Tag Archives: forgiveness

Some Weeks Just Suck

13 Dec

This time of year can be hard for some.  Holidays are made to be shared with loved ones, but what happens when that loved one is gone?  How do you celebrate when you wife, husband, child, or (fill in the blank) is missing from the party?  Do you put on a smile and fake it till you make it or do you hide out in a dark room and avoid all contact with the outside world?

This week has been really hard for me; December 9th is the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s unexpected death and December 12th is her birthday.  Add to that a 29 week pregnancy doctor’s appointment where I had to drink the nasty Fruit Punch Glucose crap, a weigh-in realizing I have already gained the total weight of my last pregnancy and I still have 11 more weeks to go AND the fact that I got a hair cut that didn’t turn out the way I wanted!  This called for a major pity-party and let me tell you, pity-parties are the best parties I throw.

This week I find myself living in a world of regret.  You see, my mom and I didn’t have the best relationship.  I spent half of my life hating her.  I allowed hurt and anger to boil up inside me and build a wall.  When I was young it was easy to blame everything on her.  Things like “I was just a child…she was the adult…she should have reached out..I did nothing wrong” filled my mind and I found comfort in blaming her.

But then Jesus…

I started to realize that Jesus didn’t die on the cross so I would spend my life hating her.  When he cried out “It is finished” over 2000 years ago what he meant was “Katie.  This ugly bitterness inside you is finished; it’s time to forgive.”  If Jesus could forgive the friends that betrayed him and the people that killed him, I can forgive as well.

It wasn’t easy and it took years.  Romans 12:2 played a big part: Do not be conformed to the image of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  The renewing of MY mind.  Yes, the world told me it was ok to hate her, but Jesus said to renew MY mind…this means I have to take ownership of my thoughts and feelings…gross!  Who wants to do that?  I literally chanted “the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind” every time I felt the ugliness rising up in me.  I had to face that fact that I’m an adult now and if I want things to change, I can’t keep doing the same things.  (Duh, mind blowing I know.)  I had to change my tone of voice, body language and even my posture while talking to her.  I had to realize she did the best she could.

When she died, our relationship wasn’t perfect but it was better than what it previously was.  I look back and get sad for the part I played in the “complicated relationship.”  Nothing is ever 100% someone else’s fault.  We ALL play a part in conflict.  If we want it resolved, we have to do some self reflection, realize our part and change our behavior.  It’s not easy, but necessary if you want change.

If you have some one you need to forgive, let me encourage you to do it!  It will be hard and it won’t be overnight but it’s so worth it.  Don’t spend another day with that wall up, start knocking those bricks out.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

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the 2002 Katie

10 Jun

I turn 31 tomorrow.  I’m not freaking out.  Honestly; I could care less.  I told B all I want is a Big John.  Now, before you people with dirty minds start thinking I’m talking about bone jumping, I’m not.  I’m talking about a delicious, ridiculously big, vegan cookie with chocolate chips and oatmeal..did I mention they’re delicious?  That’s all I want.

I’m reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker.  I’ve mentioned it before; you should read it; it will change your life.  In the chapter about fasting media, she trows in a heartfelt letter to herself back in 2004.  What this has to do with fasting media I still don’t know.  But it has inspired me to do the same.  So here goes.  It’s a letter to me 10 years ago…

Hi Katie, it’s me Katie.  I’m from the future.  You just turned 21 and you’ve only been married barely over 1 year.  I would like to give you some advise but you have a pride issue so I know you’ll get upset and all worked up because you think my advise is really correction and think I’m telling you you’re living your life wrong.  But who cares.  I’m talking to myself so I guess I can tell me you’re stupid and some things need to be changed.  😉

1.  Your husband loves you.  Sure he does some thing you don’t like but instead of constantly fighting over it why don’t you extend grace over him?  Why don’t you talk it out and figure out why he does what he does and love him and support him and encourage him instead of nagging  him and “being a B.”  (For those of you that don’t speak Katie, when I say “being a B” I mean the cuss word that starts with a “b” but this is my way of cussing without actually cussing.)

This would tick me off because at this point I’ve been married over a year and I know all the answers and I don’t need any unsolicited marriage advice; so back off!

2.  That man is not your husband; stop thinking about him.

3.  Go to church.  The God you are ignoring now will grab ahold of you and Brandn and He won’t let go.  You will move to Austin and be part of a church plant and Brandn will be a pastor and learn to play bass and your future kids will be “pastor’s kids.”

Ok, this will crack me up and we will laugh for hours about this one.  We will laugh so hard my abs will hurt for like 3 days afterwards.  I’ll tell Brandn what the future Katie said and he will probably laugh and I’ll start laughing again and my abs will hurt again.

4.   Once you get to Austin, you will want to become a hippie and wear flowy dresses and no make-up everyday.  You will actually be excited to recycle and start running again.

Laughter again because at this point I can’t go anywhere without makeup and the clothes I wear are tight and scream I have boobs.

5.  Cute little Zeppelin will grow up an be huge.  He will attack you and try to eat you, twice.  This will cause you and Brandn to have the biggest fight of your lives and you will seriously think you’re getting divorced; over a DOG!  You will not get divorced.  Zeppelin will live a happy life until that sad day when you put him down.  You will talk a lot of crap about him but you will smile and miss him every time you see a Weimaraner in the future.

6.  Just because you are 21 that doesn’t mean you have to drink.  Put down the 3 Wisemen and drink a glass of water.  All that drink will do is cost way too much money, fill you with empty calories and cause you to puke your guts out.

7.  Just because that person is homeless that doesn’t mean he/she is too lazy to get a job.  They probably get no joy in standing on the corner watching people drive past them with judgmental/accusing eyes.  You won’t give every homeless person money but you will realize they are people too and try to help in your own way.

8.  Forgive her.  She did the best she could.  One day you will finally realize that she loves you and she always has.

This will really piss me off because the 2002 Katie likes to live in a world where I am the victim.  But the truth is I don’t understand the words forgive, mercy and grace.

I think that’s all I would say.  Not as encouraging and guiding as Jen’s letter to herself but hey, she’s a professional writer; I just started this writing thing back in December.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Forgive Them

16 Jan

So last week we started a series at church called 1 Month to Live. We did it last year at our old church in San Angelo and we’re doing it now at Revive; the series is just that good. Ray, the Lead Pastor, and Tony, the Youth Pastor, are tag teaming the series and Tony spoke yesterday. He said something that got me thinking. He said “If you knew you had 30 days left to live, who would you forgive?  Ok.  Then why aren’t you doing it now?”

Why aren’t you doing it now?  Why can’t we forgive?  We say things like “Well you don’t understand, he did this to me” or “I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t deserve that.”  We can’t let stuff go.  We let it fester, and in my opinion, after it festers it becomes way worse than what it originally was.  Jesus didn’t intend for us to live this way.  With one of His last breaths Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”   We have a hard time forgiving people for hurting our feelings or stabbing us in the back yet Jesus forgave the people that crucified Him.  Yeah, I know…He’s Jesus; that’s what He does and we’re all suposed to learn from His life.

We have all been hurt, I know I have.  I spent a long time (almost 10 years) being mad at someone.  I spent years letting something fester and I just couldn’t let it go.  To be honest, it was easier to be mad and blame someone else than it was to be an adult and forgive.  I allowed anger to become my comfort zone.  I have since forgiven this person and now we have reestablished our relationship.

The forgiving process took a long time and sometimes I still struggle with it.  Not because I haven’t completely forgiven but because anger was my attitude for so long that it became a habit, it was what I was used to.  When I felt the anger rising in me I would literally repeat “The renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind, the renewing of my mind” (part of Romans 12:2) over and over and over again in my head.  I would have to force myself to change my attitude, my facial expression and my tone of voice when I was around this person.

We can’t just pray for forgiveness and it magically happens; if it were that easy then we would all do it.  No, forgive takes time and effort.  It has to be something we really want to do and we have to be willing to let go and put our pride and stubbornness aside and allow ourselves to rise up and move forward.

Col 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.