Part two, not sure if it should be one or two, but here it is. Maybe someday I will figure it out.
How should you, as a Jesus follower, handle those who judge you for past and present behavior?
I read something the other day that really struck me, and as someone who has been a MAJOR FALLER in the past few years, it really spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.
The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way thru the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife he remarks "don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowing? " Alcoholics Annonymous Fourth Addition
(Ok so if you know me, and know what a tornado I have been, you know it didn't just speak to me, It got out a big loud speaker and blasted me, followed by beating me over the head repeatedly. )
OUCH OUCH BIG FRIGGIN OUCH!
Geez I'm amazed at my own selfish and prideful attitude.
I am a faller, not a flier. I used to get so tore up when people reminded me of that, but I am working on being truly grateful for those reminders. (Ok ok so, and especially because I am working so hard right now, part of me wants to jump up and down and make people see it. Part of me gets heartbroken or angry when they don't.)
Last night I was reminded of a most precious prayer by a friend of mine a few years ago. She was getting ready to sing and was nervous. We were praying and she said "Lord help me not be prideful" NOT "Lord help me not be afraid". I didn't realize the awesomeness and depth of that statement until last night. As I am struggling with the consequences of my actions, lots of feelings rise and fall. Last night her sweet voice replayed in my mind. Lord help me not to be prideful. If it were not for pride, I would not feel hurt and anger. I would be able to see the destruction that I caused, purposefully and not. I have no right to even ask forgiveness. I have no right to judge how someone else handles the pain my actions caused them. God has forgiven me. I have forgiven me, but that forgiveness does not erase the pain I have caused.
So as a faller, I think that your job is to let people feel. It is to let them grieve and hurt and be angry. Make it right where you can, if you can. More than anything, when you are reminded of what you've done, where you have been, PRAISE HIM.
Praise Him that you aren't there right now. Pray for healing in the hearts of those you have wounded. Most of all, keep moving forward. It is only in moving forward that anything will ever get any better. Nothing good comes from bitterness and anger. Nothing good comes from self pity and pride."But for the grace of God, there go I." I am humbled that I am given even one more moment, that I was spared a fate so many suffer, that He would save and love a wretch like me...
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