I ask that in all this, you will pray for this woman to fully accept the love of Christ and to find her security, esteem and value in Him alone. And I beg that you would pray for me. Specifically pray that I would continue to be loving and compassionate even to this person who hates me. Please pray that I would release my anger to God and be only who He wants me to be and trust that He will work in and through me—even in this yucky situation. Please pray that God will redeem this relationship.
Dear You Know Who You Are,
I don’t even know enough about you to know if you liked Friends but there was an episode where everyone is slowly finding out about Monica and Chandler. Rachel and Phoebe mess with them and keep saying, “they don’t know we know they know we know” (if you need comedic relief—especially after reading this--click here). Anyhow, you’ve been “watching” this blog silently for months. You don’t know I know that you know about this blog. But I do.
I do not deny that I have hurt you in the past. I’ve gossiped about you and thought bad things about you. I’ve enabled your bad behavior and have not held you to high standards. I’ve apologized. I’ve tried to include you in special events and outings. I’ve called, sent notes, sent e-mails, sent gifts, texted, and invited you to my private family blog. You do not talk to me. You have gone out of your way to intentionally hurt and ignore my family and me. You’ve accused me of seeking to harm you and isolating you but you have taken no responsibility for your actions. This relationship is dysfunctional and emotionally abusive.
What I have to say today is: ENOUGH.
Since January, though arguably for the last ten years, I’ve been trying to find the Biblical balance between forgiving you “70x7” and guarding my heart. How many times am I supposed to forgive someone who doesn’t seek forgiveness or change? How many times must I turn the other cheek? At what point does placating your actions hurt you more than me? This is a sticky slope. What I’ve come to realize is that forgiveness frees me.
Please forgive me.
I forgive you.
Though I love you for who you are and where you are, I love you too much to let you continue down this destructive path. Like a woman who leaves an alcoholic and abusive husband until he is sober and has demonstrated change, I am leaving this relationship until you are able to show “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).
I am making a choice to respond—not react—to you. You may choose to not deal with your issues but I will not continue to expose my children or myself to the wake of chaos that follows your lack of self-control.
I am building a boundary. This building is not a wall but a fence. The gate is open for you to come through when you chose.
Of course my great fear, perhaps the greatest fear of anyone who has been in this position is that you will never walk through the gate--that we will never have a relationship--that I won’t know your children and you won’t know mine. Scary as this thought is, I must lean on this quotation, “Sometimes, the hard truth is that they will not talk to you anymore, or they will leave the relationship if they can no longer control you. This is a true risk. God takes this risk every day. He says that he will only do things the right way and that he will not participate in evil. And when people choose their own ways, he lets them go. Sometimes we have to do the same.”
Without malice, without ill-intent you must know that I am letting you go. You are free of your imaginary competition between us. You are free of any social obligations to my family or to me. You are free of having to pretend for my sake--for anyone's sake. You are free to find who you are and how you fit into the world without comparing yourself to me. You are free of any burdens or expectations put on you by me. When it comes to my family and me, you are free!
But know this, I love you. I desire a loving and healthy relationship with you. I want you in my life. I want you to be a member of my blog community. I am crying as I write this. When you are ready, if you are ever ready, I am here. Henceforth the fence will be up but the gate will always be open.
70x7—but with boundaries,
What I think about relationships is that they need boundaries. How do you balance guarding your heart with the need to forgive? Am I right in distancing myself from this relationship?
Advice ladies, advice.