This is a picture of one shelf at my grandmother's farm house- it has over 100 years of bibles on it, in three different languages, and it is absolutely amazing to touch these books, close your eyes, and open your heart to the spirituality and faith involved.
I've been very honest and opened about a lot of my struggles, and as I left work today, I had a sign- literal sign- that helped to point me towards where my path is going to take me next. It was a sign for an AM Catholic radio station, and I was brought right back to PLU days & listening to recordings of Catholic radio that a certain friend would bring back. (This is the one that crushed my soul by renouncing our friendship, calling it a false friendship of convenience) I realized quite a few things in a matter of seconds- I realized that I am not as bitter as I used to be, because I could actually say his name without cringing, crying, or swearing; I realized that I need to make an effort to find a faith community; I realized that a major healing point for me, and a huge hurdle that I need to work to overcome in my faith struggles involves actually forgiving him for the hurt that he caused me.
Holding on to anger and pain is never healthy. I don't know that I've been holding on to it, necessarily, but I do know that I had to acknowledge the pain I have felt for the last 3-4 years. I do know that it's sometimes okay to take those broken pieces of faith, trust, friendship- everything I used to believe in, take those broken pieces of who I used to be and hold them close to my "self".
Healing takes time. I'm ready to not hurt anymore. I'm ready to welcome God back into my life, 100%, and not put a protective shield around any part of me, because I can see, now, that what this friend did was not of God. It was nothing God would ever want him to do! And really, my first step in moving foward with this realization is praying for him.
How does this all come back to the century of bibles? Amazing leaps of faith. The oldest books came over from Europe in the beginning of the 20th century. That faith helped to build a strong and loving family, and while the bitterness and pain I've felt towards that friend and even God, at times, has nothing to do directly with my family, I feel like I'm cheating everyone who's lives I touch by not opening my heart to God.
I am ready to take the risk of loving for God again. I am ready to fall back into step on my path, and I am ready to add my bible to the shelf that holds over 100 years of faith.
Oh, my Lord,
Please hold me close and bring comfort as I take a terrifying step towards you. I yearn to feel You in my life again, and I cannot feel You fully if I am guarding my heart against Love.
Please help me to forgive my friend, for I know You have used him to do your work, and I know he wants You to use him still. I can see, now, that his actions over the last few years were of his own free will, and I pray that you help him to see the error in his ways. I don't pray for selfish reasons- I don't know that I am ready to have him back in my life- but I do pray that he never feel he is justified in treating or talking to anyone that way ever again.
Please guide me to a faith community that will embrace and support me, a faith community in which I can do Your will.
Please help me to open myself again, I am tired of being closed off to You.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,