenge. each time i start to get close to another person i can’t help but think – is he or she the next one?
and just recently, i have started to feel like i can’t trust one.single.person. i find myself reading into everything, and starting to assume that people are just all talking about me behind my back.
i know that it is not right. but since i said i am getting very real here, i am just laying it out there.
i know that i have to take my thoughts captive. i have to tell those stupid thoughts to obey Christ. and i trust Him to give me the wisdom and discretion i need on how far to open up to each new person that comes into my life.
so here i am. trying to keep it real.
i am trying to paint this picture for you from the position of just a regular plain old person.
i know that to some degree, parts of my story come from the fact that i am in the ministry. a lot is expected of me, and that’s ok. i know that this is the role i have right now.
i have to smile and look nice and together each sunday… every day, really. as i see people for our small group, for youth group, for the porch, and at the grocery store! and i have to look like my kids never misbehave and i never get irritated with adam.
i’m here to say that while i do try to look nice on sundays, there are days when i stay in my yoga pants all day, my kids argue, and i get irritated with adam. (only when he deserves it! haha…JUST JOKING!!)
i am a sinner. who needs God’s grace every single second of every single day.
i am also here to say that God gives grace and peace to me, and reminds me that
i am complete in him.
i do not mean this to sound crass, but i don’t need any other person besides Jesus!!
that’s the bottom line.
i have to continue to love people. to serve people. to give myself to people.
and maybe they will hurt me. but then again, maybe they won’t!
and if it happens again, i have to have my foundation so solidly built on my relationship with God that it doesn’t break me. because i’m just not going to let it. i can’t let it.
even as i type this, i have this sick feeling like…why? why do people hurt other people? i just don’t get it, and i certainly don’t get it when it’s other christian people!! the Bible says that we are known by our love for each other! our love, people! 1 corinthians 13 lays down the stinking law when it comes to love. it holds no record of wrong. it does not envy. it always protects. it does not dishonor others. and yet here we are doing exactly the opposite. i can look at these words and think – that person did not protect me! they did dishonor me! they held a record of wrong!
but i need to read this passage for me. myself. rachelle.
the one who needs to be showing this kind of love to everyone. everyone.
see – i am preaching to myself. i need to look at myself and make sure that i am humble. that i am not treating others in a way that i would not want to be treated. that i won’t become critical and cynical. and each day i am learning new truths. new things that are helping me to grow to be more like Him. the one who created me for HIS glory.
and that is what i will continue to work at with His strength.
so that is my story.
my story of being hurt by people over and over.
but a story of how God gives me strength to keep on loving.
because He is love. and He lives in me.
so what is your story? and how are you choosing to live your life?