My 12 month journey of healing a condition I have on my legs, and an overhaul of my body, began in January with a focus on health and my skin.
I came to a place last week where I realized the focus on my skin may need to persist, which is has, as the primary focus of this year’s journey.
I moved on the the muscular-skeletal system last month with little progress there besides going for walks, doing yoga, getting a couple of massages and by need only, going to the chiropractor. My focus there was because I have had bad knees for 20+ years, but since I tore my meniscus almost 10 years, it seems there’s been one issue following another, but the good thing with that is exercise always helps – except when it causes more problems. I was told last summer to no longer run after my leg locked up on me and I literally could not move forward, I had severe weakness, and I even randomly collapsed on top of one of my students who was seated – awful. I did not accept that prognosis, but have kept it to a super! minimum, and now am at a point where I am trying to strengthen my knees and the muscles around them to rectify the problem.
So, despite my video on the the Spirit of Self-Control, I have gone to the gym less than I should have, and I almost got a personal trainer just to help me have more of a commitment to the healing process, but b/c seeing a trainer 2x/week costs $480/month, and I did not see much use in going to a trainer once a week, I bagged it. Maybe I should have, but I figured save the extra $200/month and get the Spirit of Self-Control operating a little more effectively this month and beyond! That is my plan.
A few weeks back, if that, I came to the realization that “I can’t keep up.” I was taking a walk to have a talk to God when I was trying to figure out what my issue was, the heaviness and bad feeling I was experiencing, and what came to me was clear, “I can’t keep up!” I’m digressing a bit, but my point is, with work alone, I have so much responsibility and other things I have committed to outside of work for myself are overwhelming.
Now, I am taking care of everything, but not as intently as I may like, like working out and blogging and researching about muscles and bones, and keeping up with my studying to take my professional certification test for horticulture. It may not seem like much, but when everything has a deadline, it’s overwhelming. It was overwhelming until I recognized it. I was so relieved to have realize it, or actually to have God have brought it to my awareness, that I was relieved! It was a simple truth! So lightening!I love it! To let it go to God and to have it off my shoulders.
I do not remember the heat of the emotion of the precipitating event or what I did besides admit it, but I likely asked for grace to get through all of it. Also, I think admission that I can’t do it all was a humbling I needed to have. I am a a believer that I can do it all, but one thing I’ve realized, is that there is a limit on what I can do at any one time. Yes, maybe I can and I will do it all. In time. But, I need help for all my goals to be accomplished, and I need time.
Funnily, I began to be more organized and productive at work! Grace. That motivated me to be more productive and organized, of course, too. I have a lightening of my load which ended on Friday, and I have one more big push outside of my regular teaching responsibilities that has to get done for graduation, and then it will be the end of the year by about a week. But this busiest two years of my professional career is about to come to a close.
My point is that I have failed to do more with focusing on my health, but I have to say blogging about it and researching about it, at much as I would have liked to do more of the latter, was not a priority – one other important thing I realized. I impose so much of my stress. I did feel maybe I should drop the $480/month, and maybe I will and consider it a life-long investment, like the trip I made to Mexico at the beginning of February for my niece’s wedding – family memories – a life long-investment.
My point is still that, I may have failed to “do more with focusing on my health,” but I succeeded in persisting in doing something still and not dropping it altogether because I don’t have it all together – giving up because I am not keeping up. It’s part of the process, and I am learning a lot from the business of my life – my favorite thing is to slow down and be in the moment – you can experience so much joy and peace in a moment – a walk to the car – laying down and listening to the fan before you fall to sleep – loving your house and your decorations, listening to the traffic in the distance as you eat and listen to music. Whatever it is, it can be so small, and fleeting, but I am learning to do that, be in the moment, and it’s so great. When I perfect that in every moment, wow! That will be a life.
Maybe I didn’t do a great job at what I thought I needed to achieve, but I definitely achieved what I didn’t know I even needed. I hadn’t planned on improving my mental health last month. What a bonus!
Progress wins! I heard a woman on the radio today say how if she keeps going to the gym, she can’t help but to make progress, or see results, something like that. Yes!
The point, yes, we may not being doing it 100% 100% of the time, but, for me, as long as I persist in all the myriad of goals I have, 100% of them will be accomplished, and, the most important ones will be met 100%.
January – Integumentary System – Focus on Skin
Eating with Purpose: New foods for skin
Supplemention: A, D, E, copper, amino acid powder
February – Muscular-Skeletal System
Working out: Yoga, walking, stretching, squats
Supplementation: Lysine (bones, muscles and collagen production). Continuing same supplements from January
Bonus: Mental health – learning to slow down and enjoy myself
Here’s an large excerpt from my video story – it’s much of it! It’s long, but it’s worth listening to to hear how God showed up for me one night like never before, amazing! I felt for the first time He is truly impressive with how He had to have orchestrated every single event to occur to bring all to pass the way he did. He planned this for a span of over a year to culminate just after my most earnest prayer, and in 10 or 15 minutes, every major prayer request was met.
This came on the heels of my second lowest point while living in England, and after coming to my faith senses that afternoon in terms of owning my responsibility in my relationship to God and the personal responsibility I have to myself, and to God, for my life and success. The wow moments were too big to comprehend, so I just went with them, rolling with the blessing, and received them all, acting the part, amazed, but unable to comprehend what truly happened because it was too big to get, but God worked it all out to build my faith, supply every need I had over the next months that followed and provided me with a great new friend who would only help me develop my faith even more, Joy.
It was my turn and my time to act. It was upon me this time. It was well time for me to take an active role in my life, making the decisions that would benefit me – carrying me through to the next level, and not leaving me in this low-down, deep place on many levels. This may seem like a “duh” moment for a lot of people.
Despite the dreariness of the day, I’d discerned some bit of distant light I could see outlining and circling some bits of the Channel in the most elegantly fascinating way, and I was able to finally grasp from some recess of hope and personal responsibility within myself that I had to myself and to God that, “He’s not done with me yet.” This was in echo from a verse that I suspect the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that I’d often hear in church from a pastor at my church there, Josh, who used to often say, “God is the same today, yesterday and forever.” The verse never quite made sense to me when I heard it, like what’s so special about that verse that you always repeat it, I wondered? For me, it was the difference between darkness and light, and that day, I got the light.
God, I feel, orchestrates everything in my life to my benefit it seems sometimes. I know that sounds a bit egocentric, but I feel like it’s just true. I see it happen all the time it seems. I am incredibly fortunate that is for certain. I bet if we all looked around, earnestly, we’d be seeing blessings everywhere bounding in our favor too. I hope so.
Deciding to believe was exciting to me. Acting on that belief was another whole story. Head and heart had to align. Spirit had to help. This was a real different scenario. Belief: It seemed burdensome to me. In itself it implies responsibility. Ugh. What more? What was it with me and responsibility? It required that I do my part for once, and not only to walk forward and do what I could do to achieve whatever I needed to, but to believe in all the words of God that I’d ever known that would lift me out of the muck and mire that was my life at the time. I had to believe in what I’d heard. I was not excluded in the benefits and love of God for any reason. “God wishes for all of us to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth in Him,” 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us. His word was the truth, liberty from faulty thinking.
Coming to know God, truly, and letting Him in is what has changed my life finally, and continues to change my life to this day.
Since that day in the park when I decided to truly apply the word of God to my life, I have been being transformed mind, body and spirit when applying it. It can’t help but to work. It empowers me to this day. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I believe it. It makes sense to me because it’s what I’ve lived, it speaks the truth to me reading it, dividing and discerning what needs division and discernment.
That night, I viewed with my own eyes the orchestration of miraculous events that God made happen. I was literally led along this path that took me into the answer of all of my prayers, but more importantly, and ever so wonderfully, God led me to know that He had heard me, that he was with me, being my helper, my guide, and my Father, a good Father, who showed me that I could trust Him and that He would take care of me. He sure cares. Amen.
I delved into a depth of intimacy that night with God having a messianic encounter with Him unlike any other experience I had ever previously had. I had been delivered from doubt into this awesome divine faith which brought forth from me this earnestness I had never before experienced to such degree. It was incredible. It was tangible in me. I could literally feel my prayer inside of me building up – a literal surge from within me, the internal depths of who I was, God coming up in me to reach me, having connected with me maybe in that very instant. I didn’t know that earnestness existed within me, but I liked it, a lot. It was connected.
I have learned that God wants to show Himself real to me, to all of us, but I, we, must Trust Him. That is one of the things I wanted and needed from Him was for Him to show Himself real to me, as a Father, and he has, time and again, amazingly, and he has continued, too.
God is for everyone! “I wish that none will suffer, and all will come to me. “Everyone who has ears to hear, let him hear.” God is a life changer, and He is real. This is my hope for everyone: is that they come to that relationship with Him where they know him truly, personally, lovingly. It’s impressive how He works to get to know us, to tell you He’s there and listening to you and hopeful for you, in you, to hear Him and see Him and know Him. “He longs to give us every good gift,” Josh used to tell us often, and God also longs to love and be loved by us all, I say. That is His gift, and it’s free.
I had decided God was for me, and there was hope in my heart in that and for me, but that night at church, I was there only in body for the most part. I remember little of what Pastor Robert said that night because I was running my options through my mind continuously, frantically. The reason I went to the park that afternoon had to do with me feeling uncomfortable where I was living and wanting to leave.
So, when I was in church that night, I was trying to figure how I would get out. Would I go home, back to D.C.? There were only two months left before I’d be leaving anyway, and Aunt Judy wouldn’t mind if I came early, I thought. I was going to move to Florida to live with my Aunt Judy after I’d spent Christmas back in Washington with everyone. I could just go back to D.C. or go there, Florida. I needed to get out of where I was though, I thought. That wrongful living space was not going to work at all. Where was I going to find a place though to live for just two months and have to have all the upfront money, etc? It wasn’t worth it, nor was there a likelihood of this even happening. I’m just going to do it, I thought. I’m going leave. This is too much pressure.
Then, it hit me – the fact that I remembered I was supposed to be there until the end of the term. Not only had I given my word I’d be there at least until then, but God had confirmed for me, for weeks on end, that I was, indeed, supposed to be there, and stay there, until the end of the term, and after that I would be moving to Florida. That was all very clear. Very well, then. I would stay, but what was I to do about the living space, the arrangement in which I currently found myself? What would I do? Where would I go? How would it work?
All of this was running through my mind throughout the sermon of which I don’t think I caught ten minutes of that night. Then, at the end of the sermon, there was a prayer and then a suggestion given up by Pastor Robert. I just remember feeling so incredibly humbled and surrendered. I thought how much I wanted to be a part of Pastor Robert’s family – just the love and salvation part, being connected to God, truly. They were all so good and connected to God. I looked over to my right where I saw Pastor Robert’s youngest son and his wife, and thought of Pastors Robert and Virginia and how lovely and surrendered they are, and, though I had been smitten with their older son, Josh, I did not necessarily want to be a part of their family as his wife, but as their equal – as God’s daughter – in that love relationship – in the love of God always – in His family. I wanted that connection.
I humbled myself in prayer. It was as if by no intentional purpose, it just happened upon me. I realized it, feeling so closely connected to God in that moment as I have never been before. It was awesome. The humility had impressed itself upon me, Him, his truth and warmth – I was so deliberately earnest in my prayer and I loved it. It was a first seemingly, at least in feeling alone. I was praying for that somehow too – the truth –to be connected to the love of God – to know for sure that I was being guided and that God would take care of me and provide for me all the things that I needed. To really let go and let God, and to be surrendered to Him in His truth that He would provide every good gift for me.
In my prayer, I felt God was the truth – that that God would somehow provide for me because I did know the truth, and that was that He wanted me there, and that was Him and not me that made that decision well clear. I was trying to escape. However, I do not ever recall thinking maybe He wanted me in that situation still where I’d currently resided. All’s that I knew was that I was very uncomfortable and wanted to be out of there tout suite, so that is for what I prayed. I knew I was supposed to be in England, but I wanted out of where I was. So, that is for what I prayed.
I turned it all over to Him. I told Him that I knew He wanted me to stay there, in England until December, and that I believed that, and, then, in some sort of knowingness, in that, I was able to trust Him. I gave it to Him due to the fact that I earnestly felt like He was in control. I was finally believing and trusting Him. He was running the show, so He needed to help me, and He would. I asked and sincerely hoped in Him that He would do it, and take care of it in His power and time and ability, to have me in a new place – the perfect place, a place for two months that would be good for me, that would be with a Christian housemate, that would have furniture and no down payment, and have the option for only a two month lease, and…it would be affordable, and…for it to be ready by the end of next week. It was a lot to ask, but my part too was being faithful and trusting, and I think that truly began that night.
“You have not because you ask not,” Jesus told us, along with: “Ask anything according to my will, and it will be done unto you.” God loves our faith too. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
I finished praying and felt pretty good. Trustful. After the sermon, Pastor Robert, as he sometimes did, requested from us that we go around and introduce ourselves, or to say, “Hi” to ten new individuals, and I attempted to do so. I didn’t quite make it to ten, or maybe I did, but I did work my way from the back of the church up to the front of the church saying hello and introducing myself to as many as were apparent. Then, as I approached the front and thought to get a prayer with Pastor Robert, he walked away from me, seemingly deliberately so like he was told, “Don’t talk to her!” I kept moving right along. I finally just took a seat upfront, waiting, even trying to discuss with those next to me, but they weren’t having it either. So, I just sat there feeling a little dumb as I was striking-out with people conversation wise, left and right.
I just sat there waiting for another housemate figuring he’d be awhile. Then, I looked to my right and saw a pretty woman, about my age, whom I’d not previously seen. “I’ll talk to her,” I thought. “Introduce myself, and, say, hi”. So, I did.
Upon my going over to her and making my introduction, she identified me as being who I am – that is, she indicated that she recognized me from the internet, that I’m a teacher, etc. I was perplexed for a moment still not knowing how she would know these things about me because I wasn’t online like that, and then I recalled as she finally mentioned the housemate situation – she remembered me from the site photo I’d posted online along with my profile for the accommodation request I had filled out overa year prior to that, when I was still in the U.S. looking for an accommodation over there. Wow. Okay. That was amazing.
How bizarre. I’d never seen a photo of her though, because I guess she hadn’t posted it, but she was the one who’d contacted me originally. We’d chatted on the phone then, and she sounded great, but the place where she and her housemate, Karine, lived was too far for me to get to work on time, and the bus route would not have gotten me to work when I needed to be. So, because I didn’t have enough money for a vehicle and no bus accommodation working for my advantage, I had to say “no” as being the answer at the time.
I think now of the orchestration of events of our lives. God is so lovingly amazing with his worth and working things out to our good and benefit. His timing is also perfect. It’s amazing. I know I keep using that word. His transitions are miraculous, really, how He knows all this. These aren’t chance meetings. There are no coincidences. God is in orchestration mode all the time working it out in and for us. For His will to be accomplished in us! For Him to know us and make us known to Him, for Him loving us and us loving Him.
When Joy informed me of what she had, I found it quite amazing, all of it, putting it all together. I barely took any time to express deliberately the amazing connection that was occurring, the divine connection that God was creating, had created, had been creating, all this time, His will, coming together, bringing us together, His two daughters (once again over a year later) who’d prayed for Him to help them in her own need in her own way and He quickly made it happen. His expediency is impressive too! Actually, impressive is a word often used by me to describe God. God is incredibly impressive to me!!
From there, in my desperation, and the poor interpersonal skills I had, I quickly made mention of my need, again, for the same thing. I pounced on the opportunity to share with her again my need for a housemate. She, interestingly, also informed me of the same thing! I loved it. She said that she had just been praying that afternoon for a Christian housemate – and here I was. Wow. She expressed that she’d gotten “Holy Spirit tingles” about it all as we were talking, and to her that was the recognition that it was okay that we’d be housemates. How fantastic was that!?? Wow!
She was more mature than I was in terms of Godliness and knowingness and recognizing appropriately what was going on instead of going through all the motions as I always had, and felt I was. I was just desperate feeling, and on top it of it all, not allowing it in. It was inconceivable in some ways what’d transpired, really, too much to make understood. Not knowing how, I just bumbled through it all. I was like a new-comer to all of this. Oh, the God of the universe just so clearly answered our prayers and needs, and also reunited us over a year later to bring us together once again and to make us housemates, after all, and He’s had this planned out for over a year? Oh, okay…J Wow. God is so amazing.
God uses everything, doesn’t He? We had to have had that first meeting in order to have had this second chance to occur in order for us to have had our needs to be met over a year later, when it was more appropriate and timely for us both. Wow. I couldn’t have seen that one coming. I had no intention of working on a room mate as I “helloed” everyone I passed by. God was ushering me along to get me where he wanted me – to talk to Joy – I love it! Also, he was using Pastor Robert as a conduit to get me, us, together, again. It was great!! What a God. What a Father. God is such a good dad, helping, coming to our rescues, yet again, knowing, and allowing for all of this to come to pass, resting us in Him, for us to see that He is trustworthy. Amen.
Trying to act wowed, when it was really too much to take in and comprehend is where I was when interacting with Joy. I didn’t know how to respond other than to say wow and act surprised and wowed, but it was a wow. It was amazing. I wasn’t realizing the will of God in any of it at the time. I was dumbfounded!. I would have been profoundly overwhelmed and expressive in gratitude and solemnness if I really thought about what was happening between us. Totally cool and awesome it was, but how do you comprehend that, truly? Overwhelmed would be a more fully appropriate feeling to consume all of what was about to happen. Awe-inspired. All that God does is amazing. How resplendent really.
In any event, we were to be housemates, and I could move in in a couple of weeks I found out after I called her a day or two later. And, it turned out to be okay to stay in my other place longer because my housemate about whom I was concerned would be going on vacation and would be gone the whole time. Excellent. So, I was relieved by that. Also, I would be able to afford it. I did not need to put a down payment. I would be able to stay for only two months. It was going to be in a supportive environment, and it was fully furnished. What else? That was it! Perfect, God, just perfect. Check, check, check. You are so great. Thank you, Lord.
“God provides above and beyond what we could ever hope for or imagine.” He did. He had provided a place for me before I even left church that night, with every need met, and He gave me Joy who is great too. He is incredible like that.
You know what’s interesting too? Having seen all of the moves and the upheavals that I’d endured while I was there, I no longer wondered why. It was seemingly clear. Though I chose to move to or from a couple of different places for conveniences sake, I had experienced difficulties in others that led me moving from place to place. From a county ordinance, to a financial distress, to a stinky room, to an offensive gesture, I moved right along so that I could get finally get to be with Joy – where God had ultimately intended me to be. He sets everything up that is brilliant. I was finally able to reconcile why all the moves. Why things were “not working out,” they were working out. They just didn’t look that way. We know that looks can be sometimes be deceiving, so despite what the circumstances are, as long as we are walking with God, we should keep trusting Him for the best, because He’s working it out.
In all things, give thanks, I’m reminded of from I Thess 5:8. Things were working out, I just couldn’t see how when I was going through them. That’s where the trust bit comes in and the obedience to giving thanks in all things because God is orchestrating behind the scenes for our own good.
I learned a lot about God through this circumstance. I learned that he hears me. He responds and cares about me. The most important thing to me, and the sacred one, He is my holy father. I learned that I am important. I learned that God orchestrates things. That we ask and we receive, that we seek and we find, that we knock and the doors open wide when we ask according to His will. I learned that he directs our paths and meets our needs. He sets up meetings. He uses others to help us along. He orchestrates. I learned that he uses things that we may deem as bad or wrong to move us to another direction where He wants us to be because otherwise we might not go to where we need to go and we might stay where we need not be. I realized that He gives us Godly connections: friends that love us and help us along the way. I realized that I am His family, his loving daughter, the most important thing. I am his holy daughter whom he loves very much. And, I realize that He does it, He does it through His son, Jesus Christ, through the movement of the Holy Spirit in and upon us, and through us, along with the help of others he calls angels and I’ve called friends, as well as all the heavenly angels He has set up for us in heavenly places to cause us not to fall or stumble, and if we do, they assist us in getting up.
He loves us very much, and He wishes to show up for us and in us, but we have to invite Him first because as our father, a holy father, He is also a gentleman, and we need to ask Him in, to Help us. This then gives us a chance too to see His work, which I love witnessing, and to acknowledge Him and to thank Him as we build a real relationship with Him, the heavenly Father, and to get to know Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit through all of our circumstances.
I have learned the lows are where real sincerity begins, for me. Through the trials we become close, centered, realize what we need and want, and are serious about going about it, about figuring it out. I have realized that this low in that time was for a purpose – to center me – to build me – to build a foundation for me, and that was on God. On Him I stand. He got me to trust and led me to believe, a God gift in deed. God was building me up by bringing me down. That day was foundational for me. The falling down, the picking myself up, trusting myself and God, then giving my pieces to God and trusting in Him. Then, He sorted everything out, marvelously. 🙂
My prayer one afternoon was to be struck with lightening, and without harm, for me to know what God’s will was for my life – would I stay in England or leave? Wanting to leave, I felt to stay, but I did not want to stay. More than either, what I wanted is to know what God wanted, for sure. I wanted to know He was with me. I have come to find that if I believe God is with me, I can handle anything – if I know the path I’m on is His.
I know God is with us whether we make our bed in hell or heaven, but because I felt like I’d been in hell already there, I was looking to depart. If I knew He was with me, and it was His will for me to continue on, I would be able to do so with grace.
Praying my desperate prayer for confirmation, I felt badly right afterwards, for wasting God’s time. Like, what a stupid prayer. Just face up to your responsibilities and do it, if that is what you feel you are to do! Well, He was merciful toward me, and He did not strike me down, but I had my prayer answered. Lightening struck, and I stayed.
Work was better than ever, but more “problems” pursued personally with living situations, but God used everyone of them to show me Himself in my circumstances, only making things better and better every time and growing me and drawing me more closely to Him. Incredible situations presented where I was able to find Him loving me as a Father, Jesus as my brother, and the Holy Spirit as my gentle peace followed by an ever increasing faith in Him. That was the best gift, well, knowing He really cared for me and loves me was the best, and is, but having circumstance after circumstance show me that He Is, and He Is for and with me.
What a great time in my life. All the struggles to find Him. All worth it.
I have retained my abhorrence of being poor for some time – keeping the reality of it to myself. I never really cared much about it or even thought much about it. I never really felt poor, but it had become an issue to me, however, since living in England.
CAR TROUBLE, NO TROUBLE AT ALL
This story is about when the “bottom dropped out of my car” in an answer to a prayer to God when He showed me he would help me and cover me when I couldn’t afford to help myself financially at this time. He’s so good! (13:55)
The main thing that I remembered from that prayer was the emotional aspect of it. All of the sudden, I began weeping for the woman as I prayed. I felt so much compassion for her. I felt sad for her, by the fact of what must she feel like on the inside to be so mean, and so rude and hateful, and at such an older age, too. It was sad really. I felt sorry for her. After I prayed, I just let it all go. It was like it was released and flooded out by the compassion.
Written and Recited by Holly C. O’Brien
One afternoon at work, I had a colleague stop by my classroom to visit me for the first time. I would see her at lunch as we ate with each other and other colleagues at times. I thought it was a nice surprise. I didn’t normally have visitors.
However, the reason for her visit was not a social call, it was a mission to collect gossip – and it was gossip on me. She was a forthright Russian woman who came fearlessly down to collect what she could. Bold. She came to confront me about what was being told about me.
She was there to find out if the rumors of me ratting out another colleague to administration for her smoking during her lunch break were true. I was disgusted and pissed-off at her coming to me with this. It was not true at all. I was bothered and disappointed about the whole thing, and I let her know it. I thought I was going to have a nice visitor, and I’m being ridiculed by people for something that never occurred. I expressed my disgust to her while also hoping to find out why I was being targeted, how did they pin me as the “rat-er” in this error of accusation?
I was piecing it all together in my mind as she spoke. I was also thinking of how I saw “the ratted-out” with these other woman with whom I used to have lunch when I was in a different area who I found were all of the sudden treating me poorly when I’d see them in the halls, for no apparent reason. These women were being mean to me with their looks and snippy remarks, and behaviors. I didn’t understand it, until this. I surmised that is why I was being treated rudely by them – these women had chosen to erroneously believe in what I’d done, and they were standing with their friend in solidarity against me. Oh well.
I never told that colleague out-rightly that I was innocent of what I was being accused. Perhaps I should have righted her, but I didn’t. All that I could think of was how ridiculous this whole thing was – it was all so high school. Pun intended. I was surprised that it was all going on.
I would let them keep their beliefs, at least for a while. If the woman wanted to know the truth, she could come to me herself. I let that go.
My colleague left with little more certainty than she had come with. I deliberately left her confused almost making it seem like I had done it because I refused to admit anything either way. I may have done the wrong thing there. Either way, they would likely have thought what they wanted to despite me telling them the truth.
I thought about the situation after she left. I was mad that I was being targeted unfairly, and being marked by their meanness, really. It was stupid, really, too. I don’t like injustices, either.
I then thought, too, about another injustice that was occurring simultaneously, again, toward me, in part. One of the women in the mix who’d been rude to me, was, separately, unfairly making these “rulings” about a going-away party she was hosting for another colleague. She was ostracizing from the party everyone who did not contribute to it financially. I didn’t even see the original email. She dis-invited all who did not contribute. I went to explain the situation to her in person. She ignored me. She was, at one time, so kind and respectful to me. I was figuring it was all a result of this rumor-mill, and was bothered by it.
I thought about it more after the colleague left. I was pissed about it. I did not like the unfair treatment I was getting, nor that colleague coming to my classroom like that bringing all that garbage. I was hurt and bothered. This was right on top of the emails from this rude colleague which compounded my “righteous anger.” I was feeling accursed by the damning.
As I thought about all that had happened, I was reeling. I was then reminded, quickly, of the duty of Christian’s to pray for their enemies. That was the thought that came to my mind. Pray for your enemies. I didn’t resist too much at all because that’s what we’re to do. There’s got to be some logic to it if we’re told to do it, right? So I, began to pray. That is the only reason I did it.
Jesus instructs Christians in Matthew 5:43 – 44: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
The main thing that I remembered from that prayer was the emotional aspect of it. I recall that as I was praying, the only woman I prayed for was the one who’d sent me the emails who I felt really hurt by; the whole situation itself other than that seemed to fall by the wayside because it was all so trivial, despite it pissing me off.
All of the sudden, I began weeping for the woman as I prayed. I felt so much compassion for her. I felt sad for her, by the fact of what must she feel like on the inside to be so mean, and so rude and hateful to be that way toward me, and at such an older age, too. It was sad really. I felt sorry for her. After I prayed, I just let it all go. It was like it was released and flooded out by the compassion.
While I prayed, God handled it. I did my part, and actually got peace from it. I got some perspective, too. It was healing, my prayer, and all was well from then.
1 Peter 3:9 in another instruction by Jesus tells us: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
I got a blessing with my prayer for that woman that afternoon. I got compassion for her. I got free of the whole worry and “wrongs that were being done to me.” I was no longer angry or bothered, at all.
I eventually came clean sometime over that year to the woman who thought I ratted her out. I told her I never did it, and she accepted it. I just wanted her to know the truth.
I learned that my obedience to the instruction of praying for my enemies freed me up, and I also trust that it helped that woman, too. That’s how it works.
I believe we are to pray for others because their hearts aren’t right with God, and we can help them by praying that God change them to be more pleasing to Him, too. It’s important to remember too, that, according to Ephesians 6:12, ”We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
They clearly need help. That’s why they are acting that way. They are love-less in some area, right? According to scripture, however, it’s a spiritual issue. People who are hurting, hurt people. So, we can pray for them for Jesus to help them – to free them up from their loveless state – whatever it may be. They are not right and need help. We do too. If we take on that bitterness that ensues from wrongs committed because we do not understand, we may be subject to perpetuating and perhaps worsening the situation. We are to pray for our enemies, simply. We are also going to get a blessing by doing it because we become freed in it. At least that is my experience. We are free from our accusation and self-righteous judgement, maybe also resentment and hurt, as well.
I found a blessing in the prayer offering. I received compassion, replacing my indignation, and it freed me. I clearly needed a miracle too. A treasure of obedience is clearly a blessing, always. Thank you, Lord.
Thank you for helping me and this woman. Thank you, also, for letting me get a blessing for the obedience to your word. I got to experience the “why,” at least in part, of why we are to pray for our enemies. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit for this experience for I believe He brought to my attention the thought to “Pray for my enemies.” I am grateful to Christ for helping me see His instruction in practice and the blessing that flowed from that. The bible says that grace and truth are from Jesus Christ. I believe by reverencing Him by praying the word, as He commanded, that He bestowed his grace upon me that day for, my colleague, in the form of compassion for her and the grace to let go of the hurt I felt from her and for giving me peace.
I am grateful to God for giving us Jesus, my brother, to have Him give us the words of life that lead us to walk in paths of righteousness. Thank you for showing me the blessing of praying for our enemies – a double win – and for always leading me in your ways. Thank you for helping me, and for helping my colleague.
I got this camera in response to a prayer to God to help me get a camera to capture the beauty around which I found myself. I was too poor to afford one, so He helped me out! The next day! And, it was only like $2 – $3 bucks. I had been seeking God pretty hard during this time, and this was just another reminder that he loves me, helps me, and shows me. And, it was another thing that “He added unto me.” 🙂 Love that! He’s so awesome. Thank you, Lord! (7:50)
Malachai 4:6 And the Lord will turn the hearts of the father’s to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Had this prayed over me for me and my pop for a harmed relationship we had, and within a week I had grace pour over me randomly, washing out my hurt and pouring in the love and compassion of the Father for my dad. We would have a new relationship from that point forward.
Here are some excerpts from the audio file, below.
I told him in an email. I wrote it with the intention of hopefully coming clean with everything with respect to how I felt about him and that type of treatment, everything hoping he’d acknowledge me, that my feelings matter – I even used my siblings hurt too about some of his behavior toward them with respect to this, which maybe I shouldn’t have – it crossed a line. I just told him all of the hurts. I was done pretending, and my build-up, boiled over.
I was honest. I was a little mean too, I guess. It included my fears and hurts about some ways he’d treated me over the years and how I was not interested in that relationship anymore. I wanted and deserved more and better from him. For us.
We had this relationship much of my life where he would do what he would do and I would just accept it whether I liked it or not because mostly I wanted him to love me, and I did not want to rock the boat so I wouldn’t tell him how certain behaviors affected me. I would just blow it off – accepting it as him.
My hope, that he would treat what I was saying with some kind of respect and honor what little I was asking. I was hoping for a somewhat favorable response. Not. He answered, “I think it best that we no longer communicate with one each other. You’ve crossed a line.”
Anyway, though I felt resolved and good for me for taking myself and my feelings into consideration finally, more than his for once, I still wanted my dad. I’d always wanted my dad. That never goes away. I believe even if we are right or justified with our actions, the case remains that we wish for our parents to love us and to be the mature, guiding family they are intended to be, and to do what is right, always – for everyone, but they don’t always.
I believe that if we are without a good relationship with our parents, it hurts us. We are made to love and to be loved, you’d think especially by those who brought us into this world.
Accepting what he wrote, and taking full responsibility for what I wrote, my reply to him was, in effect, “I am sorry for what I wrote in that it came across meanly, but, I am in no way sorry for the content of what I wrote. What I wrote was all true, and if you cannot handle that, then that is on you, but I will in no way apologize for what I said.”
I felt strong and right for having stuck up for myself. It was the first time in my life with my dad like that. I left it at that. I was glad I didn’t feel diminished. Though I was sadly devastated, I was glad not to have caved, and wrote something back weak and self-denying, like, “Oh forgive me, I am so sorry, I don’t mean it. Please forgive me. Come back.” Essentially begging him not to leave me all the while not acknowledging the truth of who I was and how I have felt hurt by how he had treated me in certain situations. I was tired of the denial and deceit of what not standing up for me represented – a façade, as saying to myself that I don’t matter. I wasn’t willing to tolerate behavior that was deceitful nor was I willing to let myself down anymore essentially accepting that I did not matter. If I don’t matter, then let’s be true with it. I was done with all of that though. I could at least stand tall even know I was a sad on some level too.