Tuesday, July 22, 2008

who's your worst enemy

A while back I commented here that one day I would share this story.

Today is the day. Seven years ago, 7/22/2001, you could hear the angels rejoicing in heaven as one dear precious saint surrendered her life to Jesus for the first time and entered into an eternal life giving relationship with her Savior. Ten years earlier, this person was my worst enemy, and I was hers. Neither of us had a clue that our battle was not against flesh and blood. While we directed our hatred at each other and away from the real culprit plotting and stringing us both along in what we now realize was the most ungodly relationship either of us had ever entered into, we could not see the forest for the trees. We were both lied to and deceived but God's grace, mercy, redemption and TRUTH prevailed!

This part of the do bee di "wash" chapter remains appropriately veiled to protect the innocent and the words I wrote nearly ten years ago to express this painful time are "the truth hurts but not as much as the eventual anguish the soul feels when deception is revealed. The desperate attempts to piece together, the disorientation of figuring out what is really real magnified by the inability to grasp another's intentionality to shroud. Tell me the truth so that I can exist and act upon what I know versus what has been hidden." I am never afraid of what I know. Anna Sewell

Sometime in 2000, this person called me, her voice trembling and filled with sorrow, she later said her body was shaking with apprehension not knowing how I would respond to her attempt to apologize for her part in what happened years earlier...that now it was happening to her. I would have never guessed the overwhelming amount of compassion I felt and just expressed through welling tears how sorry I was for what was happening to her...and said something like "oh...I forgave you years ago."

Six or seven months later, while out pulling weeds in my front yard, a few nights before July 22nd, I saw her approaching from her home a few doors down, and my heart started pounding what seemed like outside of my chest; thoughts raced and again with a sense of not knowing what this was all about, time seemed to stop. She shared how hard things had been for her since during her high school years and the more recent struggle to date and develop genuine friendships. I told her about this church I was going to now, and it so happened a co-worker of hers had also been asking her to go there with her for some time. "Hmmm....maybe I will" she said.

I saw her that next Sunday morning...I remember it vividly because it was also the day of my parents' 40th wedding anniversary...and when the pastor shared the love of Jesus, I saw her out of the corner of my eye, weeping and raising her hand toward heaven. YES! Oh my gosh, talk about a story of redemption! Praise God for forgiveness...that we can release our grip so that Jesus can redeem!

The details from there are fuzzy but we were now sisters in Christ and over time we worked through some really hard stuff and learned to trust each other in ways that at one time were incomprehensible. The circle of forgiveness was complete and all by the grace of God I had never felt anything so amazingly beautiful and right.

Love you to the moon my PURE JOY friend!
...and Happy New Birthday!

"From God's Heart Came a Friend Like You"

She is now happily married to a wonderful man
and they have one adorable son. God is good.


10 comments:

pERiWinKle said...

mmmm... brave friend! you!
huge hugs and a cup of tea xx

Christianne said...

what an amazing story, di. thanks for sharing. what a redemption, both of her life and your relationship!

when i first read the post title, i thought, "that's easy. i am." but of course, that is not true. as you so eloquently put it, the enemy of our souls is out there prowling around, seeking whom he may devour. we hate him. [that's a line me and one of my good friends like to say frequently. we hate him!]

Anonymous said...

As you said, the answer was me...and you were mine...

As I reflect back on that day when I surrendered my life to Jesus, it was an amazingly wonderful moment for me. The pastor had spoke during the service about how we need to give up whatever control we were trying to have on our lives and that it was ultimately out of our control. He also spoke about how Jesus forgives us for things we've done in the past and wants us to know that he loves us no matter what. I remember feeling as though the heaviest weight I had ever experienced was lifted at that moment when I raised my hand...and I remember weeping uncontrollably.

That moment in time was a new beginning for me...one that allowed me to be myself on my own terms...to feel worthy again...and loved unconditionally...and be forgiven for past mistakes I had made. It also was the new beginning of a friendship I never contemplated was possible due to all the hatred from the past. The friendship, I believe, was necessary in the healing process for both of us because we had so many unanswered questions that developed out of the situation...from all of the deception and lies we were both fed.

Since that special day, I have gained back my self-esteem and have healed from all of the deceptive lies and turnmoil I felt back then (and the few years before that after exiting the relationship). I can proudly say that I have overcome that difficult situation, but I don't think I could have accomplished that without the grace of God.

I am very grateful for the outcome of this situation and the compassion and forgiveness Diane I have both had toward each other in order to develop a strong friendship that is finally built on truth and honesty.

Thank you for your friendship and love Diane! I will always treasure the frienship we have developed.

Anonymous said...

Di
I am trying to collect my thoughts to tell you how impacting this blog is. I also went to the link you left there and read your friend James' blog. I will leave a comment on that blog eventually, which that is very unusual for me to do.

I am not one to strike up conversations with people who don't approach me, but that blog tore my insides to the point i won't hold my silence.

You made a comment on his blog about knowing the feelings of Mary weeping at the feet of Jesus knowing that she had been forgiven much. I love that passage in John it has been a deep comfort to me throughout the years that i have broke the heart of God through my betrayal of Him.

At times i try to gauge the amount of vulnerability that i express on these blogs and sometimes i find myself in a place of despair so deep that i throw caution to the wind and spill out parts of me that i would rather hide.

That poem you commented on is just the tip of the iceberg of how deeply miserable and lost i feel. I live in so much fear that my soul is so dead to God that it can't come back. People tell me all the time "oh Tammy there is always hope, God never stops loving you right where you are. I almost despise the words!

I know God still loves me it is not God i am worried about it is me loving Him that i am afraid of. Well, me not loving Him.

I will be absolutely truthful, there are days i can't take the pain and when i feel it, i numb it with a nerve pill, cause i just can't stand the pain.

I am coming to a point where i loathe the sunrise of another day, because i know at some point during that day i am going to see myself and see how wretched i am. I just think i am so proud, arrogant and selfish to bow myself before God. I have stopped trying to lay myself on the altar because it seems i have a forked tongue one minute i am striving to please God, but in the same breath i am cursing and crushing Him with my sin.

I know you probably won't understand why your blog and your friends blog sparked this comment, but i know, and those are the things that i am not so transparent about.

It scares the hell out of me to leave this comment here but i am in one of those throw caution to the wind moods.

Well, have taken up enough space here.

di said...

thank you all for your touching comments...i am pressed for time so won't be able to address each of you as i'd like with the same precious care you've shown, but i will be back. for now, what i most want to say is this...

In “The Hiding Place,” just before Betsy ten Boom died in the concentration camp, she looked her sister Corrie in the eye and feebly said, “…must tell people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”

There is no pit so deep,
That Jesus is not deeper still,
How do we know?
We’ve been there.

Love you all so much...
and Papa is especially fond of you.

Terri said...

i love your heart di. i swear you have the biggest tender spot for others...and that's intentionally vague and inclusive because it really doesn't seem to matter who the "other" is. i know that God will return all that love to you...

Amykinz said...

I have chills.

Marcell said...

What a perfect descripiton of real victory in warfare. I shall now have to call you Dobee, Princess Warrior.
Rock on in the Holy Ghost, woman.

Nathan said...

Di,

What an inspiring reflection on reconciliation and forgiveness. I've missed reading your words. I pray God continues to teach all of us this transforming lesson.

di said...

hi linni, isn't it amazing how bitter can become sweet sorrows that lead to joy! i know you are experiencing your very own version of that right now. hugs clink clink xx right back to you.

christianne, so true. yes we hate him!

anonymous...our friendship, like forgiveness, is a gift that keeps giving. here's another one (a belated new bday sermon : ) we can both give a big united AMEN to!

poet, i am so glad this and james' post have touched you so deeply. i know you know that you know that anything i could say to you about what you've written you already know and i know how important it is to experience it deeper and deeper in the heart...that is my heartfelt prayer for you precious one. all is forgiven, it is finished. you are loved no matter what.

bless you terri. hope you're enjoying a beautiful waterfall and nature at its finest up there in God's country. i will never experience a waterfall the same way again after having read hinds' feet...the joy of each drop being part of that glorious dance down down down over the rock where healing waters flow.

amy, those holy ghost bumps are shivery good aren't they.

marcell, i like the sound of that and it takes one pw to know one my lady shira, and i like it when our sWords cross and sharpen each other.

nathan, oh my goodness, how i've missed you too. thanks for being here and for your always encouraging words.

love love love!

the above referenced sermon is this one:

7/27/2008 – The Porcupine Dance, Annie Perdue-Olson – sermon length is 45:59 minutes
Forgiveness is always easier to talk about than to actually do. But without it we are alone and isolated, and can be consumed by hurt. Jesus taught about how we should forgive each other through parables: because we experience God’s great forgiveness, we share the same with others who have wronged us. And as a result, we learn how to live our lives with each other and experience the freedom that God wants for us. [Focus Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35]