I recently enjoyed a fun weekend at a reunion of my mother’s classmates from many decades ago. Today, on social media, a not-so-flattering picture of mine surfaced. I stood awkward, hunched with my photo-face and straggly hair.

Around mid-afternoon, a friend of mine texted that a friend of hers called to find out “what happened to me” why I looked so old (or some equivalent of that word).

And I stared at my screen, wounded. People can take a frozen memory and cut your heart with it for no real reason. Sometimes these people are your most trusted friends.

This is just a little example, but I have heard friends and family constantly doubting themselves because of somebody’s words, opinions or actions directed toward them.

What is is with relationships these days? Women choosing to break each other down instead of working to break them free. Women constantly comparing, criticizing, name-calling, judging instead of acccepting, appreciating, encouraging, loving and uplifting?

As I prayed at my desk at work, I felt unsettled and defensive. This is why I had built walls, shielded myself from people who I thought could hurt me and thought I chose my friends carefully. And yet I was here again, hurting because of something that someone I care about said to me.

I know it isnt true and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). That is the truth and nobody can change it, not even me.

Still it pinches the corners of my heart.

I heard in an interview, someone famous saying that sometimes the people closest to you can be the most dangerous.

How, God? How do I form mutually beneficial, rich, loving relationships without ever getting hurt?

The answer stings. You can’t.

I want to cry, but even more I want to understand.

Sin. It was born of broken trust. Resulted in shame. Marred a relationship.
But God redeemed.
Even Jesus was betrayed. By one of his own.
Still Jesus gave his life to save.

If people don’t hurt you, how can you show them the face of God? How then will you practise humility, peace, forgiveness and recieve grace?

That doesnt mean you wont feel hurt, betrayed, angry and upset.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it hurt him. It pained him that they questioned his love for them.
Jesus hurt too. {He wept, remember?}

Your feelings are beautiful, integral parts of who you are.

Place them first at the foot of the cross. Cast your burdens into the arms of the One who is strong enough {not to mention, One who adores you!} to comfort you.

Let your expression of these feelings reveal who you are called to reflect.

Of course, we all fall short. Lucky for us, God is generous in granting grace.

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