Reconciliation. Forgiveness. God’s been working on me for a while in this area. One thing He’s been teaching me, is that I can’t control everything. I am a control freak when it comes to my relationships. I have no idea why. I don’t know if it’s because I had some things happen to me growing up that made me fear loss, or if it’s just because I’ve got a type A personality, or maybe it’s that I’m not a strong person, but try to make it appear as I am through my façade of strength in my relationships? I don’t know, really.
I do have a great fear of loss, and that has done some weird things to me over my life. When I was younger I would attach to friends or boyfriends *gasp* too quickly. I would be completely heartbroken if they didn’t seem as attached to me as I was to them. Especially then, I think I was looking for acceptance. But, I was looking in the wrong place.
As I’ve gotten older, some things have happened to me that have tested my theories on relationships. I’ve had some friendships that I thought were forever friendships turn into “for a time” friendships. I’ve had some major conflict with my mother. I’ve had conflicts with close friends. I’ve even had someone whom I loved as a daughter leave without reason. And, in the process of adopting my two youngest children I’ve had to deal with emotions towards their birth parents, and forgiving them, so that I can be a better parent and help my children heal from their own hurts.
Most especially through my trials with my mother, but also with the others I have really been taught about forgiveness. When you are growing up you learn that you forgive someone when they say they are sorry. But as life happens to you, you learn that often forgiveness needs to come before someone tells you they’re sorry. This has been an interesting lesson to learn, but I believe it is part of God’s refining fire. Is it easy to forgive someone before they’re sorry? NO! But the peace that you get in your heart is so worth it.
I think that often we miss the gift of reconciliation because we’re waiting for the person who hurt us to be sorry before we forgive them. Where I finally came around with my mother to forgiveness, and I mean true forgiveness not just lip service to that fact, was I realized that, even though she had hurt me deeply, I loved her still.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins”- 1 Peter 4:8 As we studied this verse last year in bible study I really pondered what it meant. And, to me, it meant that we can overlook some things because of love. It meant that we are all created imperfect. To me it meant it was OK for me to be imperfect. This, coupled with “Love each other deeply, from the heart”- 1 Peter 1:22 made me ponder what love means.
Where I went from here with God, is that if I hold unforgiveness in my heart towards someone, I am asking God to pour out His wrath on that person because He has promised to make everything right and fight my battles for me. And, if I truly love someone, deeply, from the heart, do I really want God’s wrath poured out upon that person? No, no matter what, I do want that person to have peace. This brought me to a place of desperation for my mother. I couldn’t help but beg God for forgiveness myself, for my thoughts toward her. And I found a place where I could forgive her, truly forgive her.
I do not believe that the timing of her letter was an accident. I needed to come to a place of true forgiveness on my end before any reconciliation could take place. I am learning through other people with whom I’ve had conflict that this is often the case. And, when the gift of reconciliation comes, it is that much more sweet, because the forgiveness part is already done