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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Finding forgiveness

I'm kind of in a weird mode right now-I originally did the whole My Space thing because I wanted to connect with a couple of folks, but never really got into it. And then more of my friends started joining and now it's a semi big thing, I suppose. Anyway, I finally bit the bullet in terms of leaving my hermit existence and added my high school and college. Which led me to reminiscing.

Now since I do have my college and high school on there, I'm not sure how much to put here, because I'd hate to have folks look me up and find me trashing them. But there's a point to it, I promise. Long story short, most of my college years involved my being a part of a VERY toxic situation that nearly destroyed me. I hate to give those folks the satisfaction of knowing that, but there ya go. See, that's the point of my forgiveness post.

As some of you know, I have HUGE issues with forgiveness. I've been really praying about it and talking to God about it, and the thing is, I just don't understand why I can't forgive. Tonight, as I was thinking about some of this and reliving some of the old wounds, I found a way to forgive.

One of the biggest wounds came from a person who was an advisor, and supposedly a trusted friend. Lesson number one that I should have seen coming, but didn't until it was too late, is that if a person bad mouths others behind their backs, but kisses their butt to their face, they're probably doing it to you too. I don't know why I thought I was immune, but I never saw the knife coming until it was too late.

I'd applied for a really big, prestigious fellowship (funny, I can't even remember the name) and pretty much had it all locked up, except for one letter of recommendation. I mentioned it to this person, and she got all excited, wanted to help me out, and assured me that she was going to write the perfect letter. What she never knew was that I ended up having the opportunity to read this letter. It was perfect, all right. Think of the meanest character assasination you could do on a person-it was all that and more. In a letter to a committee that was deciding my fate for my career. Yeah, not pretty. It devastated me. I wish I had a copy just so I could show how venomous this letter was. Though I'm glad I don't, because with all my issues, I'd probably use it as proof of what a horrible person I am.

I've never been able to forgive her for that. It literally destroyed my chances at some things I'd really wanted in my future. The other letters written on my behalf-were amazing. But the lies and venom in this one letter... I truly hated this woman for that.

I hurt, even now, thinking of it. What kind of person would do such a thing? She always did think I needed to be taken down a notch or two. And yes, I knew she was a miserably unhappy woman with absolutely no self esteem. But why me?

As I thought about it tonight, I realized that even though she thought she was getting me good, she actually did me a favor. Had I gotten this fellowship, my life would be vastly different. I'd be off in some career, and while I'd probably be very good at it, would I have the life I have? I wouldn't have my husband, who I met because I had to take some time off to re-evaluate my direction after this person's betrayal (among other things). Which means I wouldn't have my amazing kiddos. More importantly, all the things that have happened on this particular path are all things that brought me closer to God. They've made me a better person.

Back when I was a freshman in college, one of these toxic people informed me that they were going to break my spirit, that I needed to be taken down, and I needed to learn my place. And to an extent, they succeeded. They broke me in ways that I can't even explain. But see, God is bigger than that. And He is bigger than them. So He was able to take all that broken stuff and use it for His glory.

In this realization, I'm able to find peace. And yes, forgiveness. How can I remain angry when it was their treachery that brought me to the place I am at now? Because this is a much better place. I know why I love Genesis 50:20 so much-"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." These people did intend harm, and trust me when I say they did everything in their power to make sure of it. But all the good and blessings that have flowed into my life-despite their plans-it is truly a miracle of God.

So thank you, mean people that I have enough grace to not publicly name. I am so grateful for all the things you did to me, even though it really hurt. You have no idea how many miracles have been wrought from those acts. God is so good.

Wow. It's 5 am-I haven't gone to bed yet. Funny, many of my friends are just waking up and starting their day (thus sayeth the pings to my inbox) and I'm seriously looking at catching some z's. I wonder how long the kiddos will let me sleep.


Heather Diane Tipton said...

and hey just think if she didn't do that to you, you and I wouldn't be friends.... oh wait we were talking about how much better your life is now because of that... :-p

Danica/Dream said...

As long as there isn't a knife in my back, we're good. But hey, God will use that for good too.