Monday, January 4, 2016

The other "F" word...

Oh MY Goodness.  Nothing has been making my ears tingle and hurt more lately than hearing the "F" word.


This word is something I never had much problem with, until recently.  It's all my fault actually.  I prayed one time a long time ago in a moment of extreme bravery and clear insanity for God to help me love, like he Loves.  Oh boy.  That did it.  I left the door wide open on that one.

The thing is, I really meant it.  I had just come off of an AMAZING life changing retreat, and I had really experienced God in a new way, and sort of fell in love with Jesus all over again.  I felt God calling me into a deeper relationship with him, much deeper than I had ever experienced and it was the most incredible feeling ever.  Like Hot-Flash Awesome.  Like my-cheeks-are-blushing-just-thinking-about-it.

SO this started this new level of my relationship with my Lord, and I started reading about some of my favorite Saints and their relationship with Jesus.  Saint Gemma Galgani was one of them.  Long story short she was an Italian chick who LOVED LOVED LOVED Jesus and actually experienced ecstasies with Jesus on a regular basis.   Read her story, she is a favorite of mine.

One of my Favorites! St. Gemma
Anyway...So I sincerely prayed for Jesus to help ME love others more deeply, more fully, so that I could LOVE him more deeply and more fully.  Now I have to clarify, I am no SAINT.  I ask for these things at the same time I ask for a new Louis Vuitton bag, or a bigger house, or to lose ten pounds.  I am basically just like the rest of the world; just crazier.   Well sure enough a few months later I was blessed to be able to experience a kind of betrayal from one of my best friends.  It hurt to the core.

But here is the thing, I had just watched a movie on Netflix about the story of Hosea, called "Amazing Love."  It's all about the prophet Hosea who married a prostitute and she kept cheating on him, and he kept taking her back.  The story points toward the truth of GOD'S FAITHFULNESS to us, no matter how many times we betray him.  No matter how many times we sin, or turn our backs on God, he NEVER leaves us, or gives us the cold shoulder, or says, "Forget you, I have given you enough chances, you have really hurt me, so now I don't have to be nice to you anymore." 

THANK GOD YOU DON'T DO THAT GOD!!!  Whew, God working through Netflix.  That crazy GOD, he really knows how to touch my heart.

7 times 70; right?  Or 7 times 77.  So I pick up my bootstraps and choose to go love this friend of mine.  Now in all honesty, she probably doesn't even realize the depth of her offense. But like I said, I was hurt to the core.  But what will teach my friend how better love Jesus?  To be loved?  Or to be resented?  To be revenged? Or to be forgiven?   AND WHAT WILL TEACH ME TO BE BETTER LOVE JESUS?  To Love? OR to resent?  TO seek Revenge?  Or to seek to Forgive.  And wasn't that MY prayer???? 

To Forgive.  UGH THAT WORD!

Alright God, I get the message.  In order to love you more deeply I need to learn to Forgive others.  I thought I was doing pretty good at it, but now I realize I had never been given an opportunity to really exercise forgiveness. Until Now.  And that is exactly what I am doing.  I am putting on my work-out clothes every day and doing 20 reps of forgiveness.  It is a slow process for me, but I am working on it regardless of whether my friend deserves it.   And like I said she doesn't have a clue how badly I need to give IT to her.  Forgiveness that is.

I read something recently about what IS forgiveness.  I can't remember where I read this, so I can't site the source exactly, but it described forgiveness in three steps.

1.  Recognizing that there was a hurt.
2.  Realizing that a debt is owed because this person did something wrong to you.
3.  Then canceling the debt.

Ummmmm, depending on the circumstances this can be VERY VERY TOUGH.  Here is what I am imagining in my head.  I have this precious item.  Someone steals it, or damages it, or ruins it.  Then, once I realize that this person did this, and say to them it's okay.  No you don't have to replace it, or make it up to me.  Just don't even worry about it.

It sounds easy to do if it was something I didn't like anyway, like some old necklace I never wore.  But what if it was EVERYTHING I ever hoped for?  Like my entire savings being squandered, or my child being killed in a car accident, or my spouse having an affair?   How do you say to someone who has hurt you like that, "It's okay.  I forgive you?"

I am not sure exactly.  But if you truly hand over your life to Jesus then you trust that he can help you forgive.  And in the process you will be made HOLY, and WOW, what a gift it would be to be made Holy.   At least I think it would be a gift.  You get to party up in Heaven for all eternity. And I hear the FOOD and the people are AMAZING in Heaven.

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