Once upon a time, I discovered my summer "home away from home"... a place I could have stayed until the leaves began to change. Almost every year my family goes on a vacation with a couple my parents met on their honeymoon 21 years ago along with their two kids and puppy named Teddy. This year's destination was Seaside, Fl. Let me just start by saying that these vacations together have meant more to me than family reunions (although I've only been to two that I can remember). We have gone to Seaside several times all together and it never gets boring. I've come to the conclusion that the beach is one of the few places where a person could never tire of unless they simply don't like warm climates and being barefoot in the sand. As I laid on the beach basking in the sun, there was no where else I'd rather be. My cousin Emily went along (new life long travel buddy) and we soaked up sun rays together as we munched on Buffalo flavored pretzels while listening to our Ipods. How often do we get the chance to stop what we're doing and relax? I always feel the need to be going and doing; but never when I'm on the beach. Everything seems easy, as if God placed an Easy button in front of me giving me rest to regain a steady focus on Him. My "home away from home" pulled me off the fast lane.
I am so thankful He provided me that special time. He was preparing me for what was to come. This past week, my (dog) Maddie passed away. I miss my Maddie an awful lot; but I thank God for her time on earth. My dad called to tell my grandmother that Maddie passed away; she used that phone call to say some terrible things to my dad. She called my mom and was so very ugly to her as well. Within minutes the phone was in my hand and it happened. I let go 19 years of hurt and frustration. My grandmother basically disowned me a couple years ago. I have forgiven her for every time she hurt me. However, I felt it was time for her to understand what she's put me and her whole family through.
I've never been so upset before, but I'm proud to say that the Lord held my tongue and I did not let out one cuss word at her. I don't think she took the news all too well... nor did she believe it to be true. Basically, I'm a bitter child, terrible granddaughter, and a liar who has no relationship with my heavenly Father. But you know what, I don't honestly care what she thinks about me. My heavenly Father knows me inside and out. He has blessed me with wonderful parents who take an interest in my life and are there to support me 100%. I praise my ONE and ONLY Savior for His grace, mercy, and love for me and all of His children. He has reminded me over the past few days that what my grandmother thinks of me is not true and I do not need to believe any lies Satan has fed me through her. It saddens me to think that my grandmother does not have the relationship my daddy (her own son) has with his heavenly Father.
My dad and I were talking the other week and he said something to me that seemed impossible at the time; he told me to try to see the good in my grandmother. Well, I must say that's the biggest challenge I've ever been faced with in my life. It wasn't til recently when I realized, no matter how filled she is of meanness, she had my daddy. I do not know exactly what kind of childhood he had, but because of her, he learned about our heavenly Father. Whether my grandmother is a believer or not, my daddy is. So there... I found some good. I do not want anyone to read this and think I am "bitter" or I "hate" my grandmother. I honestly do not. Before I hung up with her, I told her I would continue to pray for her and that I loved her. (Though I know she didn't believe that either). Like my momma has always said, "You can't change a person."
I'm doing much better now. It's very difficult sometimes not to believe Satan's lies. But I'm here to tell you, that with my heavenly Daddy in your heart... it's easier not to believe those lies. I pray that anyone who has ever hurt you, that you forgive despite the pain they may bring. It's easy to anger; but then I remember, Christ died for me just as He did for everyone else. He forgives me. He'll forgive my grandmother. It's recognizing and accepting the wrong we've done and bringing ourselves to kneel at the cross and repent. Don't wait til tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late.
Believe it or Not:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Lord, heal me, and I will truly be healed. Save me and I will truly be saved. You are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26