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Part 2: Let Death Seize Them
Greetings! Scroll down for Part 1 if your missed it. When we left off, I asked a question to help you identify the subtle desire for revenge. The subtle desire for revenge will seek expression. Left unidentified it is likley to gain momentum and cause a lot of damage when you least expect it. If you read my blog regualary, you do not deserve the destruction that darkness is hell-bent on bringing. (I imagine you've been through enough already or you wouldn't be here.)
So what do we do with this desire--that so rarely disapates in a single-prayer filled bound? How can we submit [it] to Light? The process begins with validation. God knows what's happened to you, and He cares. This Advent season when our hearts our focused on the coming Christ, let's welcome His presence in the desires of our souls, too. Let's be assured that if in the midst of multi-colored lights we can only see RED, He will meet us right where we are. He will love us away from the path of destruction and toward one that is life-giving. If only we will communicate with Him the way King David did in a story found in the Old Testament:
Psalm 55: King David is sand-bagged by his closest friend.
King David to God: For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintacne. We took sweet counsel together and walked to the house of God in the throng.
Next, he tells God how he really feels.
"Let death seize them; let them go down alive into hell for wickedness is in their dwellings and among them" (Psalm 55:15)
Who knew the angry retort "go to hell" originated with a man desribed in Sacred Scripture as "a man after God's own heart." Oh, to be human after-all. Turns out, this was not his only desire.
"As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me."
What I love so much about this is that he opened his heart to God. And not everything in there was clean and pretty. It hurts to be betrayed by someone with whom we share no personal attachments, but a close friend is another matter altogether. It's particulary painful--painful enough to spark a desire for revenge.
King David offered it all. He cried out in the eveing, morning, and at noon. He had mulitple conversations with God about the betrayal he'd endured. And confessed even the darkest of his soul's desire. Clearly, passions are high when you ask God to burn your enemies alive. He didn't merely want them to die. He wanted them to suffer intense pain unto their last breath.
What can we learn from this? Even for a king, forgiveness takes time.
"Although the psalmist requests some due punishment for his enemies his tone is one of deference to God, who is always just." This is a winning combination that's served me well over the years.
(ref. CCC 271, 1991)
I encourage you to mediate on this. Talk to God. Journal your thought if you're not comfortable speaking directly to Him. I'll be back with a personal story next week. In 2013, when my marriage went up in flames, I experienced a seemingly endless stretch of time where the desire for revenge burned so hot it's a wonder I wasn't reduced to volcanic ash. Christ met me there and then led me back to wholeness. He didn't scold me for intense emotion. Meet me back here next week.
We get better together!
Published on Thursday, December 6, 2018 @ 10:00 AM CDT
It's the eve of December 1st; 5:55 p.m. to be exact. 'Just got in. I've fed my dog, and now I'm enjoying a cold beer as I wait for her eleven-year-old tummy to digest her dinner. (I can't have my best friend cramping up on her one-mile-walk-jog to canine happiness.) I, on the other hand, will risk it.
This month, I'm compelled to talk about revenge. Why?
Now is as good a time as any to spend the next few weeks unwrapping revenge and man's natural desire for it. Take heart, there's a gift in the center. Like Blow Pops. Those suckers from the 70's with gum in the middle. Wait for it . . . by the end of this series you'll know how sweet it is to fully submit the desire for revenge to Christ.
1. the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
2. inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to (someone else).
We begin with a story.
Memorial Day weekend, the year of our Lord 2000. Somehow the betrayal had mutated into an anniversary date. Don't [they] always? Like clockwork, I could recall what I said, what he said, and what the police said as they ticketed me for the swings I took at the father of my child when I discovered him with another woman.
I could even recall what I was wearing right down to the color of my undies. For years, I feared I was the only woman this neurotic until a girlfriend gave me a book titled: Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Touché.
Five years later, buried beneath a forgiveness prayer that never took, I remained hell-bent on making him pay for it. Here's why:
In all that time, I was never convinced that he felt as badly about it as I did, which was all the motivation my broken heart needed to bring it up again, and again, and again. If you've been betrayed, you'll get this. I just know you will. There was a particular look in his eyes that I longed to see. A look of genuine sorrow coupled with an empathetic acknowledgment that he understood how much he'd hurt and humiliated me. And is a girl shooting for the moon is she desires a little respect from that day forward? I don't think so, and neither does God.
So, now you know . . . I know how [it] feels. And I know the steady disappointment of suspecting [his] only real regret is being found out. (An unfortunate scenario that repeated over the years.)
In all my longing and subsequent fury, I couldn't see that I lacked respect for myself. I didn't value me, a blindness that shined brightly through my relationship choices. .
This month, I'll share personal stories with what I learned the hard way, and then challenge you to peer inside your own heart in the presence of God--who only wants what is best for you.
A wise woman once said to me, "Wendy, I'll give you twenty minutes to talk about [him]. I know you need to, but after that, we're talking about you and God. Because we can talk about what he did to you all day, but it isn't going to bring you closer to the truth."
Something to consider:
Beneath all the bullshit, you are valuable. If you'll take the time to engage with God and embrace the value He reveals, you will learn things about yourself and the nature of God that will truly set you free. Free.
Freedom always begins with the truth. If you need to express your pain--you need to express your pain. Respect this about the process. Journal. Find a safe and healthy friend to listen. Enlist the aid of a professional counselor. AND then be willing to identify behavioral/relationship patterns that are in direct opposition of your personal worth and what you tell yourself you want.
We do not have the power to change another person's behavior. We can only change our own.
True or false?
I find snarky ways to form my words in the hopes that he/she will finally feel as badly about [it] as I think he/she should.
Journal your thoughts. Meet me back here next Tuesday!
We get better together!
Published on Friday, November 30, 2018 @ 7:31 PM CDT