I read her words, sensing her heart and feeling her struggle as if it were mine. Different circumstances, but instantly I identified with the feelings she faced from being misunderstood. One person’s opinion led others to inaccurate assumptions about her intentions.
It’s hard when a safe haven becomes a risky place. Like a thick fog, it can be difficult to see past false impressions we feel viewed by.
Though my friend felt broken, she remained determined not to ingest a bite of bitterness. And I whisper, me too Lord, me too. Because the only escape from resentment’s trap comes through the choice to release all charges, relinquish every complaint and renounce whatever record of wrongs we might be inclined to keep or repeat, completely, unreservedly over to God.
We can’t control the assumptions others assign to us, but we always have a choice. And one way or another, growth will occur. We will blossom and flourish from this mud and manure, or grow bitter and faint from its odor.
So how do we grow mighty roots of strength and not malice ones of spite?
Forgiveness allows the dung dumped, to become a fragrant aroma lifted. Though I wouldn’t choose this way for growth, I’ve discovered the very injury which wounded, can emerge as an invitation to impart wisdom and healing.
Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart. Proverbs 20:30
A blow that heals and cleanses? A tough scripture to swallow and a challenging one to follow. Yet, I’m thankful God drew me to this verse in the past, to help me through a valley in the present. Because how I handle hurts and react to wrongs, will either prevent mending and keep me stuck, or my responses will promote healing and propel my growth.