If I hadn’t said it outright in this blog before, let me just say that I am a Christian. Not surprising coming from a 20-something American woman from a southern state. The point is when I decided that I wanted to move to Uruguay I convinced myself—more like lied—that I would do so to do missionary work. But I haven’t done an inch/ounce/gram of missions work. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t found my calling or maybe I haven’t heard it yet. Or maybe I’ve been running away from it.
I love my God. I love my Jesus. I am not ashamed of my beliefs. I have found a church I feel comfortable with. I have found friends within that church that accept me and don’t expect anything more from me than just my company. But I’ve found myself unraveling in my relationship with Christ. For awhile I was closer to God than I had ever been, but the past few months I have let my personal darkness seep into my relationship with Him. I’ve slowly gotten quick to anger, lost any patience I may have previously possessed, and have been retreating from friendships new and old.
I like to joke that my quickness to anger has something to do with my fiery Cuban blood but in all honesty my rage is my biggest stumbling block. Specifically my revulsion towards my brother in law. To say we have a tumultuous relationship would be an understatement. You would think that us living over 3,000 miles away from each other we would be able to forget the other exists but that’s unrealistic. I’ll spare you the gory details which span the eight years of my relationship with Carlos, just know that my brother-in-law and I are sworn enemies.
Some people may say that our signs don’t mix, a select few would tell me to cuss him out, and others would tell me to accept things as they are and move on. Seeing how I don’t believe in Zodiac signs and my inability to keep calm when expressing my emotions to others, I find myself immersed in my total distaste and distrust of him whenever the opportunity presents itself. The past few months those opportunities have been creeping up left and right. I have regrettably wasted time spewing obscenities about my brother in law any chance I’ve gotten to anyone that will listen. I have allowed my opinion of his unfavorable character permeate through my household, my marriage, and most importantly my relationship with God.
My husband obviously takes no stance on the issue, always saying, “He’s my brother. What can I do?” The worldly woman in me says, “Disown him. Ignore him. Hate him.” But the godly woman I’ve been suppressing has been telling me one word: FORGIVE.
forgive: verb; stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
The first thought that comes to my mind is simple. “I don’t want to.” But then during my more pensive moments I think, “I don’t know how to.” How can I forgive someone who doesn’t feel like they’ve committed an error? How can I forgive someone who isn’t willing to change or make an effort? How can I stop feeling angry for someones offenses and flaws? And then I got slapped with the truth. I got slapped with MY truth.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. —Colossians 3:13
Forgive. Forgive as we are forgiven. For me, the base of my religion is built on that one word. Forgive because you are loved. In my religion forgiveness and love are synonymous. No matter all the rotten things my brother in law has brought into my marriage, no matter how I feel toward him as a person, my main job in this life is to love thus forgiving him whether or not he asks for forgiveness. Forgive because it is my role. Forgive because I was forgiven.
I’m struggling in my relationship with God because I can’t do what He did for me. And I cry. I feel myself chipping away, allowing myself be consumed by my inner darkness. I’ve stopped reading my Bible. I don’t listen to worship music as often. I find myself indulging in secular things more and more. Finding it easier to crave a world I have never wanted to be a part of.
Writing this post was my first step in closing the door to the anger I feel. I can’t hide behind false ignorance anymore. I need to be deliberate in my seeking Gods face again. I desperately hope to move past this rage. I pray that God move me. I pray that God work in me. I pray that God change ME.
I hope that what follows this post is a road to forgiveness so that I can finally start running toward whatever my calling may be in Uruguay.