Forgiveness & Boundaries

This week has been very busy. I have taught school during the mornings, as always. Monday and Tuesday afternoons, when my work was finished, I’ve studied Hebrew for two hours with my friend. Monday we studied hard. Tuesday we studied a little and then we talked about serious things, and laughed about funny things. Video-chatting is such a cool thing. We can see each other and it’s almost as if we are talking in person, even though we live hundreds of miles apart.

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When NOT to Forgive

This is the seventh in a series about forgiveness. Click here to read the first post in the series. 
According to the Bible we must always be willing to ask for forgiveness from those who have offended us, and to forgive those who ask us for forgiveness.

The Key to Relationship

This is the sixth in a series about forgiveness. Click here to read the first post in the series. 

As I struggle with issues of forgiveness and reconciliation over the years, as I tried to reconcile with a Mom who would acknowledge none of her failures and none of my strengths, and who would not forgive me for not fulfilling her expectations, I realized that a major hindrance to relationship is an inability to repent. Repentance is the key to relationship.

Barriers to Relationship

This is the fifth in a series about forgiveness. Click here to read the first post in the series. 

In trying to reconcile with my Mom, I asked God to reveal my own faults to me, I began to recognize and deal with my own dysfunctions, and I asked my family to forgive me for any way that I had hurt them. There were periods where it seemed as if our relationship thawed, and we could visit and drink tea together, but it always seemed to fall apart again as if there was a barrier we couldn’t break through. I struggled to understand with why this was so.

Offenses and Expectations

This is the fourth in a series about forgiveness. Click here to read the first post in the series. 

I want to take a moment to discuss various types of offenses. One thing that has been very difficult for me as I struggled to forgive, was the many well-meaning people who advised me to be more loving and more forgiving. We do have to be loving and forgiving, of course, so they advice wasn’t wrong in and of itself. However, I would try to explain that I have forgiven my family. I understand their wounds and dysfunctions, I don’t hate them, I love them, I have compassion toward them, I grieve over the loss of relationship, I do not hold their wrongs against them, and I pray for them often. Yet, there is a block in our relationship because while there are offenses I have let go, there are also things I remain firm on and will not surrender. I never could explain what the block was, why I felt that some things must be released, while other things must not. So I think it appeared that I hadn’t forgiven.

Acknowledging Pain

This is the third in a series about forgiveness. Click here to read the first post in the series.

I would say that the first step in forgiveness begins in our own hearts, because we can’t reach out to others if our hearts are full of pain and anger. This sounds simple, but nothing about forgiveness is simple or easy, unless the offenses are minor. Remember,  the greater the offense, the more serious the wound, the deeper the pain, and the more difficult to forgive.

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That’s a Sad, Sad Story

My son left for Boy Scout Camp yesterday, so it’s just me and my husband this week. EJ had the day off yesterday (Sunday) so we decided to go on a “date.” We drove to a town about an hour away–the same town we drive to several times a week to visit the chiropractor–and got some Hot & Ready pizza. This is pizza that’s already made so a person doesn’t have to wait for it. It’s sort of like a pizza fast food place. We walk in, see what’s available, buy it, and walk out. It’s more inexpensive and quicker than waiting for the pizza to be made. We went to a local park and ate the pizza while looking at people boating on the lake and talked.

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Emotional Abuse

My brother and his wife drove from Georgia to Michigan, arriving yesterday and probably staying until Thursday. My brother joined the Army when I was in 6th grade. Since then, I’ve only seen him a few times when he came to visit, and have talked to him several times on the phone in recent years. He appears to be a very decent guy. He’s visiting all the family while he’s visiting here. They are all going to visit at various times today. We are going to try to visit to tomorrow morning IF EJ isn’t in agony from his back and doesn’t have to visit the chiropractor and IF none of my other family is there at the time. I’ve never had an opportunity to visit with my brother without other family around, and they (the other family members) have always set the agenda and taken over the conversation. Long story short, this is all stirring up a lot of painful, anguishing thoughts of the abuse in my family.

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