Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: I Love Him Just as Much as I Love You

Stuff God Said To Me: "I love him just as much as I love you."

This facial expression pretty much sums up my reaction to those words from the Lord.

After my separation and divorce I admit that I was very angry, became quite bitter, and carried some hatred and unforgiveness for a long time.  I had plenty of good reasons for leaving but there were so many things that I didn't see until after I left.  Some things would dawn on me and hit me so hard that all I could do was go and lie down to regain my strength. I recall lying down and waking up an hour and a half  to two hours later. No other area of my life, no matter how troubling or painful has ever taken strength from my body the way that issues with my ex did. Sometimes I would be talking to someone about something concerning him and suddenly it was like a light was turned on, and something that I hadn't paid any attention to during the entire marriage would become so clear, and I would just shut down. There were no words I could say, prayers I could pray or anything. I just had to go sleep it off. With every revelation of something that hurt me or angered me, I became more disgusted with him. 

I've told you that I carried hatred but honestly I didn't really know that I hated him until after God healed me to the point that I could release it.  Until that point, I didn't care if he lived or died and quite frankly I spent quite a bit of time wishing he were dead or would die and just be done with it. I sometimes envisioned how he would die. I remember wishing he would simply disappear. I despised the fact that I was connected to him through our two daughters and if only he would just cease to exist...yeah, I absolutely hated him. In the beginning though I never said I hated him. I was saved for crying out loud! Instead what I said, and and convinced myself of was, "I don't hate him, I just don't have any respect for him whatsoever." As a woman I can tell you that to lose respect for a man is about as low as he can get as far as your opinion is concerned, but there's also a fine line between losing respect and hatred. For a man to cause a woman to lose respect for him, he has to get her to the point that hatred is so close to what she feels, she really needs to do some praying and soul searching. I didn't do any soul searching, so I just thought I'd only lost respect for him.

I don't remember what I was thinking exactly when God spoke to me that day. I don't remember where I was, what I was wearing, what the weather was like or anything else. I do remember what He said when He interrupted my angry thoughts about him.  He said, "I love him just as much as I love you". My very first thought was "WHY?!"  with as much attitude as I could muster. I couldn’t believe it!  I mean seriously. I know you know what I went through, how I was made to feel, the things that were done to me behind my back, things that have been said and are still being said, things that people are believing because of what’s being said. All I could think about was the hurt he had caused me, the mental and emotional distress I had been in all those years of marriage, the tears I'd wept during the marriage and after the divorce up to that point. Was He not there to witness to what I went through? How in the world could God love him as much as He loves me?  I already had issues with feeling like God liked other people more than He liked me and now this! It just felt like God was just a little bit on his side more than on mine. I was the victim here, not him! So unfair!

If you know anything about how the Lord communicates, you know that often, He says what He says, and He’s done talking.  You rarely get long explanations from Him. He didn’t say anything else, but that one statement was enough to throw a wrench in my attitude and give me something to think about.

Consider what the scriptures say:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

These scriptures simply remind us that the same love and grace that is extended to you, is extended to everyone, yes even those who have hurt you deeply. The Lord didn’t have to explain Himself further after He said what He said. There are plenty of scriptures that bear witness to it. Initially though, I wasn't considering scripture. I was only considering the pain I had been in for so long and who had caused it. 

There's something about God speaking to you that changes your life a little bit. From that moment on, you can't be the same or think the same, or feel the same about that situation. When I realized that I was in disagreement with God's word, I had to change. What the Lord spoke to me ended up helping me to begin to release the hurt of all the painful things that had happened to me.  It was like coming to understand that walking in unforgiveness is like fighting against God Himself. It’s like you are refusing to extend grace and forgiveness to someone that God has extended it to. As if you know better than God does, what a person deserves or who deserves His love, forgiveness and mercy. No wonder He said, “If you don’t forgive, neither will my father forgive you.” From that moment on, no matter how angry I got about whatever he had done, I was reminded of God's love for him. It put a damper on my anger, my hatred, and I didn't realize it at the time, but it began to usher me to the point that I was able to allow that root of bitterness and unforgiveness to be plucked up. It reminded me of the mercy of God even toward myself.  It showed me that if I didn't want God to show him mercy or extend grace to him, maybe He shouldn't do it for me either...but I knew I needed it.  It showed me very clearly that God isn't on my side or his side, or anybody else's side.  The question He's asking of all of us is, "Who's on the Lord's side?

I'm thankful for God rocking my world a little bit that day. It set me on a path that lead me to my complete healing and deliverance from the hurt, hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness of the person who I felt has done me the most harm. I'm free today because the Lord didn't jump on my side but showed me how important it is to be on HIS side. 

I pray that if you are disgusted with your ex for whatever reason, or anyone who has hurt you deeply, that you will accept the fact that no matter what they did to you, God loves THEM. His hand of mercy is extended to them as much as it is to you. The blood He shed for you was also shed for them and just as he has made wonderful promises to you, He has to them also. It may hurt you to accept it at first. I'll be honest and tell you that it took me a while even after God spoke it, but I couldn't get away from it once I heard Him speak. The freedom I have now though,  is so much better than the chains that held me before. I beg of you, please don't go into your bright future carrying the baggage of someone who hurt you. You might feel like you're already walking in the light, but once you let go of every root of bitterness you will discover even more freedom and joy.

A good indication that you still need some healing and deliverance is your reaction when you hear their name or see them.  How does your countenance or overall attitude change when you speak of them or think of them?  It is merely a loss of respect, or are you harboring hatred?  I pray that you open your heart and allow the Lord to shine the light on whatever it is that you're really feeling and that whatever adjustments you need to make in your attitude toward that person, you ask God to help you to make them. You see, I know that you can't do it on your own. I couldn't either.  But the Lord never asks us to do anything that He can't assist us in doing. He has made Himself available to us because He knows that we can't do this on our own. But because He has offered Himself for us and to us, we are also now without excuse. He can ask us, require of us, yea even command us to forgive, love and release because He has done it for each of us.

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