Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Day a Letter Set Me Free

It was 1999, and he was my best "guy" friend.

We hung out mostly in a group of 8-12 friends. We were a tight crew. But he & I had a special connection. He was witty & sarcastic & boyishly charming. I was analytical & strong-willed & intellectually-challenging. Everyone knew we had a unique friendship, but it was "purely platonic."

No. Seriously. It was.

Was, that is, until that summer.
The summer after he broke up with his girlfriend from back home.
The summer we hung out in Maine with our friends.
The summer that everything changed.

We crossed the boundaries of friendship, and things would never be the same again. At first it was thrill-me-to-my-toes exciting. We were "us" but now MORE, and it was fun!

But then, real life happened.

We went back to college, back to classes, back to our normal routine.

But she came too -- his ex. She was now a part of "our" world.

Suddenly, he pulled away from me. He needed "space" from "both of us" to "figure things out". It was hard, but he was my friend, right? So I wanted to give him room to grow and to know his own heart & head.

Then one day the bottom fell out of our relationship. In one day my heart broke.

He knew my schedule, so he had been avoiding me, although I hadn't realized that at the time. He didn't count on my meeting being cancelled that night. He didn't plan for me to be in the cafeteria a little later then usual for supper.

That's when I saw them.
The two of them.
Together.

I couldn't understand. My mind did not want to register. Why would he lie to me? He is my friend. He WAS my friend.

I'm not his choice.
I'm not good enough,
pretty enough,
smart enough,
I'm not ENOUGH!

And HE LIED TO ME!!

That is the moment the darkness crept into my soul, my very being. As the days passed, I would wake up each morning in such agony and pain and HATRED. I felt betrayed, abandoned, stupid, faithless, ignorant, unwise, alone. The feeling in my gut was like someone was daily twisting my intestines. I know that sounds intense and dramatic, but I felt like I was walking in a fog. I would read Scriptures almost mindlessly to just "stuff the Word" into me. I would get ready for the day and just beg the Holy Spirit to help me.

But nothing seemed to work. I would cross paths with him. Or her. Or him & her together. I tried to face things. I tried to let it go. I tried to "get over it!"

But the anger seemed to just build and build and with that the shame. How could I let this happen? How could I be so stupid? And the bitterness just increased.

Months passed, and one day, I went to a revival service. I don't remember what the message was about or anything that was said in particular except the invitation to the altar at the end. I went forward and I felt that tugging at my heart strings.

It's time to forgive. It's time to let go.

And instructions followed.

Write him a letter. Write her a letter. Ask them for forgiveness.

WHAT, LORD? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! There is NO WAY! I didn't do anything wrong. He blatantly lied to me, and she rudely ignores me. I am the one who has a RIGHT to be angry.

And the quietest of whispers....

Haven't you held anger, resentment, & bitterness in your heart against them?

Well, yeah, but THEY don't know that! I have been nice.

My child....Forgive.....

That night, I sat down at my computer and typed out my apologies.
It was hard.
It was real.
It was honest.

The next morning, I went and dropped them off at the campus post boxes.

When I walked out of the CPO that day, I am convinced, the sky was bluer, the clouds were fluffier, the bird-song was sweeter, and there was a spring in my step.

There was something amazing about accepting God's forgiveness and requesting it in return from others with NO AGENDA!

Forgiveness set me free!!




Linked up with Bonnie @ Faith Barista and A Lesson Learned @ Mama's Losin' It

13 comments:

Renee Ann said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for sharing your story in this beautiful post. Only God can help us act against what our emotions are telling us and then help our hearts follow along! Changing our wayward hearts--now that's a real miracle.

Danielle said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your story. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do, but asking for it is even harder. Forgiveness is necessary. Thanks for the reminder!

Visiting from Mama Kat's.

Bonnie Gray said... Best Blogger Tips

"It's time to forgive. It's time to let go"

Lindsey, it's beautiful and encouraging to read how God brought you to that place and time. THank you for pouring such a real reflection of your story in the jam this week! Blessed to "meet" you!

~Christina~ said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, that really makes one do a heart check!!! Thank you for sharing your testimony.

eof777 said... Best Blogger Tips

You wrote this so beautifully and I applaud your decision to forgive and move on... Bravo!
Visiting from Mamakat's and also now following you...
Thanks for stopping by!
Elizabeth

Stephanie said... Best Blogger Tips

The dating years are so hard, aren't they? I wouldn't go back to that time for a million dollars.

P.S. Forgiveness is POWERFUL, isn't it? Thank you for that important reminder.

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Stephanie said... Best Blogger Tips

Also - I'm curious. Did either of them respond?

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

@Stephanie
Lol! I wanted to add all that but I felt like the post was LONG ENOUGH!

HE never did...unfortunately, which was indicative of how he had handled the whole situation. However, SHE did THAT VERY SAME DAY. She came to my dorm room and apologized for ignoring me, saying that she didn't know what to say or how to me. And we have since been on speaking terms...at at mutual friends' wedding a couple years later and even on Facebook (with both of them). God is SO INCREDIBLY faithful!

Donna said... Best Blogger Tips

"There was something amazing about accepting God's forgiveness and requesting it in return from others with NO AGENDA!"

Lindsey, thank you for sharing your story. Amazing indeed!

Lindsey V said... Best Blogger Tips

@eof777
Aww...thank you! I am so glad that you hopped over! Looking forward to coming and visiting you too!

@Donna
Thank you so much! Great to have you stop by!

eof777 said... Best Blogger Tips

You wrote this so beautifully and I applaud your decision to forgive and move on... Bravo!
Visiting from Mamakat's and also now following you...
Thanks for stopping by!
Elizabeth

Bonnie Gray said... Best Blogger Tips

"It's time to forgive. It's time to let go"

Lindsey, it's beautiful and encouraging to read how God brought you to that place and time. THank you for pouring such a real reflection of your story in the jam this week! Blessed to "meet" you!

Danielle said... Best Blogger Tips

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your story. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do, but asking for it is even harder. Forgiveness is necessary. Thanks for the reminder!

Visiting from Mama Kat's.

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