It has been a very long time since I have blogged. I find myself wondering sometimes why that is, but at the same time I do not beat myself up for it either. Life has been very good – and very busy lately. In the course of just a few months, I got engaged, got married, became a “step” mother to three new kids, and moved all seven of us into our new home. Blogging fell to the wayside as we navigated through all of the changes. And quite honestly, nothing has seemed so urgent in my thoughts and prayers that I was drawn to blogging – until now. As most followers of Jesus, I am constantly working on growing closer to God, listening more carefully to the guidance of the Spirit, and praying for wisdom from my heavenly Father. At times, I feel like I have come a long way and I see myself becoming the Godly woman I know I was called to be…but at other times there are things that I still struggle with. It’s times like those that I am so thankful for the fact that God loves me even when I struggle. He even loved me when I was still broken. God showed that great love for me “by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8). That is a great comfort to me as I continue to grow in His love. I am still very much human and broken. I have been battling a situation lately that makes me just want to yell and scream and really let people know what I think about the way that I they have made me feel – based on their actions and hurtful words. I have had to walk away, bite my tongue, pray, look the other way, pray, bite my tongue some more. There is something just basic in our nature that leads us to want to seek “revenge.” Or to “have the last word.” Why is that? As I have fought my way through these ugly emotions, I have turned to God’s word for my guide. Recently I have felt “shunned” by some people whom I considered to be friends (and brothers and sisters in Christ). The broken me wanted to just let them know all about how shameful and hurtful their behavior was…..but God told me this…”If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Now – that is a bit dramatic for this situation, perhaps – but is it really? Do I consider them enemies – no….but the point is – revenge or pay back is not ever the answer – be it friends or enemies. I am supposed to take the high road. I have to remember that we are ALL sinners and that Christ died for ALL of us. My job is not to judge, or take revenge. Yea, but they hurt me! Why can’t I just send a little email and let them know how disappointed I am in them…but God says something different. God tells me to “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, and so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3: 13). It’s so much easier to point out other’s faults when I am the one who feels wronged. So much easier to judge another’s actions when I am the one who is hurting…but God says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37). I certainly want my Father in heaven to forgive me – so I must be able to forgive others…..even if they don’t ask for forgiveness. Even if they don’t acknowledge hurtful actions and words…I have to forgive them. I may never again have the chance to speak my mind or share my feelings. There may never be reconciliation…but there must be forgiveness. Reconciliation takes two, forgiveness takes one. I have to be that one if I truly want to live the way that God wants me to live. As I have dealt with this situation over the past few days, I have learned so much about myself and the person I really want to be. I will not say all of those things that I wish I had said. I will not speak ill of anyone – regardless of the way they speak of me. I will ask the Spirt to guide my steps, thoughts, and words. And I will take the high road.