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.