First, I would like to apologize that my "Beautiful Thrifty" blog has mostly turned into Spiritual Sundays posts. To be honest, they're my favorite to do, but I promise I won't let you down on the rest of the beautiful and the thrifty, because I love that too. I am still coming out of my first trimester so the motivation for thriftiness has been overtaken by the need for REST! But never fear- I have a few treats in store for you this week. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
Last week I wrote about the fruits of my newfound scripture study/personal morning devotional time, and I remain grateful for the things I learned, but as I continued with it this week, it took on a whole new meaning as I faced a serious trial on Thursday.
To protect everyone involved, I won't go into details, but let me just say that a good friend did something, purely by accident, that was very hurtful to me, and pretty shocking as well. She felt absolutely horrendous about it, and I know that she did, but I was so hurt and upset by what she had done, that it took me some time to work out my feelings and think through how I would handle it. Luckily (well, we know it wasn't luck) one of the first things that came into my mind as I began to attempt the process of forgiveness was a scripture I'd read the week before (that I'd mentioned in my last post)- Matthew 7:1-2:
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
I pondered that scripture, and I began to think about how I would feel if I was my friend and had made such a mistake. I hope and pray that I never do, but our lives are full of uncertainty- what if I somewhere along the line I really screw up? Would I want to be cut off as a friend and never trusted again? I knew the answer was no. And I knew that the Lord was watching, and He would be paying very close attention to how I handled the situation, because sometime in the future I may be handed the same judgment as I gave my friend.
I also took some time to reflect on the Atonement, and on the book, The Peacemaker, which taught me so much about forgiveness and the way the Atonement works in our lives. I knew that Christ has already suffered for my friend- for her sin, and for her pain and guilt. I knew that He had suffered for me- for my anger against her, and for the pain her mistake caused me. To not forgive her would be to reject His suffering, and tell Him that it wasn't enough, because I would be holding on to my anger that He had already paid for and blaming her for something He had already erased. I know through my faith that He can restore and make whole any wrong that anyone ever commits against me. And I know that He loves her, and that He feels her pain as well. He doesn't want her to suffer, nor does He want me to suffer.
Armed with my faith in those things, I knew that forgiveness was essential, and that we could heal our friendship. I wrote my friend a letter, in which I expressed my feelings and extended forgiveness. I think it may take her more time to recover because of the guilt she felt, but I just hope that we can meet halfway and both begin to allow Christ to heal our hearts. She is special to me, and I do not want to lose her friendship. I hope that she believes that.
Back to my scripture study- as I looked over my study notes from the past few weeks, nearly everything I had written down became a strength to me in this trial. I had thought that my notes were little solutions to little problems- little did I realize that they were all merely small parts to a big solution to a bigger problem. The Lord had had me in training for this for 2 weeks and I never even knew. He knew the test I would face and He made sure He gave me the study materials I needed to pass it. Not that I've necessarily passed it yet, I think that really it's ongoing. Luckily, thanks to the gift of the scriptures, it's open-book, and every answer I will ever need can be found within His Word.
If you haven't picked up your scriptures in awhile, and a little voice is telling you to start, now would be the time. You never know when you might need the strength that they will bring!