This week I was verbally attacked. My Character was maligned and I was led to believe that everyone in my church believes that I am a Lying Conniving Snake who lies in the grass waiting to cause division in my church, I am a bitter, jealous, angry, proud person who needs to be knocked off my high horse, and my daughter is just like me. I am an instrument of Satan.....I am a Witch........
These things really stung and quite frankly I was devastated that any one could be so malicious especially a fellow Christian.
However I have had support and love from so many people this past week, assuring me that this was not the case. But things like this screw with your head and you start to think things like maybe I am being punished, Maybe God has a lesson for me. Maybe I am a horrible person and my heart is really black inside. And then you begin to dwell on the words said, you are hurt and then anger begins. I would deal with the hurt anyday but the anger is like a cancer. A tumor of bitterness and hate starts to grow I found my self thinking about these things with increasing animosity. I did not want to forgive ever, this was not even an option for me.
Fortunately for me, My GOD already knew what was going to happen! He knows everything about my life before it ever even happens. God had started to put things in motion to help heal me months and months ago, little did I know this!
A few months a go I happened upon a book sale, (my favorite kind) and they were brand new books 2/$1 wooohoooo! I was so excited I started filling my shopping cart. I came upon 2 books that I thought I really needed. The first one is the story of Mandisa and her journey to American Idol and beyond. The second one was a bible study called Victoriously Frazzled. I was very excited to get home and start reading the Mandisa book, however I was in the middle of a novel and it would have to wait. I put off reading Mandisa for months, I wanted to read it but somehow something else kept coming into my hands to read..... imagine that!
It just so happens that I was not reading anything this week, and durring my most dismal hours I picked up the Mandisa book to get my mind off things. There I started reading a forward by none other than Beth Moore I really love Beth Moore's teachings and I was surprised to find her in this book. I just completed two of her bible studies this year. Phenomenal teacher! After that I was reading the first few pages by Mandisa and she had some verses there from Psalm 40. I posted them in my previous post if you want to read them. I was very moved by the verses and I was able to meditate on them for a while. I kept reading Mandisa enthralled by her struggles but also by how she is a Woman of God and how she allowed Him to direct her every step when it came to American Idol. Especially the time when she had to forgive Simon Cowell for his nasty remarks about her weight. She did not want to forgive him but she prayed God would give her a spirit of forgiveness. WOW! That is what I needed. I needed to pray for a spirit of forgiveness, because this is not something that I had the power to do on my own. There is no way!
My attempts at prayer were meager to say the least, they always seem to be hardest when there is anger and hurt roiling around in there. Somehow it constipates the process. I just said Lord I need a spirit of forgiveness, please help me with this. I put down my Mandisa book and went about my day trying to not think about all the nastiness in my head.
I was in a funk I did not want to go out, I did not want to do anything. Not dishes, not lunch, not laundry, not school, nothing. I love to do my grocery shopping I am a foodie and I love to cook and even the grocery store did not hold any allure for me. So Idecided that if I was just going to mope around maybe I should try doing something productive. I had to try to find a devotional for a ladies night out slumber party I am co-hosting this month. So I took down book number 2 from the shelf "Victoriously Frazzled". And as I started reading the first page my attention was drawn to the verses to focus on for that week. Guess what??? They were the exact same verses from the Mandisa book. In that moment I knew God was speaking to me. I did not hear a loud thunderous voice. It was not a whisper, it was through his word..... The word coincidence entered my mind, but No Not This. This was God who had orchestrated something for me to help me heal months before I would experience this! There is no coincidence that I purchased the books on the same day. There is no coincidence that Mandisa was in my bedroom while Frazzled was in my living room and I had put them both off for months. No coincidence that I picked up both books in the same day. No coincidence that in the very first few pages of both of these books, the same verses were written there for me to see.
At that moment I felt an immediate lightness come upon me, not like a ray of sunshine but like things in my heart were not so heavy any more. I knew that God was there to lift me up out of this muck and mire I was stuck in. I began to soften in places I was not sure I wanted to yet. Something about anger and hurt, they seem to coat your heart with a very thick quick drying plaster, until this hardness penetrates to the core. Admittedly I wanted to stay angry but I had already prayed for a spirit of forgiveness.
I am so amazed at how quick God answers our prayers sometimes. Right now I am still dealing with alot of things, but I am beginning to see why things have happened, and I see how deep His LOVE and provision is for me.
I have also been able to realize that forgiveness between human beings is not about the one being forgiven it is about the one who is having to forgive, it is a balm God allows you to apply to your own heart. So often we think that forgiving someone means letting them off the hook when in truth it means letting yourself heal. Forgiving someone does not make them a better person but it keeps that hard plaster from forming on your own heart. It stops the cancer from growing!
Praise God!!! Forgiveness is for me!!!!
Am I over this? No, but God is doing an incredible work in my life right now. Was this with out lessons learned? No way, I have learned more this week than I wanted to.....But they are valuable lessons and I will not forget them. Praise the Lord I am being healed even in this moment! Thank you Father for your love and mercy!
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW),
3 weeks ago