The other night I attended my first Pure Romance party in a number of years, and first one as a single so that means it has been quite some time. The party was my daughter’s launch party and let me assure you that with me, her aunt, her cousins, a coworker and her best friend there…awkward was the word of the evening! BUT it was great fun and I hope she did well on her sales. 🙂 She is a natural for the whole party plan thing.
I am here to tell you that some of those ‘toys’ are scary looking to me. More like something you might mix cookie dough with! And the names just cracked me up! I’ll leave it at that.
You know those crazy body wrap things? Yep, I signed on to sell them. I kept seeing the before/after photos and when someone I know and trust very much, contacted me about them I jumped on board. I know, I might need a direct sales intervention team to get between me and the recruiters.
The message in church today was fantastic, so powerful and timely as always. Sure, you can call it coincidence if you like, but I really feel God is trying hard to get to me of late with a message to love a particular ‘enemy’. Numerous verses have kept flooding my mind over and over again, and then one came up in the message today in church.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Emphasis mine to help you see where this was hitting me.
These have played out over and over in my mind each time I have an unkind thought or desire toward this person. It is SO hard sometimes. In my heart of hearts, I still love this individual, and would be happy to see her if she showed up at the door. But then my feelings of hurt and betrayal at her hands surface and I want to lash out as I have in the past and poke the bear, make her angry, anything to repay what I feel was evil toward me. Oh I have done it in the past, lashed out on my blog viciously and then removed the posts because I knew it was wrong.
I recently stumbled on her blog, it has only 4 posts and was from 4 years ago. But even from that far back her words cut deeply. She says she made it to claim an ID she feels attached too, her nickname. It is puzzling to me that she feels attached to her nickname, because a dear friend gave it to her (though for years she claimed her husband called her that), yet she doesn’t seem to grasp that my own nickname is is dear to me, as my entire family and every friend I had has always called me that, and I’m called the same nickname as my mother. Mine is life long and my name thank you, not a cheesy nickname someone dubbed me along the way. The funny part is she insists on referring to me as Martha, as if that would bother me. Mom is also Martha, and her mom. The name is one that is honorable so it doesn’t bother me at all. And it is the name my grandfather called me, Martha Marie, and he is the greatest man I’ve ever known. I was his first grandchild, born on his birthday, we were extremely close until he died when I was in my 30’s. Suddenly her birthday means something because she now says she was born on her grandfather’s birthday and was special to him?? First anyone I talked to knew of it. But ironic that we both share that reason for our special days being more precious.
I have prayed for her, but then I lapse again. Usually because something will come up and remind me of a reason to dislike her. I don’t recall the same friendship she does, my memories are far more full of laughter, shared tears (in particular one night when she and her hubby got in a really nasty fight at a bar and she sat in our hot tub with me crying while my husband was out trying to find her’s), and a violet plant she brought me one night, again in tears, to my home to try to make up because we were at odds. I’m not the brightest bulb in the box, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t make that kind of effort to mend a friendship that really wasn’t one.
Anyway, off the hijacking of my own point and back on track here, I struggle against the Lord often when He points me to do things that my human, sinful side doesn’t want too do. So after finding that blog I wanted to be vengeful and go and purchase the URL that contained her beloved nickname, in all 4 or more forms (.com, .net etc) so that if she went to do so one day she’d discover them taken, and when she looked up the owner, it would be me. I was even going to point them all to my blog. Not real nice of me I know. I even mentioned it to a few folks who still have knives in their backs from her, and they then offered to split the costs with me. Forgive me, friends, it was not a good thing for me to consider, let alone mention to you and cause you all to stumble with me.
God had other plans and our conversation went like so:
“But Father, I loved her like a sister, and she is so hateful! I didn’t do anything to her to deserve the way she treated me!”
Love your enemy, pray for her
“BUT GOD she is awful! She struts around her swinger parties in her 8 inch heels, having sex with every man around her! She is married, and has the nerve to call herself a Christian! She is mean, nasty, hateful toward people, she cannot possibly be a believer and follower of Christ and be that way!”
You don’t know her heart. Love your enemy. Bless her, do not curse her.
“I have tried several times to reach out, apologize, fix what is broken. She doesn’t deserve my prayers for her!”
70 x 7, forgive her, pray for her, bless her. As much as it is up to you, be at peace with her. You are responsible only for you and your actions. She is responsible for her actions. You are in a different place in your journey with Me. Her journey is not your concern. You do not always act like the child of mine, a daughter of the Most High, yet you are loved by Me. Love her, pray for her, bless her and do good to her.
So, again I will find my knees tonight, lift her up, her family, her heart and pray for all manner of good things to come her way.
I’ve ordered a new Threads Of Hope Bracelet, which I will wear to remind me daily to pray for her, and only good things for her. I have one on my ankle already, after donating to a particular cause it was sent to me as a gift, so it is there to remind me to pray for the hands that made it. They tie on so they don’t come off. It has been there now for months. This one when it comes will be the same, tied on not to come off, where I will see it and remember each time to lift her up. I know there are those who will tell me I am wasting my time, asking for further hurt to come my way, but she is always on my heart and I just don’t ignore what I feel comes from God to do. When someone is placed on my heart then I pray for them. That is one burden that never seems to leave me so there must be a reason He wants me to focus on her.
Okay, on to the green tea to cleanse the toxins from my physical body. Over ice, with lemon juice (the stuff really has no flavor otherwise) and some laundry and reading before heading to bed.