~Lewis B. Smedes
Happy belated new year, my friends......I hope your Christmas Season was overflowing with blessings.......
As you have noticed........my time here in "blogville" has been less and less frequent these past few months. Although I do miss visiting many of you all and being blessed with your inspiration and thought provoking words....I have been pressing through some areas in my life that have taken up a higher priority.
So I try to always share the good, the bad and the ugly of "*~Michelle~*". I have always kept it real, and today is no different as I share a little glimpse of what has been going on with me.......and the beauty of answered prayer.
I am all about posting positive uplifting messages, being cheerful and trying to keep a smile on my face 24/7 despite any sadness/hurt toiling inside....but I have never been good at acting either. So I am guessing that one of the reasons I have MIA....is that I was unable to come here and just jot down some fabricated upbeat message. Just can't do it. Never been good at being fake.....in fact, I wrote about my thoughts on being"phony bologna" in the past.
The purpose of my blog/diary....is to share what God is stirring up in my life. It is not to paint some perfect storyline of some hippie Christian gal and focus on "me". No, I just hope/pray that through all the babbling and grammatical nightmares.......that even one person will be able to relate......in the good, bad and ugly....and be directed to Him in all circumstances.
So here is a little "ugly" for you.
I hold grudges.
For big offenses and sometimes for the most ridiculous ones. In fact, I white knuckle them. Like that Target cashier who wouldn't take my $5 coupon because it was torn near the expiration date even though you could CLEARLY see was dated 2011 and this was still in 2010.......yeah, she is dead to me.
(OK, that was a little harsh.....and not very Christian-like....it's a little over-the-top/over-reacting, but I will never go to her line again..........hmmmpf, take that cranky lady!)
There is something controlling, powerful and rewarding about holding a grudge, isn't there? Well at least that is what the enemy has infused in my heart. Yes, being the control freak that I admittedly am.....it is how I find myself wired when dealing with hurt and disappointment.
..... until recently.
Yes, lately I have found myself entering a new chapter of my life. A chapter that includes the possibility of losing someone close to me soon. Someone who I have built up walls in my heart from the resentment I have allowed to harbor there.
Isn't it true that when you experience the reality of death or impending death of someone in your life, you then realize your own mortality as well? It becomes so apparent what really is important....and how life is too short to be wasted in a negative mindset.
With this discovery.....I found myself not praying for God to change what was happening in my life, but rather to change *me* and my heart as I go through it all. I prayed to have His heart......to have His compassion and forgiveness.
What is crazy is that I know that God forgives me every day. And I totally mess up too many times to count. Yet, He still loves me and gives me chances. The Word says His mercies and grace are new everyday. So who have I thought I was to not extend the same to others?!?
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ~Mark 11:25 NLT
And lastly, forgiveness is not saying that it settles all questions of blame, justice and fairness. But it is the only way to break the cycle of blame--and pain--in a relationship. It does allow relationships to be restored.....not only with the person you are forgiving, but most importantly.....with God. We have the chains of anger/bitterness broken off of our hearts and are finally free. Free to be happy, free to love......and be loved.
So here is where I am......in the middle of a transformation. I am not fully there yet, but can see the beauty of what is to come. I consider this another gift from God to be able to feel the walls slowly be broken down and have His warm love pour into a place that was once empty/cold. It is a gift for me to experience the love/relationship that was meant to be. And the gift of not having any regrets.
How about you? Do you hold grudges? Are you honestly able to overlook people who brought about past hurts and love 'em like Jesus?
Peace, love and stay barefoot~