I knew God was giving me my 'next' blog topic as I finished a book this weekend for the 2nd time. I read the manuscript of the book in the summer of 2010. I read it like I was on fire as I was seeking an answer to something. I read it with tears...I read it with hurt...I read it with hope...and that book is in print now and I was given my own copy by the author and his wife...a co- author, and now, I want to share.
First of all, I want to ask God, "God give me the words, to share this without making it seem trival or stupid, and use this tesimony Lord to further YOUR kingdom and bless another, as I too want freedom for the captives like my Pastor has stated, like my dear friend Linda has stated...as YOUR word states, bring beauty out of this. May I say only what you want me to say but make it real, amen."
Well, some 24 years ago we moved to Okeechobee. We were very young and newly married. Our 'first' friends were a couple that were associated with school. Brendan's peer teacher was Dave Robertson and he also helped Dave coach basketball. Immediately they hit it off. His wife, Theda was my 'next' door neighbor at North Elementary and a hoot. What fun there was that our husband's were connected. Then life hit them, and they began a time where their marriage turned hard. I hate saying 'it failed' but if you speak to either one of them, they will say that too. I can't explain the why...I would never dare too -- but I judged. I judged BIG time.
I remember journaling and telling God 'how I was going to do it'...and 'how this should of hapened'. And I also remember asking Brendan, 'can this happen to us after 10 years of marriage?'......
I had my own thoughts and ideas and I believed I knew what the problem was. I did not voice it, but I believed it in my heart. Dave and Theda did divorce. Dave and Theda made their peace. Brendan continued to ALWAYS be friends with Dave. Brendan also showed mercy -- I never did. I held onto anger and bitterness for a long time. I was so happy when Theda found love again, she could heal but I still hated Dave. Even after Theda remarried, I judged. Even after DAve remarried, I judged. Linda was a teacher in our district and she taught 4th grade, and I taught 4th grade and I know now, my judgement spilled over onto her and she never once asked for it.
Brendan kept in touch with Dave and would even tell me, 'he can tell you haven't forgiven him'....and I would reply, "yes I have, but I don't have to be his best friend". And I watched as his church grew and thought - 'well, God must of forgiven him'....I would see him on the street and he would always have smiles for me, but deep down I had no real love there, no respect.
Now, I realize -- he, hurt me. I had listened to him talk about God and he let me down. You see my dad wasn't a good living example of Jesus' love, but Dave was suppose to be. Yet, he was human and I did not see that. I really DID NOT understand that...until now.
Dave has been married now to Linda for over 20 years...and I still judged and held onto a bitterness that ran very deep. But, I did not realize it, until August of 2010.
You see....almost 22 years later, God clearly showed me that I needed to forgive a man...a man that is now my Pastor. How God works, HIS timing - is amazing and yet I sit here typing and am mystified. Just trying to figure out God makes my brain hurt. I mean I tried for so many years, and now I realize and know that we can't figure out God. HE is God. Period.
Anyway, like I said, at a very crucial part of my life and a crucial moment in my marriage, God used Dave and Linda to remind me of a few things. God used Dave and Linda to instill a hope that I so needed. And God used Dave and Linda to show me, how HE forgives.
God used Dave as he reminded me, 'don't put a time limit on God' and God used Dave to remind me that 'the hurt I was experiencing was real and they --they both ached for me ...and for my marriage... and for my husband as well'. God used Dave to speak life back into me. God used Linda to remind me, HE had a better plan for my life and God used Linda to remind me that...I was loved.
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