September 15, 2011

A Fair Exchange

I had been slighted, forgotten, ignored. Their words had left me feeling unimportant and invisible; their actions had left me feeling rejected and inconsequential. I had been overlooked and it hurt. It broke my heart because I thought I could trust them. I thought they loved me and I knew I loved them. We were friends, after all. Close friends.
I sat in my bathroom, tears pouring down my face, wondering if it was worth bringing it up to them. Did they even notice? Would they think I was being oversensitive and dramatic? Would they apologize in true surprise or would they dismiss me as exaggerating? I was afraid of the confrontation because I was feeling raw and insecure about our friendship as it was.
So I let liquid disappointment pour out from my soul and my first attempt at reaching up to the Lord was a tirade of accusations towards my offenders. I ranted about their insensitivity and their lack of understanding. I raged about the unfairness of the situation and I bemoaned my own thin skin and my sensitive nature. I was angry and I was broken-hearted and I wanted his audience and his sympathy.
I wanted to hear God say that I should approach them to let them know in no uncertain terms how they had made me feel. I wanted to hear that I was right, that I deserved an apology, and that I was justified in demanding one. That He would be my avenger and my shield bearer.
But He didn’t. And I should have known. 
The One who had been slighted, rejected, and broken in worse ways than I could even imagine, who did not defend himself, who was quiet and gentle like a lamb led to the slaughter had these words for me:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light (Matthew 11:28-29).

And slowly, very slowly, as my soul began to settle, I began to understand. He wanted me to leave on the altar of that bathroom the heavy burdens under which I was collapsing: my pain and my disappointment, my injured pride and my self-righteousness, my unforgiving spirit and my need for restitution, my insecurity and my need for recognition, my self-pity and my indignation, my frustration and my anger, my requirement for fairness and even my desire for an apology.

He was asking me to let it go for the sake of the relationship.

In exchange for the sacrifice He was offering another yoke. A much lighter yoke. A yoke I would not carry alone and that would not bend my heart over with its weight: forgiveness and compassion, peace and joy, service and a worth found in Christ, understanding and mercy, hope and trust, and love.

I unloaded my heart that day before Jesus and I walked away from the pain. I let it go. And the next time I saw them, I hugged them, and laughed with them, and I joyfully prayed for their needs.

And, as He promised, my soul truly did find rest.

* Joining today with Emily at Imperfect Prose *


Aritha said...

It's hard ... but possible, when we trust in the Lord. Thank you for this blog. I read and learn.

Bird said...

Beautiful Gaby. It's a difficult concept but also one that provides relief. We don't have to "fix" everything or set everyone straight. We can get peace from our father and trust that he will resolve the thing that hurt so much. What a merciful savior.

Nancy said...

I think the real beauty in this post is that Christ invites us to unload all our disappointments and hurts on Him. They don't surprise Him and He, the wounded healer, is the only One who can bind up our wounded places. We can't do it on our own.

Robin Kramer said...

Beautiful, as always.

Kathleen T. Jaeger said... you been at my house today? I finally posted and came over here to send you a note because you are hanging with me and my infrequent posts. And here you are posting with how my heart is feeling today -- liquid disappointment!! You have put words into all that I am feeling today. I want to be at where it is more fully resolved, too.

Thanks Gaby for the comment today and for this post.

Mommy Emily said...

i love this redemptive journey, friend. beautiful.

Christy said...

This puts me in mind of a verse that has helped me in these situations: "...who, when reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." I Peter 2:23

Wait a minute...didn't you do that on my blog today? :) Thank you for this post, friend, I have been there too!

Debbie said...

Funny, I immediately thought about that verse when I saw your title. I have been in your shoes... in your bathroom. I love this post, and you are right that it's VERY hard but the yoke really is easy in exchange.

Jennifer said...

I love your word choice, Gaby. 'Liquid disappointment' and that 'altar' in your bathroom. I learned from you today. I can easily forgive...except in those times when someone doesn't apologize. I like the idea of giving my hurt to God, acknowledging that I'm upset and letting Him deal with it. Normally, I pray to get over it or to be able to forgive, but you made me realize that it's okay to acknowledge my disappointment to Him and let Him heal me.

E said...

Your words are so beautiful and true. Thank you for sharing your heart. So inspiring

Unknown said...

Amazing one restores quite like Him.