“Your love can take broken things and make them beautiful”- Ellie Holcomb

I know that I don’t bring a lot to the table
Just little pieces of a broken heart
There’s days I wonder if You’ll still be faithful
Hold me together when I fall apart?
Would You remind me now of who You are?
-Ellie Holcomb

Can you believe that we are coming to the end of another year, 2014 has come and gone and much has happened, I turned 30, quit one job, started 2 new jobs, best friend had her 1st baby, saw a few friends get married, many friends welcomed their 2nd, 3rd or even 5th child, saw the death of a dream, and the death of a amazing friend.  However tonight I’m not going to focus on any of that, because to me this year will be remembered as the year that I lost who I was, and my staggered journey to find where I belong in this world.

 Oh ain’t life wonderful
When everything is right
But sometimes wonderful
Can fall apart sometimes

-Reba McEntire

We’ve all heard the sayings, “Change is a part of life”, …life’s about change and nothing ever stays the same…, “change is a good thing”, well that all might be true but I have never been good at change.  Yes I like predictability, like for most things to stay the same so that I know what I’m doing and what to expect, I don’t want to look foolish or be made to look like a fool.  However this year my life was full of changes, some I initiated, some I did not, one of the initiated ones gave me more chances that I could ever imagine, but one change blindsided me, and caused me a lot of self induced pain and that change was quitting my young adults group at church

So this is how it ends
This is where it all goes down
…It ain’t exactly what I had in mind…
-David Nail

Yup, you read that right, I quit my young adults group.  You are most likely thinking, “WHAT? THAT’S IT?  THAT is the major life changing even that caused pain?”  For those on the outside looking in that presumably that seem foolish, or outright stupid  believe me I am keenly aware of how pitiful this sounds but before you blow me off completely as a selfish buffoon let me explain the logistic and the saga behind this event.

Well, maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much,
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up.
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well.

-Taylor Swift

When our young adults group started back up after taking the summer off our current leader informed us that he would be stepping away to start up a new ministry in the church, and introduced us to the new leaders of the group.  I left that night very questionable about this change, while I respected our new leaders I had concern with them overextending themselves with their other commitments in the church.  Nonetheless I figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt.  Unfortunately a miscommunication got us off on the wrong foot and sadly we were never able to find the right foot.  Through a series of meaningless events I got offended but instead of dealing with the offense like God was telling me to I ignored it and went on.  However that one offense made a crack and started to grow, I started looking for ways to get offended and I started keeping track of stupid meaningless, unintentional offenses to the point I just got fed up and quit going.

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.-Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

You would think the story would stop there except God had other ideas.  Over Thanksgiving I read a book called Loveology: God, love, sex, marriage, and the never-ending story of male and female by John Mark Comer and in the book it stated that “sometimes God doesn’t send us a spouse because something in your life is out of whack”.  That line right there slapped me in the face, and I started thinking about what in my life could be out of whack that might be preventing God from sending me my hearts desire in the form of a spouse.  I kept thinking I know Lord my finances are really out of whack but I’m working on it, but I had a this gnawing that is not what God had in mind.  Then that Monday I started reading my students an Advent devotional on the Journey of Hope; Finding Joy in the Waiting, when I about rolled up in a ball on the floor and started to cry because I knew God was getting ready to something major with in me, and that this lesson was going to be something I needed to hear.

Healing

 Over the next several days God sent me some not so subtle that what was out of whack in my life was me harboring the offense towards the new leaders of my young adults group.  I was so over-whelmed with the messages God was sending me that I sat down one night and e-mailed my mentor, she e-mailed me back with just the words I needed to hear.  She told me that I had let 1 little misunderstanding turn into a ball of rage that was effecting 30 other areas in my life and is why I am having a hard time finding where I belong.  I admitted she was right, then she asked me the loaded question, what was I going to do about it?  I knew what I had to do and it was to admit to the offense and talk about it with those involved and ask for their forgiveness for being to overprotective,  closed minded and to foster such anger towards them.  Regretfully this is where my pride and my aversion to confrontation gets in the way.  During this time I read Max Lucado’s book Grace, and in the book it stated “Guilt (or in my case harboring offense) lies hidden beneath the surface, festering, irritating…. you become moody, cranky, prone to overreact.  You become angry, irritable, touch, understandable since you have a shank of shame lodged in your soul (or offense in your heart).”  God was done sending me little nudges, I wasn’t listening it was time for a kick in the behind.  I knew what I had to do I had to approach  the leaders and admit my mistakes and looking for reasons to get offended.  At the same time I also knew before I could do that I had to get my emotional under-control before I went to them with a big ball of rage and spewed venom undeserving at them.

Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer.-Isaiah 30:19 (MSG)

That has been my prayer through this Christmas season and the ball of anger has cooled now after the holidays I will be setting up a meeting with them to apologize, ask for their forgiveness, walk in with an open mind and hopefully have an honest discussion about the direction of our young adults group.  Hopefully to share my concerns, my hopes for the group to honestly and freely hear their heart and their the desire and their plans for the group.  But mainly come to understanding that none of us know each other very well, and while we can’t start over again, we can leave the past in the past, and start fresh in the new year getting to know each other better with a 2nd chance.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.-2 Corinthians 12:9

Therefore I leave you tonight on the eve of a new year, if you are harboring any ill-will, anger, offenses against anyone, make peace with them, forgive them, don’t carry it around with you anymore.  Lay it at the feet of Jesus, let him heal you and the others involved. Just remember this little tidbit another one of my amazing mentors left me with one night, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be BFF’s, it just means you’re free.” Be free in 2015!

Forgiveness

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