Thursday, February 10, 2011

Forgiveness? No, thank you.

Is there ever a perfect time to be engaged and plan your wedding? I thought that now was a pretty perfect time for Matt and me. And it was. For about 4 months. And then a bomb dropped.

Please don't misunderstand, I still love Matt more than I've ever loved anyone, and I am still beyond excited to be planning the beginning of our life together, but some family issues (his) have come to light and trying to deal with them is proving to be difficult.

How do you handle a family member, who also claims to be a fellow believer in Christ, who does something extremely hurtful? How do you handle it when their deed is made known and not only do they refuse to take responsibility for the action, but also refuse to stop doing it or apologize for the pain they've caused? Normally, I have no patience with this type of person. I have no patience for someone who lies about something of which they've already been PROVEN guilty. My instinct here is to completely avoid this person. I never want to even see them again. My instinct is to be MAD, and when I get MAD, I can get vicious. I've been thinking all sorts of mean, ugly things about this person.

But the biggest problem is that the love of my life still loves this person who has made me so MAD. Don't get me wrong, Matt is probably more hurt, angry and confused than I am, but because he has a strong family tie to this person, the love he has for them acts as a buffer for the bad feelings and softens them. I, on the other hand, have no ties to this person whatsoever, so my anger and viciousness have no buffer, I feel like I have no reason not to strongly dislike this person. So the hateful feelings spewing out of my heart are hurting my fiance. And when I realized this, I got even angrier at this person because they have now driven a wedge between Matt and I, because I can't tell him how I'm feeling about all of this because it causes him pain when I do.

This is our first experience with dealing with something big as a couple. And we're finding out just how different we are. At least in this situation. The way he is dealing with it is not the way I'm dealing with it (if I can even call getting angrier and angrier dealing with it). I'm not sure how we can come together in this. I want to be supportive for him. I want to help him through this. But I am so angry right now, that if I was able to confront this person (which I can't, because I'm not a member of the family), I would be tempted toward some serious verbal abuse. So I guess it's a good thing that I can't confront them, since I would probably say something that I might regret later. 

*Sigh*

I understand making mistakes. Really, I do. I make them ALL of the time. I know that no one is perfect. So I'm not judging this family member for their actions. I understand that life is hard and that we are sinners. I get it. I even understand being seriously ashamed and embarrassed when someone else calls you out for sin in your life. I know what it feels like to be angry with the person who dared point out the sin in my life. I really do understand. But that doesn't mean that I am not affected by the choices those who live their lives in proximity to mine make. And when the poor choice that someone else makes has an adverse affect on my life, and that person shows no remorse at all, and in fact, continues to act in a way that is arrogant, selfish and just downright mean, I have no pity for them, no matter how miserable they say that they are.

When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out to God, asking Him to "forgive them, for they know not what they do." He prayed forgiveness on the very men who condemned Him to death and crucified Him. They did not know that they were murdering the Son of God. I think this means that I also should forgive this person who is hurting me. But I'm pretty sure that this person is fully aware of what they are doing and is still choosing to do it, knowing full well the effects of their actions. So do I still have to forgive before this person has repented and asked for forgiveness? 

Because I don't want to forgive them.

And if I don't, I will be hurting those around me. Which makes me want to say, "Thanks for making me hurt the ones I love. It wasn't enough for you to screw things up in your own life, now you've caused me to stumble too. Way to go. I think you deserve a trophy."

But I know that's not right. And I'm ashamed of myself for thinking it. But that doesn't stop me from thinking it.

And until I stop thinking it, things won't be right in my own heart.

Oh, Father God, help me please.

1 comment:

peggy said...

Sweetie, when you say that your feelings toward this person are hurting Matt, and that this makes you angrier at the person, I think you need to step back and really look at what you just said. I believe it is the way you are handling the situation that is hurting Matt, and that has nothing to do with the other person...but everything to do with you. You have the ability to either make the situation better or worse for Matt by handling your own emotions better. Forgiveness is never easy, but God will give you the ability to do it. Your forgiveness of that person will make you and Matt even closer. If you continue to "boil over" there will be a tear in your relationship with the one you love most and intend to spend your life with. Ask God to help you to love the offender and to forgive the person. You have heard that time heals, but the longer you put off forgiveness, the longer it takes to heal...not a great way to start a marriage. I love you more than anything, and I am praying the Lord will heal your heart. Grandma.