Monday, October 19, 2009

The Goods with the Bads

I'm giving myself ten minutes to blog today. Unfortunately, this is a topic that I could probably write about for much longer than that.

I put on my favorite pair of jeans this morning. They actually (almost) fit me again after having L. Yay! It is a jeans and comfy sweatshirt day. I'm trying very hard, in every way I know, to see myself through a very hard time. I honestly wish I didn't have this to go through, and I know I could just back out and avoid it altogether, but I won't do that. The consequences of that are much too far reaching and painful to even consider, so I know I have to get myself through it.

About three weeks ago, something happened in my life that shocked my socks off. For any of your concerned, no, I'm not pregnant. Someone very dear to me made a very selfish decision that affects me directly. Because it is this person's bad move, I can't really do anything about it. I can only watch this person suffer and try to respond appropriately with love, support and forgiveness. I'm not doing very well with this. My impulse is to condemn and berate; I want to punish. But, I know this isn't my place.

I mentioned, on facebook, that I was struggling. This issue has been so HUGE on my mind for the past weeks, that at this point it's consuming all of my thoughts. I had nothing else I could write as my status. It was so encouraging to feel the love of so many friends as they responded. Some of the responses seemed to assume I was struggling with my kids. Thankfully, no, the kids are not the cause of my struggle--any more than any other day. So many wrote asking how they could help. Believe me, I would gladly give this away, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone. There really is no way to help. A rough part of my character has been rubbed and needs to be removed, so I am the only one who can deal with it, and God is the only one who can help me. It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in this.

There have been a number of tender mercies through all this. Yesterday, our bishop spoke in sacrament meeting. This is kind of a rare occasion. He based his talk on the story from Genesis 18, in which Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be destroyed and Abraham asks God if He will spare the cities if there are fifty righteous people found there; when there are no longer any righteous there, God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. The bishop encouraged us to be among the righteous that saves those around us. As he spoke, I realized that God is aware of me and my plight. I could see that this was Heavenly Father's way of telling me to do what is right no matter what. I have to stay on course for the sake of others.

You don't know how badly I'm struggling with being Christ-like in this situation. I know I need to be and that I must be forgiving because I know that I too need to be forgiven, but the inward struggle is terrible. I'm not all that that I can condemn someone else. I'm not worthy of casting stones. But, my trust has been shattered toward this person. So, I'm wondering, is my lack of trust also a sign of lack of forgiveness? Is it just making the whole forgiveness process more difficult?

Another of the tender mercies I received was last night as I read the scriptures. I came across Alma 31 verse 31. It was exactly the prayer I needed. I am grateful that I'm not the other person in this situation, but the words of Alma here until the end of the chapter help me know that I shouldn't give up on this person, but that I MUST lean on the Lord to guide me through what lies ahead.

I know that riding through the storm will only make me stronger and more fit to deal with other things in the future (I started to write "worse," but I hope that I don't have to go through anything worse). I'm wishing that time would pass quickly so this will all be behind us.

Late last week, I drove by one of those loving, reassuring messages on a church message board. It read, "Tough times don't last; tough people do." I am determined to be tough.


Anonymous said...

well... whatever that situation is, YOU are handling it beautifully Julie! You should give yourself more credit sister :) you are trying to be good... and you are even doing what Pres. Hinckley challenged us to do... you are "Trying a little harder!"

you are wonderful!

Tonya said...

Wow Julie, as I read this post I realized that I could have wrote the exact same one. I too had something terrible happen recently and I too have been struggling with forgiveness issues. Bishop Brennan's talk struck me to the very core as well. Thanks for giving me that extra boost of courage to do what I know is right. It is nice to know I am not the only one struggling with these issues. Love you Julie.

vaxhacker said...

You know, I was struck by his talk as well, not like you and Tonya were, but it occurred to me to think, "you know, that's an unusual talk for Sacrament meeting... I wonder who needs to hear that for some reason." Just kind of had that feel to it, if that makes any sense.

I'm really sorry to hear you got hurt like that. That's never easy to get through, and one of the hardest things to remember sometimes is how our mistakes affect other people's lives.

I've also come to realize that learning to forgive others when we've been hurt is quite possibly the very hardest thing to learn to do in our lives. It seems like an easy thing, easily underestimated, until you face it, and then... boy... it can really surprise you.

But you're far from alone. You have a loving father in heaven, a wonderful family and no small number of friends :)

Rachel said...

Lot's of struggling going on everywhere I guess. I have been reading and re-reading some of the wonderful talks on forgiving from the past several conferences. I know each of us has to figure this one out for ourselves-- but just know that if these arms could reach you where you are-- they would be hugging you tight! I have so appreciated the love and support you have offered me these past many months and would do ANYTHING to help if I could. Love you Julie!

Anonymous said...

All consuming trials are so hard to get through--to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there. You are strong, and you will be stronger because of this. Know that you are in my prayers, and that anything I or my family can do for you, we would gladly love to help.

Darilyn said...

It's tough when things happen and we realize just how mortal and imperfect we are. Fortunately for us we have our Father in Heaven who sent his son to pay the price for all those imperfections. Lean on Him and he will guide you. Love to you, Jules.

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