Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Forgiving the Mean Girls

I realized this morning that I have missed blogging. God has been doing some heart work that has been just for me, so I had to be quiet for awhile. But this morning I realized that part of what God has for me is to write this blog, so I'm back!

Tonight I watched a video done by Sheila Walsh. It's actually the first in a 5 week series called The Storm Inside and the episode is about forgiveness. I've included the link for The Storm Within: Forgiveness. If you have 25 minutes take a look.

As I watched, I knew that there was an area that I needed to work on. I needed to spend some time, days actually, looking at the rejection that I have experienced in my life. I knew I needed to forgive those who had rejected me or who I felt rejected by. I wondered where I would begin, but only for a moment. The long-forgotten named girls from my childhood was the place tostart. The girls who judged and rejected me for whatever reasons they had. I can guess some of their reasons and then there are just some girls who are plain-old mean.

As I wrote in my journal a prayer of forgiveness for these girls I knew that I was really putting down the unforgiveness that I held towards them. As the unforgiveness was being released the rejection of these girls as was being released. The impact is lessened and hopefully one day it will be virtually gone. Why not completely gone?

One thing that I consider a blessing from the rejection of these girls is that I am sensitive to it when I see it in the girls God has blessed me with. Not only can I see and empathize with the girls who feel rejected, but I am also sensitive to the girls who are mean. Okay, not the truly mean girls. I am so glad to say that in 19 years of teaching I have only had one truly mean girl. Part of me felt badly for her because she obviously is missing something in her heart that makes her that way, but the other part of me really struggled with feeling for her. She is the dictionary definition of mean girl.

Anyway, those girls who can be mean at times are that way because they have been hurt too or because of their insecurities. If a girl is open, I can speak into the situation and hopefully help her see that her actions or words are mean. Then there are the girls who are treated meanly. Them I just love on and try to encourage them to rise up over the pain that they are experiencing. It isn't always easy to relive what I went through to help them, but sometimes it is very necessary for my healing and my ministering to my girls.

I know that this is just the first step for me, the first rejection area that I will examine and forgive. Honestly, this is probably the easiest one that I will have to address, but I know that further examination and the process of forgiving will bring freedom.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Work Seems Unending

It has been over a month since I have even wanted to write anything. As I wrote before, back in August I prayed God would knock a wall down in my life. Well, it appears that one wall started a domino affect in my life. He has been knocking down walls, break through glass barriers, chipping away chunks of my heart, and walking me through the refining fire. It has been impossibly hard, but after each collapse, shatter, break, and smelting has come a freedom. I hope at the end of each I will get a break, get a prize for being willing. But no breaks have come, and I guess freedom is to be the prize. Currently is no exception.

I have gone through a few days, well actually a week now, where my heart felt like a boulder was sitting on it. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I would find I had been staring off for a long time, just staring. I felt like I was going crazy. Someone would say something and my mind would instantly start to analyze it and come up with the worse case scenario of what was really meant. Worse than the words spoken, were the ones not. I shared a little of my struggles and was met with silence. It hurt so badly to have nothing said to me. No words of  comfort, or compassion, or prayers. I felt like I was isolated in my pain. The silence reminded me of why I keep things to myself. It felt like no one cared.

I had been told once, by someone I love, that I was in a depression. I was shocked by the thought. I was sad sometimes, but depression. Surely, not! But as I have tried to function this last week with this incredible sadness and misleading thought patterns, I was once again told by someone else, that I needed to see someone about the what it. Of course, being the googling person that I am, I started to look up depression. I am not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I read things that lined up exactly with what I have been experiencing. I read about ways to deal with it. I read about medicine, counseling, and things I can do for myself. It was good because I couldn't deny anymore, but it was bad because it sent my spinning.

 The pain increased and the doubt flooded over me. The shame of just not being good enough rushed through my mind. I just couldn't shake the thought, "if I was a better then this wouldn't be happening to me. If I was a better person, a better Christian, then I would be going through this." I started to grow angry at God for allowing this to happen to me. I spent years building up those walls so I didn't have to feel anything and now they are down and this is the result! I really thought, "why did I bother?" This is far too much for me. I can't do this. I don't want to. I am tired of the heart work. It is too much, too fast, and it feels like I am getting nothing but more heart work as a reward. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and wait for it to just pass.

This is by far the most agonizing thing I have ever faced. But I am facing it.

Yesterday, I stood by the sink in my kitchen, looking out the window at a North Carolina snow storm and told God, "Do whatever needs to be done, because I can't do this anymore." I sat down on my couch turned on some Laura Story, oh the words in her songs just seem to speak to where I am, and listened to her sing. I replayed the music and sang along. Sometimes I was belting out the lyrics, sometimes barely whispering the words, and sometimes sang them in my heart as tears streamed down my face.

Through all of it I journaled and prayed. I prayed that God would speak to me and as I closed my mouth this song started to play and knew God was talking to me.

Perfect Peace
Stay close by my side
Keep your eyes on me
Though this life is hard
I will give you perfect peace

In this time of trial
Pain that no one sees
Trust me when I say
That I will give you perfect peace

And you'll never walk alone
And you'll never be in need
Though I may not calm the storms around you
You can hide in me

Burdens that you bear
Offer no relief
Let me bear your load
'Cause I will give you perfect peace

Stay close by my side
And you'll never walk alone
Keep your eyes on me
And you'll never be in need
Though this life is hard
Know that I will always give you perfect peace
I will give you perfect peace

The song ended and I just sat with God for awhile. The words sank in and I started to feel a measure of that perfect peace. After some time of quiet I asked Him this question. "Am I suppose to rise up out of this or walk through it?" I haven't hear an answer yet, but when I woke up this morning it was not with pain weighing down on my heart, but rather with the words of a song upon it instead.

And as for the silence I received from others, I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt, but I realize the silence is because they do not understand. They have their own struggles, but this is outside their realm of struggle. It isn't that they don't care, it's that they don't know. That is why they are silent. They don't know what to say. I have to give them the grace to not expect a response from them. Not that I don't need encouraging and compassionate words and their prayers, but I need to give grace in their silence. Because I need grace in mine when I don't have the words to give others.