A decision was made by me as I was preparing Christmas cards. The decision was one that I made differently last year at this time. Evaluating today, I measure the progress in my recovery, I realize that change is still underway.
Some of you might ask, “Recovery?” Yes, recovery. No, I am not an alcoholic or a drug addict, or even a food addict. (Although I might border on this one), but what I am is a relationship addict and it brought me a lot of grief until I admitted that I was powerless, that some of my relationships were unmanageable and that only God could restore me to sanity.
Prior to this “A-ha!” moment, there were a few relationships that I had made an absolute mess of. A couple of these friendships did not survive the chaos and I have grieved the loss. Having accepted my responsibility in the brokenness, amends have been made but the choice to not return to the relationship was also made by two friends who were once my closest friends. The circumstances are completely different in each of these situations, but the same thread is woven through both – sin. I have been on my knees before God, sought counsel, and allowed God to do surgery on my heart – which He has so gently, so mercifully, and so completely done.
And for no reason, other than to express my love and gratitude for having had the opportunity to grow as a result of these friendships, I addressed Christmas cards to the ones who consider me enemy. And I pray. I pray that the greetings will be received in the spirit by which they were sent. I pray that God will keep my heart soft and open to His will, even when it is as difficult as sending cards to people who’s hearts have become cold and hard. I pray, thanking Him for the perfect healing, the lack of anger, and the complete forgiveness that He has so graciously provided to me.
The spirit of Christmas… giving love to the undeserving, the unlovable, and the one’s who don’t even desire to receive. God did that when He sent Jesus to us…to me.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18)
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)