Monday, March 19, 2012

About Forgiveness...

This blog has become one of my giants lately!  Trying to keep up with everything of late has become difficult to stay the least.  In my head, I just keep thinking, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" I try to keep my head above water over here!  Life is just busy.  Nothing really special or different going on, just busy.  Todd has been busy, which is fabulous.  We even managed to get a lease on our old Peoria location, after the owners of Allen Funeral Home let it go into default. The landlord called Todd, and asked if he wanted to go back in, knowing that we too haven't been able to collect money these people owe us.  So next month we will be opening a Legacy west location! It's funny how the Lord blesses you in ways you couldn't even think of!  Now, to try to get the Mesa location back...I have a feeling that will be a longer road, since these people are actually suing US now, for breach of contract on the non-compete (are you kidding me?).  It's not enough that they didn't pay us almost a million dollars, and we went without income for almost 2 years during litigation, they are suing US for damages, saying that Todd going back to work is causing them to lose business.  Whatever.  If you've ever thought of suing someone, even if you're in the right--think again.  What a nightmare.  The justice system is so screwed up, it barely matters if you're right or wrong.  All that matters is who has money, and who has a better lawyer.  Not only that, but we are going to be 2 years into this lawsuit before we will even see the inside of a courtroom, and that trial could drag on another year or two.  Had I known, we may have just let it go.  Honestly, I don't think we will ever see a penny from either of these jerks, but at this point, we don't have a choice in the matter, since we are stuck defending ourselves.  Can you believe this thing could end up with US owing THEM money for their trouble?  Talk about one screwed up system!  I do feel like we are still fighting on the right side, and most importantly, I feel that the Lord knows our struggles and will bless us, even if it is in ways we can't imagine now.  If we are patient, we will come out of this stronger, and more faithful than ever.

Speaking of faith, and patience, I read a book this weekend, called "The Hiding Place", about Corrie Ten Boom, and her experience in a concentration camp during WWII.  It was fabulous, and such an inspiration to me during this time in my life.  Sometimes, when we are keeping the commandments, and doing what we think is God's will, it is hard to accept the chastening and tribulation that comes into our lives.  During this time, I have felt that God has left me, that He doesn't understand or care about my suffering.  But this woman, who went through Hell and back, always found a way to see God working in her life.  She always found a way to love and not hate, to be grateful for even the smallest of blessings.  When we have trials, it is always easier to feel bitter, or spiteful, the challenge in those times is to look for the tender mercies, the small blessings that the Lord gives us.  Most importantly, to have faith in His plan, in His timing.  One of the quotes I loved, was: 
“There are no 'ifs' in God's Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will! Don't let me go mad by poking about outside it.”
The other thing I learned from her, was that forgiveness is necessary in order to fully and completely heal our hearts.  After the war, she contacted soldiers, who had tortured her, people who had starved her, and left her sister and father for dead, and extended a hand of forgiveness.  Here is how she related one of those experiences when a soldier approached her after a speaking event:
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
What an amazing person, so Christlike.  Although it took a few years, she was able to forgive, and her heart was healed.  Here is another quote that touched me:
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”   
Although I am still bitter and angry about what these men did to us, I know at some point I am going to have to come to the point where I can forgive them.  Talk about facing your Giants, this is surely one of those giants in my life. What I decided to do for now, is to include them in my prayers, and to ask Jesus Christ to soften my heart toward these two men.  Someday, I hope to be able to look them in the eye, and feel forgiveness in my heart, and a Christlike love for them like Corrie ten Boom did.  She is an amazing example of someone who not only professed to be a follower of the Savior, but she actually loved Him enough to LIVE his teachings. Even though my trials are minuscule in comparison to hers, the temptation is still there, to hold a grudge, to be bitter and angry, and that is not the person I want to be.  This book taught me that.

If you want to read an excellent book, that will leave you feeling amazed at the human spirit, and God's love for you, read this book.  Get a tissue, though, you will not believe the things that humans could do to each other.  It will make you cry...and then smile, when you realize that, “There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still.” Corrie ten Boom

1 comment:

Jeni said...

Great post Tami! I'll have to read that book, sounds very insightful.

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