January 27, 2013

The Hurt and the Hurters

Last year around this time, we found out we were pregnant with Brooke. Last year around this time, I reconciled two relationships that had caused a lot of hurt on all sides. Coincidence? I think not.

I am absolutely not saying that God is some magic genie and if we do all the right things He will grant us three wishes. What I am saying is that I am so grateful that He did not bless us with a child until I experienced real healing in the way of reconciled relationships.

You see, I had already been on a year-and-a-half long journey of healing from depression, anxiety, pure and utter brokenness. But I was not going to experience God’s unfathomable grace and peace on my life until I got some things right.

So last February I made some phone calls. I called one friend who I had become incredibly angry with over the span of about five or six years. She had hurt me and I had hurt her. Neither one of us meant to, I am sure of that. But because of both of our baggage, it was inevitable. And I had carried the anger for far too long. I was exhausted from making regular excuses as to why I was right and had rights. But I knew I was wrong. So I called her. It wasn’t a long conversation. It didn’t need to be. We understood each other. And the healing went deep…for both. Honestly, it was that phone call that I believe set me free from my past and made it clear to the devil I was no longer going back. God had healed me and freed me and that phone call was proof.

The second phone call was to a friend I knew I had hurt deeply eight years ago. I knew her scars were still raw. I wasn’t sure if my calling her would make things worse or better…so I sent a Facebook message (if in doubt, Facebook, am I right?). It was short and sweet and just included my apology…no excuses. I really didn’t have any. She wrote back and that night we talked. Once again, God moved. He moved in my heart and in hers. I realized I had given up an incredibly important relationship to me because of my stupid pride. She forgave me and even though I am not sure why she let me back in as fast as she did, I am grateful.

So I look back at those two phone calls as life-changers…for me. It was when I decided I was done licking my wounds, harboring my anger, and excusing my pride that I felt God draw near and wash His grace over me in ways I have never before experienced. My challenge to you? We will always be hurt and be the hurters. I am sure you have every reason in the world to be angry. But when you stop and look at the cross…when you stare into the eyes of your Savior and you realize that He gave up His rights and picked up a cross when we were yet still deep in our sin…when you come to understand the fact that He continually forgives and extends second chances after you have disregarded, ignored, and abandoned Him…then your reasons should disappear. If not, you don’t get the Gospel. And until you get the Gospel, all of your religious activity will leave you high and dry. Surrender to the One Who calls you by name from the cross and says, “I love you. I forgive you. Be Me to others.”