As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning, I saw a post by Proverbs 31 Ministries that spoke perfectly to what we’ve been going through with situations that have hit us in recent months.
This devotional by Lynn Cowell puts what I’ve been saying and feeling so much more succinctly than I have been able to do. Faced with persecution for standing up against sin in the camp at our former church was not easy. We knew it wouldn’t be, but we also knew that we had to do what was right. Sadly, we joined a small multitude of others that had been hurt by this group of people.
The months since have been even harder than we had imagined mainly because people would not leave us alone. As recently as 2 months ago, we were getting phone calls from people asking for the facts.
When scabs are picked at, they don’t heal very quickly.
We have been slandered while others tell people we’re slandering them. Funny thing about slander …according to the definition the accusations must be false in order to be slanderous. In other words:
if it’s true, it’s not slander.
What has happened is unbelievable. In the beginning I was livid! In the beginning I really could not understand how people could not see what was happening. There are times when I’m still shocked that they can’t see the obvious. But for the most part, I realize that it’s much like those that can’t see Jesus. If God chooses to harden hearts and close eyes, there’s nothing apart from the Holy Spirit, we can do to soften hearts and open eyes.
I’ve often asked why? Why would God allow this to happen? Why would he lead us to believe at every turn that he was going to removed this deceitful man? Why would he lead us to believe that this man and his family would get the help they desperately need? Instead allowing the opposite to happen. We were attacked, slandered, lied about, and falsely accused of ugly things.
I would place this situation in the top 3 of the worst things Shane and I (and our family) has had to face in our marriage. However, while it has been horrendous to go through it, it has also been an opportunity to grow in God’s grace.
Obviously, we had something to learn. What? I’m not sure I’ll ever know. Here’s what I do know. We (mainly Shane) did what he was supposed to do. I did some things I shouldn’t have. I repented, and although I never received a response from the emails I sent repenting for my sin, I rest knowing that God has forgiven me.
I know even though there have been moments I’ve wanted to run and hide. Even so, for the most part, I’ve been propelled to Jesus Christ and the Cross. I’ve learned to depend on Him more. I’m learning to surrender my way. Not perfectly, in fact there’s been some kicking and screaming. This is a grieving process and like grief, I’m certain it will take some time before those questions stop coming.
Thankfully, God has raised us up in other areas and we are being used by him to serve people in other places. Though we haven’t placed membership yet, we have found a body of believers that love God and serves people. And we’re healing. Sometimes slower than we wish, but it’s coming.
A friend reminded me yesterday that when Satan attacks that’s a good sign you’re doing something right.
My children have had a much different family life than I had growing up. They have been raised in a home that, although imperfect, VERY imperfect, have parents that loved God and each other. Unfortunately I did not. Someone from my past chastised me the other day for not honoring my “parents.” This person knows little about my life, and quite honestly they have no idea how much I have bent over backwards to honor my mother over the years.
Stating a fact about my mother does not mean I dishonor her. Writing about what I’ve learned from her ugly words does not dishonor her. If I were to lay out the specifics of our relationship, Maury style then yes! That would be dishonoring. but I did not and I will not.
The person that attacked me? I know that their perspective is skewed. It is clouded by their own judgemental attitude and by sitting under a pastor that has pontificated his own doctrine of legalism instead of the Gospel for many years. I guess that’s another unanswered question. How and why did God allow us to escape?
Once again, my heart aches because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being further damaged My heart aches because those who once were friends are so blind they lash out to protect their circle instead of seeing the truth. My heart aches because I fear that instead of hearing “well done” they will hear “depart from me” one day. Oh Lord have mercy! Open the eyes of the blind to see! Allow your Holy Spirit to work in their hearts!
In His Grace,