12 August 2011

Hug The Whole World

Let me just start this post with me saying: I feel blessed.

So blessed, that I could hug the entire world right now, squeeze them and pour love out on each and every person. I truly believe that no matter what, deep down in everyone's heart, we all just want to be loved one way or another. We all thrive for acceptance, love and understanding.

So why am I so psyched about this today? I mean I have a great family, a hubby and children, and a great extended family. And great friends. Might not be tons of them, but the few are true friends. I love and need those deep relationships.
I have a church family that I love and that loves me back. A church family that realizes when I am gone and I will be missed. And that is a great feeling. My friends support me, pray for me, pray with me, love me, encourage me, and love my children. What more could I ask for?

I am so blessed.

I can't stop here, because there is more. I have an awesome relationship with me Savior Jesus Christ. And know He loves me, I feel it. I can tell Him anything and He knows me. He has blessed me with so much that it sometimes just blows my mind when I think about it. He showed me love, mercy and grace, and I am forever thankful for that and praise Him. God is awesome. He gave me freedom and peace.... and in His name, I feel like a feather blowing in His wind... an absolute thrilling feeling.

Now, I can extend that even more...... because not only am I a witness to my own life, but now I can be a disciple for others. I am His servant and His tool. And He is far from being done with me....

Lately, the theme that keeps coming up in our church is l-o-v-e.
Show love to others, through kindness, forgiveness, mercy and grace, goodness and gentleness. For those who know me a bit better, my gift is not to be merciful. I have been through lots of stuff in my life, and my motto is more like "bite the bullet and keep going" versus pitying someone. Move on and learn from your experience. Well, I think I am still that, but in a softer way.
The other day, I was able to show someone love, forgiveness and mercy. Someone that had sinned on so many levels that, at first sight, it seemed unforgivable. It's been two long years, and I think God has changed that person's life forever. And all of ours that were involved.

It started about a week ago when I received the following verse: "I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt." (Jeremiah 3:12-13)
When I read this verse, that person, out of nowhere, came to my mind. Well, after two long years, I wrote her an email, upon which I met her in person. I was able to forgive, show love and give her hope. I can not tell you  how liberating that was for me. I could jump up and down, praising God. He is so good and awesome and knows what needs to happen when. I never knew that forgiving could feel this good. Not only could I show someone love that really needed it, but I also gave her hope. I am not her judge, and Jesus forgave her already. She received her punishment. Now it's time to love her.

An hour before the meeting, a friend posted these verses on FB: Matthew 7:1-5 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Now that was just so good to hear right before going into the lion's den....

When I was at this meeting, which started out very awkwardly, things were tense. But what I really wanted to do was just give her a hug. Yes, I wanted to hear the word 'sorry' from her, but really, I wanted to tell her that she is forgiven, that she is loved, and that she will  be blessed. I am telling you, this love-theme keeps coming back. And I know that God prepared me for this when stuff at our church came up that needed dealing-with.
I never gave her that hug that night, but she told me that what she received that day, through my words, blessed her tremendously. And believe me, I am not telling you this because I want to show off... I am telling you that this was God all the way. He had a plan and laid it all out, I was just obedient. All I want for her is to have victory one day, over her past, and be a better person, and do good.

But there is still no end to this. Because the next day, I got this: "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8) Now tell me, isn't that amazing?
Today, I got this: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past...I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (Isaiah 43:18, 43:25)

That was one of the things I told her, that if she did receive my forgiveness, then there is no reason to burden herself with that guilt. It's done, forgiven and forgotten.Now it's time to get past it and start her true new life, with Jesus on her side.
And still, God keeps going on because when I came back home today and we had a church meeting with a guest speaker - that gave me another handful of verses, all connected to this. God works in such fantastic ways, it blows my mind. She had to fall for that temptation, to be broken and renewed. Because now, she will be blessed multiple times over, and not just her, but everybody involved, including me, who was blessed to know what real true forgiveness feels like.

I feel like I got a lifetime of bible school lessons in one week! God is good. I am looking forward to what else God has in stock for us in the future. Maybe a friendship restored, but more likely and more importantly, two servants of God that have a passion for it because of the trials that they had to go through...
Am I gonna be her best friend right away? No. Because I don't trust her at this point. But if God would tell me to do trust her immediately, I would obey. It's just a gut-feeling. But I do feel like I almost got more out of this experience than her.... I could dance, I am so happy.

PS: other verses that came up after the meeting:
1 John 5:18 "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him."
Psalm 32:1-2 "Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit."
1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."

Wow this is all so powerful. So exciting. And God's word is so true.


C. Beth said...

Wooooo hooooo! What a huge blessing! I am so glad to see what is happening in you!

I think that even if you don't have the spiritual gift of mercy, you can learn to be merciful. It's God's Spirit acting through you. And that's what I see happening with you. It's actually more touching than if it was a natural part of your personality, because it's just so beautiful to see God in you!!