Recently Justin and I have joined a pastorate group at church. We’ve never really had anything like this before and I’m really excited about becoming stronger believers, learning about the Bible (because I know almost nothing!) and having support from like minded folks. This past Sunday we were talking with each other when the Bishop’s wife said something that really caught my attention and well, made me a little mad. She said that God loves everyone just the same. Now, the idea isn’t anything new to me. I know that God loves us, and loves all of us, but the idea that God loves everyone equally is kind of frustrating. I know, I sound ridiculous. I know I sound childish, but it really got to me and if I can be honest with you, then I don’t think that’s the way it should be. Let me explain, or at least try to. I want those who don’t know God or don’t know him well to know and understand that He loves you. I am happy to know that He loves you, but it is to those who know Him and I mean, really know him, and yet don’t really do anything to deserve His love or grace or mercy or forgiveness that really upsets me. Before I go any further I want you to know that I am completely aware of the fact that I am not perfect nor do I deserve anything that He most graciously gives me. I do not think that I am better than someone else, but at the same time I try harder and so I guess that is where my argument stems. I am going to try to give an example without blasting someone through my writing because those are not my intentions. My intentions are for you to help me through this. Pray for me because this is something that I am really struggling with.
For those of you who know me well know that recently we got our daughter baptized. Even though Jaxsyn was baptized a few years ago, I didn’t truly appreciate what was taking place. It was because of Jaxsyn’s baptism that I started to learn more about God, and the church and so I didn’t really get what the big deal was. However, that was not the case with Adelaide. I was a part of the conversation to get her baptized and I was super excited. I had found a church that I loved and I was thankful (for once) that I was in Texas. I was excited to share this big day with this side of the family and Justin’s friends. Of course I was sad that my friends and my family couldn’t be there, but as my mother often pointed out “it’s their (Justin’s family) time to be involved.”
Now I love my husband and I am grateful for his family. I love being a part of a big family (Adelaide made number 20 for Sunday dinners.) I thought that I would be bitter considering I’ve struggled with being away from what I know, but I know that my kids are loved and I’m thrilled they get the chance to know everyone better.
So, back to the baptism. It was very important to me and Justin that we make this a big deal. We invited everyone, family, friends, complete strangers. Everyone. And everyone said they were coming. (Mind you, this also took place on the same day as Jaxsyn’s birthday party because it’s hard getting everyone together twice and so I compromised.) It wasn’t until the morning of that we were informed that someone wouldn’t be coming to the baptism. While the explanation was short, basically they picked something that happens every single weekend over us. Not only did we not find out until 9am Sunday morning (service started at 9:30), but I had been lied to. I knew that there was a chance this person would do this. I set myself up for disappointment, but I had made it a point to let them know that I expected them to be there for my children. And I was told that they would be. Justin and I were led to believe the night before that we would see them the next day. When confronted later they admitted that there was never any intention to come. That they knew the choice that they would make and that it was kept from us so we wouldn’t get upset.
They took that day for granted. Here we were sharing something very important to us (I’m talking about the baptism) with them. This wasn’t something that would happen ever again. And here I had my family and my friends who weren’t able to be there, but would have done anything to be able to celebrate with us and this person blatantly chose not to be there. They take the time with my kids for granted and while I have prayed to be able to forgive, I just can’t. And part of me really doesn’t want to. I’ve been through a lot with this person and I have forgiven over and over and I’m at the point where I feel like forgiveness is just another word for gullible and disappointment because it seems like every time I forgive them, they just wrong me again because they don’t get it. And while I won’t use my kids to make them get it I feel like something has got to change.
So there it is. This person has hurt me. They have hurt my husband. And even though my kids don’t have the vocabulary they need to talk about it I know that it hurt Jaxsyn when they didn’t come to his birthday party. The kicker? Not once did they ask us how it went. Not once did they apologize for missing it for something as stupid as the reason they missed it. In fact, they’ve not mentioned anything from that day. It’s like it never even happened. I know how God can love this person as much as anyone else, and I know why God loves them just as much as anyone else, but seriously? Not to sound too much like a bratty child, but this is so unfair.
As I’ve said before, I kind of want to be able to forgive them, kind of. But I want them to act like it means something to them. They have to know how hard it is to forgive someone, right? And I know where you would tell me to read in the bible. (Okay, so maybe I know something about it) Turn the other cheek. I know. But I don’t want to. What I want is to keep my kids away. I want them to wonder why they aren’t apart of my children’s lives. I want them to desperately reach out to me and start making me feel welcomed. I want to believe that they aren’t just being nice to me because they have to be. I want them to want to be apart of our family functions. I want them to realize that other people exist (and on that note I’m not just talking about myself or immediate family).
I know it’s silly. I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I know that I should just pray and let God handle it in His own way. I know that there is a lesson to be learned. I know that I’ve been selfish before. I know all this. And I know what I need to do. But I just wish I could do it after I let them know exactly what I think about them.
So please, Just do me one favor. Tonight, tomorrow, the next day, and the next, and the next, and then next pray for me. Pray that I will find peace. Pray that I will finally be able to forgive. Pray that I will become an example to them and to others. Don’t pray for them to change. Pray for me because I know what He wants me to do. I know what is expected of me. They don’t. And maybe, just maybe, I can be the example to them so eventually they will know. I guess I know a little more than I thought.