Thursday, February 24, 2011

Take the Hint

when God is trying to get a message across and I am being quite stubborn and self consumed and trying to drive this boat in the direction that I think is best..its funny how He hits me like a ton of bricks.  Couldn't I have just listened the first time?  My lesson....'love your neighbor as yourself'.  In my situation this is a literal lesson.  A few weeks ago when Collier and I got home from bible study my neighbor drove up at the same time and she had a few choice words to scream say to me.  Words that I didn't want to hear and certainly didn't want my baby to hear.  The topic was a large limb that had fallen from one of our trees into her back yard.  It was one of those things that I didn't know about it for a while and then one day she mentioned it to me and well it has been there since the fall and Justin kept saying and meaning to get it out.  We don't have a chain saw and Justin tried to borrow a friends, but his was broken.  The bottom line is that the limb was there longer than I would have liked, but there is also a tactful way of asking your neighbor kindly to remove it.  I will be honest that I don't know this girl at all, probably only spoken to her twice and the extent has been a hi or hello and in one case for her to mention we had a tree down in her back yard.  The words that came out of her mouth made it clear to me that she has a lot of anger...just a few weeks ago I was reminded that what comes out of our mouth is just an overflow of our heart.  It made me sad for her, that she is that angry.
At church this week, my pastor shared about freedom.  Freedom requires forgiveness.  Not only God's forgiveness of us but also our forgiveness of other...including our neighbor.  Justin and I talked about it on Sunday that we need to forgive her and love her.  I even questioned if I should go and apologize (Justin didn't think that would be a good idea out of retaliation on her part).  Sunday I did pray that I would have a forgiving heart and that I would STOP being negative about her.  Monday night at bible study our lesson covered walking in the light and darkness and forgiveness.  In lecture, Kelly actually challenged us that if there is anyone in our life that we hate (dislike, don't trust, frustrated with, make us angry or hurt us) that we ask God to make our love overflow and abound for that person.  YIKES, I am not sure if I want to love her but I know that I am called to do so.  I have no idea how this is going to work but I am praying and I am praying hard.
I will be honest that since this happened I have been fearful.  I have been afraid to be at home at all alone and certainly any time that I saw or heard her drive up I would be sure that I wasn't outside.  I have been praying that Justin wouldn't have to be out of town over night {thankfully he hasn't}. I have imagined her trying to harm and/or hurt me.  I have been afraid.   I was walking in the darkness and I was allowing the darkness to come into my life and home.  It is a horrible feeling.  But last night when Kelly said to pray that my love would overflow for her it changed everything. Almost instantly I felt the peace of God fill me.  Freedom.   I still am praying for Him to help me forgive completely and even forget the situation.  I don't know what might have happened to her that day.  I don't know the circumstances of her life and I will do my best to love her.  I feel like right now I only want to love her from a distance but I am listening to God to see where and how He would have me love her according to His Will.. NOT MINE!

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