Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Lessons In Closing Doors Behind You

Let me tell you just how bad growth sucks...and how eating crow sucks more.

Ugh.

I feel like it is both a sign of how much I have grown that I can so quickly and sincerely apologize to someone, but then on the hundredth time something is brought up...I finally say, You know I am sorry for past sins, but I cannot keep apologizing for something that happened in the past that I have already acknowledged, apologized for, and changed from...I don't want this brought up again between us...I can't keep having this conversation. How do we move forward?

Bam!

Thank you Jesus!

Old Heather could neither have owned the mistake, nor apologized, and/or not allowed myself to be beat up again and again for it into eternity.

Growth. Where have you been all my life?


I remember leaning over the bridge looking at the Arkansas River here in Colorado (on my way back to Arkansas in 2012)  knowing that some things and people would move forward with me...and others I would have to say good-bye too. It was a breathtaking moment.
Here is the side of growth that no one writes about...where someone uses your past sin as a baseball bat to beat you with into infinitum. It is a thing. It is a serious thing for those of us who are easily prey to martyrdom.

Ouch.

Double Ouch.

So let me lay it out there and hopefully someone will learn from my willingness to look the idiot here...

You have made mistakes. Some of those mistakes are critical errors. You have a God who forgives you. You have a God who has an expectation that you will forgive yourself. You have a God who has an expectation that you will forgive others. You cannot control others as it comes to accept forgiveness or offering it.

I had you right up until the last part.

You cannot control who will forgive you. You cannot control who will truly accept your forgiveness. It is just that simple and just that difficult.

I have made some mistakes that when they cross my mind, I shudder. Yeah...that bad. The truth is that whether it is a cross word spoken to murder...when your conscious takes hold and you are convicted about something...it doesn't matter WHAT it is because it ALL matters in your heart with God. Suddenly that little white lie to a viscous argument to whatever is the BIGGEST thing in the world. Guess what...it all matters and yet is also all forgivable to your God, but it doesn't always work that easily to those we have hurt with our sins.

So many of us have used forgiveness as a weapon in our lives. Well you have to forgive me, or you have to be okay because I asked forgiveness, or I forgave you why are you so weird toward me??? I mean how many of us have spoken or had those spoken to us in our lives.

Yeah...that is what I thought.

I have worked really hard to forgive others and then keep moving forward with no expectation on them or our relationship. True forgiveness comes from asking for or receiving without expectation. That is truly hard, but for your sanity...you have to learn it.

Back to the beginning of the post. I have "repented" again and again about something with someone, but they are just "hung up" on it and can't move forward. At some point, I have to be okay that we might not be able to get back to where we were. That hurts...both sides...but it is our reality and one that we have to be willing to consider for our individual health and well being. No one wants to have a yoke on their shoulder every day trudging through trying to make a relationship okay when it is NOT okay.

I fight...to the end. That is who I am, but what I am learning is that sometimes it is worth the "fight" but not solvable on this side of heaven....no matter what. At this point, I am learning the painful lesson of knowing when, "I can't keep having THIS fight/discussion/etc."

One of my parents gave me a book years ago on Boundaries that was startling if you know my parental history. I am a girl with no boundaries on my heart, and they knew that. That book is good, but it took me a long time before I read it. I have, and I am learning. I was raised and always believed that you should take the hit, trudge through, no matter what. I am learning the fallacy of that. It is not easy or perfect or for everyone, but for this girl...it is a critical point of my growth to be able to say to someone in a soft tone, "I can't keep having this discussion/fight/argument. We may need to make a change." How I say this, as much as the words, has opened up discussions and depth between me and others I would have never known otherwise....on the flip side, it has given both sides permission to close doors...sometimes between each other. 

It is a risk that must be taken...Every. Time. It is also always a last resort for me...but one that I am at least finally willing to consider before it is too late.

This is a hard post for me to write...and one that I really need to be read knowing that I am writing it from and with a heart of compassion...it is simply me sharing the struggle in some of the lessons God is teaching me. I don't necessarily enjoy these lessons...this being one of my least favorites thus far, but it is one that I know I needed...I am either too hard on people or too hard on myself or both....and the truth is that we teach people how to treat us. It has taken me a long time to learn how to treat myself and my own heart...now comes the hard lessons in teaching others who have not always treated me well. It is also challenging for those that I have not treated well to forgive me and move on. Lots of landmines in this lesson. Have I mentioned lately how much #growthsucks??!?!?! :)))

Here is to hoping this helps you consider your own boundaries or lack of them. How are you treating forgiveness of yourself? Forgiveness of others? Are there people in your past, your life that you need to work to restore? Walk away from? And in all of this, ask God...where are you in THIS? What would you have me to do? I don't make decisions these days without asking and waiting on God to direct me? And then to ask the second and third questions? Thank you John Eldredge.

Here is to healthy relationships. May we all work to have more of them...Every. Day.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)