Monday, September 6, 2010

I've Been Cheated, Been Mistreated . . . . and Still Have Love

I was lied to.  Duped.  Scammed.  Played the fool.  Taken advantage of . . . the ways of describing it seem endless.

I spent a month of my time helping someone who didn't really need my help (at least not the way she represented the need).  I worried over her, worked to help her, prayed for her, tried to be a friend to her.  For no reason that I can fully understand at this time.

Relationships are messy and involve risk.  There are times I've shied away from them because I have the innate desire to protect myself.  While I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, there is a small part of me that is skeptical.  So to overcome that, I take risks.  I try on trust.

And sometimes I discover a treasure of a friendship I wouldn't have had otherwise.

But sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I'm left with a little scrape on my heart and a question in my mind and that snide inner voice that says, "I told you so."  A seeming confirmation that skepticism should remain firmly planted.  Sometimes there is no treasure (or so it seems).

I can chalk it up to life's lessons.  I can grow more cautious.  I can grow bitter and cynical. 

Or I could just forgive and go on, and find a gift in the mess . . . the gift of God's Word spoken to my heart the very day I realized my suspicions were correct after all, a gift that has allowed me to be completely free from all anger or bitterness.  In this I find my treasure:

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you. . . . .

"But love your enemies, do good to them . . . Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. . . .

"Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you"  (Luke 6:27 - 38).

I need the full measure, and so that's what I'm giving  -- a full measure of forgiveness for the full measure I've received.  The lies may have been endless, but so is His forgiveness -- a true treasure within a treasure.

I invite you to experience it today, my friend.

holy experience

Thanking God for these gifts #241 - 256

He is my friend

He knows all

the courage and heart to take risks

His mercy

the timing of a scripture read that He knew in advance I would need

truth revealed

my family's patience

I am loved

God loves all

people can change

a beautiful weekend that hinted of fall

an impromptu picnic

fun soccer practices

catching up on much-needed rest

praising Him with new insight



the shoafs said...

giiiiiiiirl, i hear ya on this one. it's SO hard, but i have recently begun making an effort to pray for those who i feel have "wronged" me. i'd rather shoot eye lasers at them and hit them with my mind darts, but all that does is make ME feel bad. so i pray. i pray for me to forgive and i pray for them. sometimes i pray with a little more fervor than others ;)

-t- said...

i've a friend who has a 'forgiveness garden'

whenever there is an offense, such as this you have lived, she obediently forgives. with her forgiveness she places a rock in her garden; sometimes she marks the rock: a painting, a Bible verse reference...

when our enemy comes with the lie that she is harboring unforgiveness she returns to her garden and reminds him she has laid that offense at the feet of Jesus.

joining Him in giving thanks for your post this day, your rock in your forgiveness garden :)

may you continue to rest in His peace

Shell said...

What a beautiful way to look at it. I tend to start getting bitter...and then I know I have to change that view, but it's my gut reaction.

Wanda said...

Oh, I could relate to this. I've always been one reluctant to open up and after doing so and getting burned quickly close up. Determined not to let that happen again. But thanks be to God, who keeps prodding me of the need and the ability to be more like Him.

Heather said...

This is so true! Also, the enemy of our souls would like nothing more than to destroy the beginnings of friendships, especially those with spiritual promise. Thanks for your forgiveness and hope reminder today.


Myrtle's Turtles said...

It can be really hard when we pour our hopes of friendship and support into someone and things don't go where we want them. I like your reminder to be faithful to what God commands us to do even in the face of discouraging proof. I love the idea of the forgiveness garden. I will try that with my kids!

e-Mom said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you. :-( Friendships can indeed be messy. Good for you for trying, and for reaching out. Don't give up, never, ever!

Hugs, e-Mom

Lindsey V said...

Oh, I have been there! It is agonizing; it is ugly! However because of those moments, the love of the Father has become more real to me, His grace for me in my messes has become a greater lifeline, and His love worked THROUGH me has become a greater and greater desire!

Manda said...

Oh sweetpea... so sorry that you've been wounded by a friend. Those wounds can be deep and painful... especially with so much invested.
Sending you some love for your scrapped heart, and if I could a funky band-aid too.

Maggie S said...


Cranberry Morning said...

It is definitely easier to become cautious and protective. We really want our 'good' efforts to be rewarded. It's when I remember how I've offended God way more than anyone's ever offended me, that I can begin to get things into perspective. I don't know why I thought, when I was a younger Christian, that we would 'arrive' at a point when those things wouldn't happen. But they do, as long as we're living in this fallen world.

Kristi said...

I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you. I'm grateful, as you are, for His assurances and encouragement, as He knows these feelings only seek to hurt us. It puts things into perspective to remember that while it's hard when someone has wronged us, we have wronged Him so many times. Yet, He freely forgives when we come to Him. If only it was easier. But we see how it matures us in our walk, and makes us lean on Him ever so much more. Thank goodness for His strength!

S.I.F. said...

You are beautiful and amazing GlowinGirl... I seriously admire you so much!

GlowinGirl said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind words! I really am grateful for God's forgiveness and know that it's all about Him and not about me! We do nothing good on our own.

Jireh Ministries Foundation, Inc said...

This is so true and a difficult thing to live with sometimes. We experienced this so much in our ministry that I posted a sign on the wall so I could reflect on it daily: WE WORK FOR JESUS!
It really helped me. Praise God!

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