For all of my life, people have commented on what a "people person" I am. I love people and my relationships are a high priority in my life. My family and my friends bring more joy and pleasure than anything else (besides my relationship with God...who is THE BEST!) and there is no other way I would spend time than with people, if given a choice.
This is a good thing, but at times it is a difficult thing. When things are good in my relationships, when priorities are right, healthy boundaries are set and followed, I thrive on these relationships. They are my life blood. But, I also have developed some behavior patterns (no offense to the alcoholics and addicts in my life) that created some issues of co dependence, control, and chaos. It seems that I will hang on to relationships with people who are not always the best for me. I think I can fix them. Or I can love them enough to make things work. And when things don't, I find myself with a long list of resentments. (some of you are laughing right now because you relate)
Sadly, I have found myself in this situation with a person whom I have loved and I enjoyed her friendship for many years. But I have not set healthy boundaries. I have allowed hurtful behaviors to go on for years, and continued to hope and pray for things to get better. A counselor told me years ago that forgiveness cannot truly take place if you remain in the situation that allows you to be hurt over and over again. This counselor was teaching me about boundaries. It didn't make total sense to me then. Funny, the same words were just spoken to me by the very person who this blog is about. It clicked.
Simultaneously, I was working on that Betrayal stuff (see blog post Betrayal vs New Songs) and my friend's name came up on my list. I was surprised. I thought I had dealt with this. "I think things are better", I said to God. "We are working on things, setting boundaries." He showed me I still had work to do.
Three times in the last two weeks, I have known what I need to do. His voice has been clear, almost audible. I asked for guidance, still trying to negotiate the answer to my liking.
Bear with me as I go back in time. I heard a story on the radio station I listen to. I have never heard this station read a story before, and I haven't heard them read a story since, but last year on February 11th (I JUST REALIZED IT IS ONE YEAR TO THE VERY DAY!...WOW GOD...YOU ARE AMAZING!) a story was read about a little girl who desperately wanted a strand of pearls from the dime store. Long story short, she got those pearls and wore them every day. Her loving Daddy, when he came to tuck her into bed and kiss her goodnight, started to ask if she would give him her pearls. She always said no but offered all other prized possessions in place of her treasured pearls. One day, her daddy walked in to her bedroom, and she sat, crying with the pearls in her hand. She offered them to him. He took the dime store pearls and out of his pocket he handed her a beautiful box of genuine pearls. I knew the minute I heard that story what God was telling me to do. I should have gotten right down on the floor and told Him yes right then. But I delayed. An entire year later (to the very day) I am ready to hand over the dime store pearls.
Like the little girl, I am crying. It is scary to let go of something that I have held on to so tightly. But, I believe God's promise that He will give me the genuine thing. I will be obedient to Him, working on myself, dealing appropriately with resentments and character defects of my own, letting Him do what He needs to do with me and with my friend. But right now, I know that I need to let go of that relationship. I need to detach from the past. I need to remove myself from the hurt so that I can work on true forgiveness. Not for her sake, but for my own.
You can read the beautiful story here.
I was holding onto things of which God wants me to let go.
"Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities, or even a job to which you have become so attached that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand. Sometimes it is impossible to see until we relinquish 'the cheap stuff'. But DO believe this one thing........God will never take away something or ask you to give it up without giving you something better in its place. He's had it in His hand all along."
I am looking forward to what God has in His pocket for me!!!!!!