After you have seen the errors of your ways.After you have cried out to God for forgiveness. After you have repented and turned away from the path of wickedness. After you have sought reconciliation with your brethren. After you have apologized and humbled yourself. After you have accepted the consequences of your wrongdoing. After you have cried tears of regret for what was lost. After you have searched and searched your heart for more you can do to make amends. After you have taken the hurtful truths that others have spoken. After you have quieted yourself in the midst of lies. After you have comforted yourself in the Lord’s presence. After you have opened the wounded places for others so they can help. After you have received their counsel and comfort. After you have revisited the same hurting places a thousand times again. After you have cried out to God for healing once and for all. After you have submitted your emotions to God, refusing to be mastered by your feelings. After you have given Christ the place as Lord over your feelings. After you have bowed yourself in obedience at His throne, awaiting His instructions and ready to do all He commands, no matter how painful. After you have prayed to grow in love. After you have prayed for them even when they continue to curse you. After you have rejoiced when others are rejoicing. After you have chosen to see things through their eyes, refusing to worship your feelings but rather show compassion. After you have revisited the same memories over and over again. After you have shed the same tears for the same hurt. After you have crawled back to the throne of mercy and grace and asked the Lord for His help yet again. After you have done all, stand.
Despite my best efforts and almost two years later, I am still mourning. My heart is still heavy and my emotions are still raging. A sister asked me yesterday if I have exhausted every opportunity to make things better and I told her honestly that I have. I sincerely believed that I had. Then today I went to my email and saw the confirmation of my efforts. I did not even remember that I ever wrote this email but there it was in my outbox – a humbling and fervent attempt at reconciliation; a written manifesto of my desire to be heard and understood; an overt pleading to be seen as I am and not mistaken for a malicious person of ill-intent. After all of my best efforts, after all of my hours spent in prayer asking God to show me what else I need to do, praying for peace of mind in the midst of an ending friendship, asking Him to grow me in love so that I do not repay (what feels like) hate with hate of my own, desperately seeking to be okay if reconciliation is not God’s will for us – after all of that, all I can do now is stand.
I stand by my efforts to make things better. I stand by my intentions because they were good. I stand by my friendship because even though it is over, it was genuine. I stand by the good times we shared because they gave me real and tangible joy. I stand by my emotions as well, because even though they are all over the place at the moment, I have the right to mourn in my own way.
My frustration was because the weeping was enduring for many more nights than I could have ever guessed. Where was the joy that was promised to come in the morning? Matter of fact, where was the morning? I was tired of the night – it was lasting many more weeks and months than anyone ever prepared me for. I wanted the joy that the morning promised. It can be such a frustrating thing to be genuinely seeking God’s healing over an area of brokenness in your life (in my case, a broken friendship), and never see wholeness on the horizon. I have prayed. I still pray. I have sought counsel. I have journaled. I have reasoned. I have concluded. I have attempted to see other’s perspective and it has all been helpful. There was a time when I thought I was healed. Then yesterday happened and I melted into tears again. And this morning, my thoughts led me down an emotional path once again and I find myself frustrated at myself. Why am I still crying over this? The only answer I have today is that it is okay. I trust God to perfect the healing that has begun in my heart. I am not crazy for still mourning. I am not hurting because I have not forgiven. I have. I am hurting because I am human. Yet I am not without hope. My hope for this hurt is The Healer Himself. I will continue to stand in His grace alone.