I am not angry anymore, nor am I hurt or sad. I mostly feel sorry.
This thing has been festering for months, expectations were never met and the accusations were tough. The bottom line was always, "They just don't get it." And at some point I realized that it's not me, it's them - They just don't get it! No time spent was ever enough, no conversation today could make up for a missed one yesterday. No sacrifice on my behalf for them would make them feel loved because there was always something more I needed to do; hoops to jump through - and I realized it's impossible to live a life I can be proud of trapped in the confines of someone else's expectation. I also realized I don't want my kids to see that kind of expectation, that's not love and it's sure not family... But sometimes that's what family turns into.. And the guilt follows. Oh the guilt...
So exhausting... a revolution on the time wheel which repeats history. These struggles we have with these people can almost be measured on a calendar... As we get closer to specific dates the struggles begin all over again.
But guess what?!? I can only do what I can do.
I am sad, for them.
It's been a while since we've spoke, it's easier sometimes to just remove from a situation like this.
You've read before the things I write regarding the Spirit, the still soft voice which speaks directly to your heart. And when you've asked for direction and clarity... And it comes in the format you weren't expecting... His direction is sometimes hard to take.
I really feel like they will never understand the reasons why we have decided on the life we have. They don't understand the choices we have made as a family for kids and each other. There is a spiritual war that is waged on us daily that we have to defend.... And defend we will.
So. When the Spirit wants me to reach out against ALL my better judgement and asks me to invite the hardest to communicate with to coffee... I do the very thing I can do to preserve myself and I ignore it. The nudging within my being only gets louder. Still ignored...
For weeks... Ignored...
I've listened to other promptings this week with good results... So I cave in and I do not call for the coffee date instead I seek the conversation a little less scary and it goes well. I am not entirely covinced a coffee date would be a good idea. Even still, I know I don't go in alone... I know God goes before me in all things, He knows I struggle here. I did choose today to bridge a gap and reach out with some fresh almost-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies. I delivered them...
Today's sermon at church was on not conforming to the ideals, things and molds of this world in this time. There are too many ways to stray away from God and among the many take aways from today's message was the thought to ask first, "is this Godly" and "does this follow God's instruction manual?" .
I can share that I am glad I went to see them. I am glad I hugged them and extended an offering, crossing the really rugged terrain of minefields we left the last time we came together.
This time I wasn't heated with anger and sadness, I didn't let sin get the upper hand. I came to be who I am when I am not backed into a corner fighting for the foundation of my spirit like last time. I spoke differently and while there were severe disappointments this time, while there was still the cutting comments, I left with a sadness for them rather than hurt for myself.
They lined my kids pockets with money and things... They were pleased when my son asked if they were rich... When in fact this just showed me again where they place their priorities. We don't love with things or money, period.
We love because He first loved us - and that's all there is to it.
I will wait for the coffee prompting again, j will likely follow that lead.. And in the meantime I will pray.
It's true what is said, "you cannot pick your family", for sure these were placed in my life for a reason. I know they have helped form the person I am, during the good and bad times; while I don't yet know where we will go from here... I know all things are possible through God who stengethens me... Which means I get to hope.