I've been thinking a lot about changes today, and how life is just full of them. This isn't one of those posts where I have all the answers figured out, because I definitely don't, so forgive my rambling thoughts...
Isn't it strange how, no matter how many changes come your way, you somehow expect things to stay the same for any period of time? I guess I always have an expectation, to a certain degree, that things will always be as they are... especially in relationships.
We are approaching a new season of change in our lives, and I guess my mind has been wandering down lots of paths into the past, analyzing old friendships, wondering about new ones. My thought process reminded me of Britney's blog on this topic. It's easy to guard yourself against pain by forever avoiding friendships. It's easy to avoid conflict in existing friendships. It's easy to drift away from one another instead of dealing with the inevitable hurts along the way. On the other hand, I also believe God calls us "apart" for brief seasons to accomplish His work as well.
Anyway, there are some hurts in my past that quite frankly, sometimes still hurt. Ironically, I think they are actually the ones where people were trying really hard not to be hurtful and didn't address things. I tend to be a pretty direct person, so I really do feel like the indirect ambiguity allows the enemy room to move in and confuse the situation.
I was thinking the other day (what if cartoons got saved? - not really, but that phrase always leads to that second phrase in my mind, although I hate that song) about those reflections and how I feel about those who have hurt me. It is weird how acutely we can remember painful things and how easily we forget all the good things.
Let's say you spend the day at the park and have tons of fun all day, but at the end you fall and break your wrist. In your long term memory, all you will recall about that day is that it was the day you broke your wrist. In reality, that was the last 5 minutes of the day, not the 6 HOURS you were there. Know what I mean? Following along with that analogy, let's say that you later go back to the park to play again. While you're there, you're having a ton of fun and loving it. You may think about the "incident" briefly, but it doesn't take away from the fun you have while you're actually there.
I think those past friendships are like that. You have this acute memory of pain, and it can dull all the good memories.... but then when you are together with those friends again, you have fun and tend to forget the pain.
It got me wondering how those friends think of me. I know I've hurt lots of people in my life. I am sure they have times of reminiscing about me that are good, and probably a lot of acute memories of the pain that I've caused them. First of all, if I've hurt you and you are reading this, I'm sorry. I really am. I don't want those painful memories taking the place of the good in your mind. Seriously, if I knew how I'd hurt you, I would seek your forgiveness. Seriously. I'd be direct and talk about it (and it might very well be that my directness is what hurt you!) because I really don't want to be a hurtful person. I don't want you to go another second of your life feeling like whatever pain I caused you was right or okay or like I shouldn't apologize for it. Pain is pain, whether I meant to inflict it or not, and I'm sorry. I'm really, really, truly sorry. Please forgive me.
Following that line of thinking, I don't want to think of those who have hurt me in the light of pain either. Most of the situations that come readily to my mind, I KNOW that you didn't mean to hurt me. In fact, I know that your actions were meant to do just the opposite... and it's okay. It's over. I've decided to be done thinking that way. I'm sure I'll still struggle, but God's given the victory to me.
God takes individuals down all sorts of different paths. Honestly, it is sometimes hard not to take it personally when God calls people away from the path that you are on... but it's really not about that. It is about God's plan for all of our lives, intersecting us for certain seasons to accomplish His work, and sending us on our way to continue the plan He set before us.
I suppose I'm saying all of this in preparation for the new mission that God is sending us on as well. I don't want to leave a wake of pain because God calls us elsewhere to a different kind of thing. I don't want the enemy to have any wiggle room to cause ambiguity in past, present, or future relationships.
If your reading this, and think I'm talking about you, I might be! ;) haha! If you want to talk, I'm totally open to that. I love you. I cherish the people that God has brought into my life, for short seasons and for long ones. I'm glad to know we'll have eternity together, no matter what! Keep accomplishing God's purposes and seeking after the plans He has for you. I pray He blesses your work on His mission abundantly!