Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12
Ethiopia, photography by Anthony
I was hurt, but I didn't want to gossip, so I let my feelings swirl around in my head. I convinced myself that she was no longer a safe person for me. And this was it... I was going to protect myself by withdrawing from the relationship.
But the Lord said no. I was prompted to write an e-mail. Lay it on the line. Not to be harsh, but to be honest. Withdrawal was not an option.
And so I waited. Waited for her to respond. And I thought... she wasn't even responding fast enough for me.
I finally decided to share what had been going on with Anthony. Surely, he would hear my pain and agree with me, console me. But he didn't. He saw right through me. And questioned why I was assuming the worst.
Later that day she called... and having heeded Anthony's words, I listened with an open heart. She explained and I listened. She apologized and I apologized. It was a misunderstanding. A miscommunication that I had let fester in my brain.
But then I heard her hurt... as she wondered why I was uncertain of the fact that she loved me... would never hurt me intentionally... that all of her thoughts and actions towards me were good... And I was speechless. What had happened?
As we spoke more we realized that we hadn't been investing as much time in our relationship. We had neglected it. Through busyness we justified our distance. And now we were paying the price.
And it made me think of my relationship with the Lord... and the times when I wonder... Where is He? Why is He allowing this to happen? Doesn't He care about me?
I find that when I am pressing deep into Him... I don't question His love for me. I know it. It is fresh off the pages of the Bible. He is for me.
When I start to wonder about God's goodness and intentions, it doesn't take long for me to realize that I have neglected my time with Him. When I am keeping my thoughts to myself and not bringing them to the light... I sink even deeper.
Gracious. Thankfully, she was gracious with me. That day I learned how to handle a situation like this graciously. Thanks to her. Thanks to the Lord for prompting me... to not give up on the relationship.
What, then, shall we say in response to this?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son,
but gave him up for us all—how will he not also,
along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-32; 35; 38-39
And so I will remind myself... when I would want to withdraw... or give up on my relationship with Him... that He is for me... that even when I feel like He is not safe... I will bypass my feelings... and stick my head into His Word... and know that nothing can separate me from His love.
Withdrawal is not an option.