Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chapter 37

The next couple of weeks were spent in deep soul searching.  I knew that I had to make some changes or this bitterness and anger were going to eat me up.

I've learned that bitterness doesn't harm the person you are bitter at, but it eats away and breaks you down in a way that changes the very essence of who you are.  In most cases the other person is usually not even aware that you are bitter towards them, and even if they are aware of this point it usually doesn't bother them in the least! 

I also knew that I had been trying to do everything in my own strength, and I was horribly failing.  I felt it very hard to trust anyone and that included God.  I also needed to find a way to forgive.  Forgiveness is a really hard thing, at least in my case.  How in the world could I forgive someone who had done so much to me under the guise of "love".  My life had been lost and I could never get it back again.  How could I forgive someone who didn't even think they had done anything wrong?  Pastor started telling me to stop waiting for Gary to ask for forgiveness, that it was never going to happen.  But in my mind I couldn't seem to separate the two.  How can you forgive if they don't ask for forgiveness?  After alot of soul-searching I came to see that I had to have the spirit of forgiveness in my heart. I read recently that forgiveness does not excuse behavior but that it prevents their behavior from destroying your heart!  Its a day to day process with me.  Some days its there and other days it seems like I've lost all the ground I had gained.

I knew that something was different though.  I had given my life to God and I felt the peace that I had longed for so long.  I was in a muddle about Gary though.  I knew the angry and bitter way I had been treating him was wrong.  Returning evil for evil is never right. Elizabeth began to notice a change in me.  We went one day to the home to visit Gary and she noticed on a couple of occasions  I reached out and touched his arm.  On the way home she looked at me and again mentioned that God had changed me.

There was going to be a baptism that Sunday afternoon at the lake and I was one of the ones being baptized.  I was a little nervous.  The lake had a rocky bottom and I was very unsteady on ground that I could see, what would I do with a rocky lake bottom!  Plus I was concerned for the Pastor.  With the neuropathy so bad in my legs I knew I would be of no help getting back up from under the water, and I didn't want him to hurt himself trying to lift me up.  I certainly didn't want to be his first 'casualty!'  Even though I found it embarrassing I mentioned it to him Saturday evening, he laughed and said not to worry about it, so I tried not to.

Pastor got one of the deacons to help him with me.  Another man helped me out to where they were waiting.  Well, as you can see, I didn't drown that day!  One arm didn't go under though...I was holding on very tightly to the deacon...but I came back up!

There was a fellowship time that night after the service and someone brought Gary.  Alice told me later that she started to laugh at one point because Pastor had been walking down the aisle and had actually stopped stared when he saw me go over and say hi to Gary.

At the fellowship after the service that night Cathy came downstairs.  She came right over to me.  She told me how different I was and how everyone was noticing.  That's when she told me about everyone at the Hillbilly BBQ knowing how much I hated Gary.  We talked for quite a while that night and she was a real encouragement to me.

I do want to mention here the difference between forgiveness and trust.  Yes, I had gotten to the place where I could forgive Gary for the years of abuse, but there was not and still isn't trust.  One has nothing to do with the other.  Forgiveness had to come from me and in reality had nothing to do with him.  Trust on the other hand is earned, and he has never earned that from me. 

Sometimes it seems as if real encouragements and highs are followed by heavy blows.  For some very personal reasons, I can't go into detail about what happened next.  All I will say is over the course of the next few months some things happened concerning my dear daughter.  It finally came to a head one night and the result was that she moved out and went to Halifax to live.  Oh how I did miss her, my ray of sunshine was gone.  My heart broke into a million pieces that have never healed.  My world had literally fallen apart and my heart ripped to shreds.  But I knew I had done the right thing as hard as it had been...but oh did it ever hurt. 

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