This morning I drove home from dropping the kids off at school and listened to a new song on the radio. I had not heard it before but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'll get to that in a minute.
Let me rewind a bit...
A few years ago, the Christian singer Amy Grant walked out on her family. She left for another man, Vince Gill. I was devastated that this woman of great faith would do that. She had represented so many things for me as a little girl. My older sister had a few of her tapes (back in the old day, we didn't have CDs youngsters!) and I remember listening to "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" over & over & over. The instrumental parts to that song blew me away...and still do. But when she left her family for another man, I was shocked. It knocked the breath out of me & left me so discouraged. Somehow, much of the rest of the Christian music world seemed (at least to me) to not blink over it. She was out of the music industry for a short time, but then started producing records again. WHAT? How could I ever listen to her again & get the same blessing from it? I was looking at her through a whole different pair of eyes...the eyes that saw her flaw & her sin and just couldn't let it go. I've never quite gotten over that, I guess.
On the eve of Andrew & Kourtney's departure from our home, I was a mess. A glorious, ugly mama cry sort of mess. I was hurting and so very brutally vulnerable. I was horrified about the choices we were having to make, the way this might affect A&K later on down the road, how hard it would be for them. And then it happened. A girlfriend of mine sent me an email that shook me to the core. She told me that she didn't feel the least bit sorry for me. She told me that we were adding to A&K's traumatic childhood & I should be ashamed of myself for (in her words) "kicking them out". The blow of reading that email was like a kick in the stomach when I was already curled in a ball on the floor. I was devastated. The timing was horrible. If I'd read the same words 2 months later, I probably would've handled it better, but in that moment, I was crushed by a person who I thought was a dear friend. I tried to defend our choice that night & explain to her what was going on, but ultimately that conversation destroyed our friendship & we've barely spoken since.
It's been 3 years since the kids moved out. Up until very recently, any time that particular girlfriend's name came up, I felt it all over again -- the pain & hurt she caused. I wasn't so much ANGRY as I was just hurt. She & I tried to work things out about a year ago, but the conversation was very emotional & our words became daggers very quickly. I had to just walk away & say "nevermind". The truth is, the wound had never really fully healed & talking to her about the whole thing just tugged at the perimeter of those scars til the whole thing came open again & the pain spilled out.
But no matter how many times I've mentally or verbally forgiven her for the hurt she caused, I've never told HER that I have forgiven her. I've heard sermon after sermon & read umpteen devotional book entries about forgiveness in the 3 years that have passed. Every single time without fail, her name comes to mind. Not because I haven't forgiven her, but because God has nudged me to seek her out & tell her that all is forgiven & it's time to move on. I think the truth of the matter is that I know, in the pit of my stomach, if I forgive her & say "let's try this friendship thing again", I'm opening myself up to her. And opening myself up to her again is allowing her a chance to hurt me all over again.
In praying about this recently, I told God that. Father, I am afraid. I don't want to be hurt again. I know that what she said that night was said out of ignorance to the situation. She didn't full grasp what was going on. I think her motives were pure---she was trying to make me see something that she didn't think I'd thought through....but it hurt like hell, Lord. If I try to make good with her now, she may hurt me all over again and I'm just not ready for that.
You know what He said to me?
Beloved, how do you think I feel? I forgive you day after day, time & time again...and you hurt me over & over. But I open myself up to you completely each time you come to me and I forgive you knowing that you'll hurt me again.
Yeah, I know. Talk about a knife to the heart. Ouch. I get it.
I tried to seek out my girlfriend a couple weeks ago but I can't get my hands on her mailing address. I don't have an email for her anymore. Her phone number was long since removed from my phone book. I really don't have a way to tell her that I forgive her....but somehow, in reaching that place, God's released me from the bondage of carrying around that burden. Just coming to a point of being WILLING to say "I was wrong to hold onto this for so long" has been so freeing.
I forgive you, M. I hate that things got so ugly between us. I was hurt and I didn't know how to let go of that for a long, long time. But I'm ready to forget the past & move on.
This morning, as I drove home, I heard this beautiful song on the radio. The video & lyrics are below. It was such a good song. It ministered to my heart and left me singing along with raised hands in my front yard. And ya know what?
Amy Grant is the singer.
Looks like it's time for me to let go of another hurt & forgive her & move on. If Jesus can, why can't I?
God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.
The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out.
3 years ago