Different Blessings…

June 19, 2011

Dear God,

This is hard.  It’s hard to be so much in need all the time.  It’s hard to see others with so much and have to continually battle envy.  It’s hard not to resent the “haves” and not cry about being a “have not.”

But then I stop.

I’m not a “have not,” I’m a “have less” with different blessings.  I have 2 children I love and who love me.  I have many REAL friends.  I have a great family, and I have had your presence to sustain me, Lord.

Help me to want less, Lord.

Help me to envy less and thank you more.

Help me to worry less about what I “have not” and be truly grateful for what I have.

Amen…

 

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I thought forgiveness meant that I wouldn’t feel the hurt anymore.  I thought it meant the pain would be gone.  It thought that letting go meant that the negative feelings wouldn’t come back to haunt me, or that I wouldn’t feel that choking anger anymore.  I thought everything would get easier once I forgave.

 I begged God to help me let it go once-and-for-all.  I wanted the pain to be done, the memories to be purged, the anger to stop.

I thought there was something wrong with me because forgiving wasn’t working.  I didn’t know what forgiveness looked like.  I kept asking, praying and searching for it, but apparently I was just supposed to do it.  People would tell me, “well, you just have to forgive.”  I kept asking ‘what does forgiveness look like?”  Being very visual, I guess I needed someone to draw me a picture.

 I kept asking God to help me to let it go and to forgive.  When I would get upset again, or the bad feelings would claw at me I would think “well, I guess I never forgave like I thought I had.” 

 Thanks to Mark Gungor at Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI for his blog post entitled “What Is Forgiveness?”  I got the picture drawn for me at last.  It was the answer I had been looking for when I asked the question all this time.  The anger coming back didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  The sadness threatening me didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  Of course I was going to get mad all over again over new transgressions – it didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven – it just meant that I needed to forgive again.  Mark gave me the action plan toward forgiveness that I needed. 

Forgiveness is now an actionable plan for me.  It is a plan to give the pain to God every time it comes to me.  It is a plan to hand over every negative thought when it comes to me. 

 Forgiveness doesn’t always just divinely come over us one day

and the pain will be gone.

A lot of the time it takes more work.

I have to keep forgiving.  As many times a day as those hurtful transgressions come back into my mind they have to be given up to God.  And again.  And again.  And again.  

Just like God forgives me.  Again.  And again.  And again.

 

prayerThis is a prayer I have had forever and I just love what it has to say.  On hard days it has always helped.  I hope it helps you, too.  It is by Paul Geres from the book “Prayers For Impossible Days.”

Lord, when I woke up this morning, I said to myself that this would be a day just like every other day.

And it was.

I took the same subway as every morning, I read the same comments in the paper on an international situation which never changes.

I went up the same staircase as usual, and on my desk I found the same piles of papers to go through – papers which have been exaxtly the same for almost ten years.

The janitor was the same and so was the personnel director.  They looked like they usually do; they had that blank expression which says that nothing new is going to happen today.

For lunch I had the same old thing to eat.  It was Monday.  I went back to my desk until five o’clock.  And I just came home knowing full well that tomorrow it will start all over again.

God, I’m tired of it all.

I had hoped for something completely different.  I had dreamed that someday I would lead an active and exciting life.  That was a dream.  Yet it can be painful to wake up from a dream.

I’ll never be anything but what I am.

I know that some people would be happy in my situation.  True.  But that doesn’t help my fatigue and boredom.

Lord, let me talk to you tonight about my fatigue, about my desire to get away from here.  To whom can I speak about this, if not to you?

Nobody understands.  They say: “What is he complaining about?”  And perhaps they are right.  It’s only normal that you do your job.

Therefore I shall talk about it only with you.

Don’t change anything.  My life doesn’t have to change.  I must change.

Lord, help me to think less about myself.

Help me to see that there are other people besides myself.  For whom today is just like every other day.

It is a great example of learning to get over yourself and think about others.  It is about making things better by adjusting your thinking instead of jumping jobs, houses or life partners just because you are bored. 

But most of all it is taking your discouragement to the Lord and letting him whisper to you what needs to change.

A Morning Offering

April 10, 2009

My God, I offer you today

My life and all its care.

Keep me from sin till evening comes

Help me my cross to bear.

My day is long, my work is hard

My life seems all awry.

I have no time to think or pray

And the years pass swiftly by.

O God, accept my work today

I do it all for You.

‘Tis badly done- complainingly-

But the best that I can do.

And you are kind and gentle, Lord,

And the faults You will not see.

Such as it is, my life anew,

I dedicate to Thee.

 – Rev. Thomas Foy

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