First of all, of course, through the love of His people, He said that I am not alone. That there are those who see and care. Who have seen over the years. That all my pain has not been ignored.
But through the day, I can listen to streaming radio. I do sometimes, but with things I was doing today, caught only bits of programs.
The first was about loving your enemies. About choosing not to repay hurt with hurt. About knowing how to deal with pain that others cause. That love is not a gushy feeling, but a determined choice to love our enemies. To chose to respond. To not respond with hurt to hurt. To turn the other cheek. To give another chance. To choose love.
I didn't hear the rest of it. But that part spoke to me. Comforted me. "Have strength, you have chosen what is right. Hang in there."
The next speaker was hitting on the same topic. From a different view. He was saying that truth must always be connected to love. That truth without love is damaging. That truth is active in people's lives only when they are loved.
I got that. I grew up surrounded by truth. But the love was often not as obvious. It wasn't until I was loved well that I began to be able to take the truth and make it part of me. I had to be loved enough first. Loved enough that I could risk vulnerability and failure. I was. I was blessed to have a friend who loved me. Who decided to even when I was a bigger burden than he had ever expected. But he taught me because that truth came connected to love.
He went on to say that truth is connected to love and that is connected to submission and that to freedom. I forget it all, because there was an interruption then, but the end result was freedom.
That is so true. When I look back over when I grew, it was because I was loved, because truth was spoken surrounded in love, and I learned that it was safe enough to submit to God because if God loved anything like His child loved, then God was safe. And when I submitted to God, I found out.... well... I found out that God is not always safe, but that is a different story... but I found out that in loving and following God is freedom, not slavery. And I love this freedom.
But there are moments, looking back, when my eyes fill with tears. I don't think I would have ever come to this freedom if I hadn't been so loved.
And that means that in order to bring others to that freedom, I need to love them.
Even when they hurt me.
I need to chose to respond with love, not hurt when I am hurt.
The final guy that came on was someone I really like to listen to, but haven't for awhile. And he was talking more about the same topic. About loving when we are being hurt. He mentioned some of what the others had said, but also talked about boundaries and knowing what those were. That we don't just stand like idiots and get hurt again and again. To make healthy choices for ourselves, but choose to love in it all. He talked about the uncomfortable fact that sometimes God chooses to leave us in a painful situation, so we need to know how to live in that. That pain will exist in our lives. Always. And we need to react well to it.
I was really sad when I again got interrupted and missed the last bit of this talk.
None of this was new today. But it was all reassuring. These choices that I have made, the way I have chosen to respond (when I don't run crying in pain or panic and start shaking) have been good. I've grown, matured, been through pain, lived in it, learned lessons from it, and have begun to chose how to react rather than just reacting from emotions. I still don't like pain. I don't like what I live in.
But I've learned so much from it.
Not learned as in the "I read that and understand it" type of learned. Learned as in the "I've practiced that over and over through all sorts of things so that it becomes my instinct" type of learned.
Today was comforting and reassuring. From a God who walked alongside with me and told me, "You are doing what I want you to be doing, and I have people who see you and love you. Take strength."
This week is coming soon. I no longer feel like I am falling, but that God has caught me, and that He is setting my feet on a firm foundation. That He is and has always been in control. I don't understand why He let me suffer so long, but ......
Oh! I heard a song on the radio that made me want to correct it. It started of saying, "God, you must think I am strong...." and went on to say something like because you gave me all this trouble. Then later, it said, "But I know I can't do it alone."
I cracked up. Their language! I thought, "God doesn't think; God knows!" We don't say, God thinks this or God thinks that like we would say I guess this or I guess that. And really, we don't know; we think!
I don't get it why God let me suffer so long. But He knows why. I believe He has a reason. I have to trust that reason. I may have an idea or think I know why, and I have some suspicions, but I know only one thing - that He knows why. I am learning to trust Him. He has a reason, and that is a good one.
We think, but God knows.