Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I don't think I should have to pray for her.
God has been pushing me to pray for this person for over a year. Everytime I become angry or want to rant about them, He puts the verses above in my head. I can write the blog, I can spend time in devotions, I can journal and pray and go to church, but if I deny love then I am doing it all for naught. I don't want to love this person, and I don't think they deserve it. The problem is that I don't deserve God's love and forgiveness, but it is freely poured out on me.
To help me, I have been reminded of this person's life. Their clear mental illness, their lack of family support, their overwhelming lack of self esteem and clear self loathing. Thoughts of how I would feel in their position have flooded my mind, and a desire to pray for them has bubbled up. Honestly, I have done all I can to resist it.
I am not a very righteous person. I do not love easily, and forgiveness is harder. I am not even interested in it for the "let it go for yourself" vibe. I do not want to do this. To God, I must sound like my toddler "no, thank you. I will take all the parts of walking with you that I like, but I would like to skip this part. I don't want to love someone who received what I so desperately wanted and threw it away. I don't want to. I. Do. Not. Want. To."
Yet, I am. I am praying for them. I am attempting to love them. I am doing this despite the fact that I don't want to. I would love to tell you that when I decided to begin praying for them I was magically filled with peace and love and forgiveness, but I wasn't. I have to force myself. I have to ask God for help. I have to choose to obey what God is calling me to do.
I am like Jonah in the whale. God was very clear about what Jonah needed to do, and Jonah was very clear about his not doing it. I think I have spent the past few weeks in the belly of the whale. It isn't always about large and amazing miracles. Sometimes it is about obedience and faith.
I need to be obedient and treat all people with love. It is not my job to judge. It is not my job to determine who is and is not worthy of God's love. It is my job to be a living example of that love. It is my job to show my son how God's love is all forgiving. It is my job to have faith that God will help me love and forgive those who I find unloveable and unforgivable.
Loving someone right where they are at is easy, if you like where they are, but when they are some place you detest, when their actions appall you, it can be impossible. However, all things are possible through Christ. I will keep praying, and maybe someday I will truly love them. Until then, I will be thankful that God doesn't hold me to the same standard I hold others to.
Posted by Juli Ann Lindemann at 4:26 PM