I seriously just told someone that I wasn’t God’s friend the other day because He was ALLLLL the way in my business and I was frustrated that He was answering my prayer so quickly. Have you ever prayed for God to help you become a better person in a particular area of your life and then He presents you with the opportunity to make a choice that would either show growth or keep you stagnant? That’s pretty much what I have recently experienced.
God has been dealing with me and my issues with the “F” word. Hold on just a minute...not the “F” bomb, but the “F” word. It’s forgiveness. I seriously have a problem with forgiveness. In present day culture unforgiveness is sort of under the umbrella of being petty. The truth is, I can be a real Petty Betty. My husband, Corey, will tell you that my cut off game is strong. Forget being polite. Once you take me to that point of no return I will gladly tell you about yourself and then proceed to cut off all communication with you in person and electronically until YOU make the decision to apologize.
I was walking around doing life as usual with packed emotions of unforgiveness because I had been hurt by people I love. I had begun to keep it to myself instead of bringing it to God during prayer or asking for advice in conversations when people would do check-ins with me on my mental and spiritual health. Recently I was challenged by my spouse, pastor and those close to me to begin to earnestly pray for myself when it came to my issues with forgiving particular people who had hurt me in one way or another. I accepted the advice and was extremely honest with God. I mean, why not? He already knows what my issues are anyway. I knew this was an area where I needed him to make changes. I did not want to speak to anyone on my cut off list. So, initiating communication in any way was completely out of the question. I definitely told God that there was no way I was ready for that to happen and he was going to have to help me.
It was like being this vulnerable in my prayer time about being unforgiving opened a door for God to constantly put me in rooms where forgiveness was being discussed. One week the Sunday School discussion ended up being on forgiveness, then a devotional booklet I wrote for my church without my own situations in mind ended up ministering to me and tugging at my heartstrings. I had my leaders and close loved ones checking in on me and asking if I had made any movement in reconciling my relationships with individuals. My husband was noticing that something had my mind occupied, but to me I was just pushing through the days. Then one day last week I found myself catching up on a 60 day devotional booklet ("Uncommon Prayer, Uncommon Presence" by Glenda R. Williams) and let’s just say day 8 had my mind turning and my heart praying. By that evening I was having a generally fun conversation and then there God was ALLLLLLLL the way in my business. But, isn’t that what I asked him to do?! I couldn’t fight it anymore. I picked up my phone and called someone that I had no intention of speaking to just weeks prior when I initially brought up my issues in prayer.
I was able to have a conversation with this individual knowing that they were not going to bring up what happened, nor apologize for it. True forgiveness, on my part, was me being able to leave what they had done in God’s hands and no longer be held in bondage by my feelings of anger and disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, what this person did still bothers me. However, God is teaching me that I need to allow him to help me do what I asked him to do and that was to help me with forgiving. Forgiveness is awesome when we’re singing lyrics to a worship song talking about the unconditional love of Jesus as our hands are lifted in the air and the music is playing. However, it’s another thought altogether when you have to make a decision to forgive someone for something that you deem UNFORGIVABLE.
Maybe there is something that you have been keeping from God during your prayer time because you know once you bring it up, just like me, He will begin to soften your heart, build up your spirit and allow you to be put in situations for change to happen. We can pray all the prayers that we want to pray but in the end if we are holding on to something that we know God wants us to change do we really have faith in his ability to help us with EVERYTHING? Think about that and then think about what areas of your life you won’t allow God into. Challenge yourself to be transparent with God. He knows everything, so you may as well tell him about it. I know we want our prayers to change things, but sometimes our prayers change us.