Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transparent Tuesday - Forgive

Seriously where does the week go that we are already back at Tuesday? I want to thank each and every one of you who commented (and even lurked) last week for the FIRST Transparent Tuesday post. We are still in search for a new church home but feel God narrowing down the choices for us…we have met some really amazing people and God is definitely doing a mighty work in the three that we are considering right now. Thank you for your continued prayers throughout our search.

All day today I have been in a tug of war with God about what I wanted to write about today…there were THREE different things that have been rolling around in my head, but one of them seems to be SCREAMING at me to discuss. Again, I want to preface this by saying that this is so not very easy for me…being in ministry for years has taught me how to “wear the mask” that everything is good, not to complain, not to make waves, etc…but to be quite honest God just didn’t make me that way so here we go on another adventure.
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Transparent Tuesday – Forgive

Ok, here’s the deal…I know that people are human, and that “as the Scriptures say, No one is good, not even one”, but how do you move past the hurt, pain, rejection, fear, and betrayal of a friend (or in my case, many friends)? I have prayed, given it over to God, begged Him to release me from it, but the reality is that the pain is still there.

I read on another blog of a fairly well known music Pastor’s wife a post a couple months ago about their move across the US and how all their best friends said they would be there for them, keep in touch with them, etc. and well…they weren’t.

I know people are people (great now I have that Tears for Fears song in my head) and we are built to have relationships and community, but why does it have to hurt so bad?

In my case when I left my ministry position at the church I had tons of friends, people that said they “had my back”, people that I did everything with (we did life together), and people that I thought I would grow old with, and now where are they? I keep thinking of that Jody Whatley song in the 80’s (Friends will let you down, Friends won’t be around, when you need them most where are your friends?)…do you remember that song? (I know I know, it is kind of a depressing theme with a great beat…ha!)

Seriously, I am not trying to be negative, but I am trying to be honest…how many times do we “brush it under the rug” and move on with our tails between our legs? I totally don’t expect anything from any of the people that I need to forgive, because in all reality they have moved on and I am the one who is still hurt.

So, how do you do move to forgiving? For me I guess I have just laid it at the foot of the Cross and asked for healing, for forgiveness, and for peace. I know that it is not an overnight thing (not by any means) and that it has to start with me. A very good and wise friend of mine sat me down and she said, “Melissa, you have to start with your head first, then your heart will follow.” That is GREAT advice, don’t you think?

Now, here I am, starting with my head first, knowing that soon my heart will follow, and all the while putting myself back out there to make new friends. Is it easy, nope? Does it need to happen, you betcha. Will God use everything that has happened for His Glory, praise God YES!!!

What about you?

How do you move past the hurt and pain that was caused by friends?

Have you put yourself back out there to make new friends?

Have you forgiven those who have let you down?

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Thanks again for allowing me to share from the heart. It is not an easy thing to do…you want people to see that you have it “all together”. But, the reality is that I don’t, and chances are you don’t either. Let’s drop the fa├žade and just be ourselves. I want to be the BEST Melissa I can be and I know that as long as I “passionately pursue God’s purpose every day” then I am right where I need to be.

Last week I got some really great emails from those of you who could relate to the search for a new church home…I would just like to encourage you to email me again if you need prayers or have something that you would like to be discussed in one of our Transparent Tuesday posts. Thanks for allowing me to be me…email me
HERE!

PS – Please please please do not email me to tell (or yell) at me for struggling with forgiveness (and I am not saying that any of you would do that, but…). I am posting these types of posts to try and build AUTHENTIC community. Let’s share. Love. and Care for each other.


Blessings to you,

17 Mel's World Friends Comments:

BunnyGirl 7:06 PM  

I love that you are so honest. ONe of the things you first mentioned was this automatic thing we have of smiling and saying how everything is great when inside we are hurting and everything is far from groovy! So I respect your honesty and thank you for sharing from your heart. It takes guts, it's being real and I pray Gods blessing on you for your stand in being truthful and real.
Hugs

Karen 7:09 PM  

I love your transparency and realness, so no yelling from me that's for sure :-)

I have come to a point of acceptance and OK-ness with not hearing from folk when you move somewhere else and also when you are in the same ministry with them - it is pretty much human nature to be going for it with peers and then staying within your own circle. Often unintentioned but does seem to be how it goes pretty often.

This has been a long process for me, many tears shed in the past but the growing understanding I have for how much God loves me, affirms me, places me where he wants me etc and who is also my justice and everything - it has given me great peace in this area.

Hubby and I haven't been regularly to Church since Aug 2005, we would like to find a spiritual home. So far haven't found that niche, but there's been a whole bunch of interesting things going on in the interim with God, children, life etc.

You so rock Mel! I mean't to comment on the Dream Big, Goes does post as it came the same day I was reading a cool book by Jill Austin
"Dancing with Destiny" By Jill Austin. It's really good - about hopes, dreams, God's dreams for us...it may really inspire you! Website is
http://www.masterpotter.com/

I recommended it to Maria of FreetoFly also, and am so glad because I knew there was someone else I wanted to recommend it to - and that is you :-)

Mel's World 7:44 PM  

BG (Caroline) thank you! That means a lot to me!

Karen, you continue to bless me! Thank you friend!

Mari 9:38 PM  

Oh Melissa - forgiveness is so hard and I think it's something that needs to be done over and over again. Bob has a brother and wife that we were so close to. We did everything together. Then - there was trouble in our church (We went to the same church) Bob and his brother disagreed on how things were handles and things have never been the same. We have talked - they say they are okay, but unless we call, no contact is made. Negative things are said to us by them and it is just hard! (I'm not saying we were perfect in tis situation either) Anyway - we say we forgive, then something else happens and we find ourselves bringing up old hurts. Then we have to do it again. As a matter of fact - something happened today. So - thanks for this post. I needed it and I have to consciously forgive again - not for their sake, but for mine.

MamaGeek 10:30 PM  

I love your honesty. And oh gosh, I know what you mean and have yet to figure it out. :O

Denise 4:32 AM  

Thank you for being so real, I appreciate you for that. Forgiveness can be really hard, we just have to ask God to help us through the process.

Cheri 9:18 AM  

I think forgiveness is one of the hardest things that we all have to deal with.
I absolutely love what your friend said about your head leading and your heart following. That is so true.
I really appreciate your honesty on this subject- you're not alone!

Just Juliana 11:37 AM  

Hi Mel, One of the things you have aways said to me about you is..."What you see is what you get".

I have been a little bit of a looner lately. No...I am not in a pit, it isjust because... it is very hard for me to make new friendships and sometimes is for that same reason..I am afraid to get hurt. I get close to someone, life happens and there is a distance and that is the hard part of it. Yeap!!! it is hard to forgive, specially when some one really comes to hurt you..that has been my struggle this week. Thanks for giving us the chance to really take our masks off an be transparent... XOXO Jules

Heather Orr 12:52 PM  

Of all of the things we are called to do in this life, forgiveness is definitely the hardest!! For me, it is a daily (sometimes hourly) process. Even though I have extended forgiveness and even gone to great lengths to let the offenders know that I have forgiven them, it is still something that I have to do over and over again. And when everything in your life still seems to have some sort of connection to those who have hurt you, it is even harder to get past. It's almost like you have lost your identity, but they still get to be who they were and everything you were, too!!!! And when their life seems to go on without any recollection of your involvement in it...man, that really hurts!!!!!

As far as people ditching you, this is something I still can't wrap my head around. I guess because of different circumstances, people do not really know how to be friends with you anymore or if you want to hear from them (which is crazy, but that's what I have found) simply because your lives are no longer bound by a job or a church or a ministry or even a neighborhood. Thankfully, God has put so many new people into my life, not to replace the ones who have grown distant, but to add to my relationships and to give me a brand new place to invest my time and experiences. It is so important to me that I still intentionally do life with people, even if they are not the people who I have done life with up until now. I am starting to believe we will have 2 sets of friends in our lifetime - one set will be around just for a few seasons and the other set will be made up of just a few people who will be around for a lifetime - the ones who stick by you no matter where you live or what church you attend or what you do.

Your transparency is refreshing - it's tough to do, but it inspires healing in all of us who are feeling the same way but are too afraid to say it!!

The Olson's 7:00 PM  

I have a feeling I may need to come back to this post before long. My husband & I are waiting to hear if God is asking us to move on from our church of 13yrs (we started attending this church when we were dating!). The circumstances that could lead up to us leaving will probably have hurts attached. Sigh. "Consider it pure joy my friends whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" James 1:2,3.

Thank you for being honest. I am tired of people not saying what is truly on their heart ~ it's time for honesty!

No yelling from me!
~ Leanne

Tasha 11:56 PM  

Wow, I struggled big with this last week. There is a post on my blog... I would write more, but after reading this post, I need to go organize my thoughts. Thank you!

Knit-Wit 12:47 PM  

I have learned that forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to continue the relationship. I have been hurt many times by friends. Don't beat yourself up because a friendship has dissolved. Friendships come and go as different needs and situations arise. Some go peacefully, some go with hurt feelings. Hopefully you can get past the hurt, be friendly when you see that person, and move on with your new friends. Two things should always remain constant and are worth working on and that is your friendship with your husband and your relationship with your Lord.

Heather Orr 2:09 PM  

Wow!!! I needed to hear this last comment - thank you (knit-wit)!

A Stone Gatherer 8:54 PM  

This is an issue that I struggle with. I always say my family was never really taught to constructively handle situations. I don't know. I think that it is a process, because like others have said, the hurt can come back again and again. The only way to truly be free is really give it to God! I think we tend to keep part of it with us because we want to be the victim and say "oh poor me, I have been wronged" Jesus never retailiated! He never spoke out when he was victimized, and he suffered much more then we did! I think we all need to let go! Easy to say, not so easy to do!

Ivy Vega from www.ivysmind.com 8:12 AM  

I always thought that friends should not be defined by an entity. (church, neighborbood, business). Real friends are always there when you need them even when you don't speak with them daily. I have friends for over 15 years that we hardly ever speak and when we pick up the phone it feels as if we spoke yesterday. Friends will let you down, because they are human. Now those that have pretended to be your friends for personal gain to climb the ladder, well that is a different story. People will tell you what you want to hear. But it takes a friend to be straight and tell it how it is.
Love ya!

Heather@Mommymonk 11:21 AM  

Ok, I'm a little late to the discussion, but what a great one! I'm probably echoing some thoughts but...

I've heard that some friends are for a REASON (i.e. for life) and others are for a SEASON. Sometimes, it's best to let go of friendships. It doesn't mean we don't still love those people, but they aren't able to be close to us anymore.

I've moved a lot and the truth is that friendships are not easily sustained across the miles. It takes a lot of effort.

I don't how we keep from building up walls around our hearts, but I know that God ultimately protects our heart and He is trustworthy.

Shawna 1:26 PM  

I know what it's like for a church to split and to have to find a new one. I was pregnant with my daughter when we looked for a church. God opened up a door, and we've found a wonderful place. So, I know God will open the right door at the right time for you.

I've been on both ends as far as being hurt and hurting someone else in a friendship. I do regret hurting my friends, and sometimes it was just I couldn't be there for them in the way they wanted me to be. And I'm too afraid to (or it feels too late) to say I'm sorry.

I've been hurt recently by friends I took a risk on confiding in, but they pulled back from me. It's frustrating and hard being hurt. I can't imagine most or all my friends abandoning me in a sense. I hope God is able to bring some new friends and that you allow Him to heal the hurt. Thanks for sharing!

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