Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Yesterday Kaje and I went to Stake Conference. It's a big church meeting with all the local congregations. Liv was sick and the Double B did his manly duty and stayed home with her. I will say, I find that aspect of my husband quite romantic. He takes it as his responsibility to take care of anything needed at home so I can go to all my meetings. I know, I know. Very admirable. But yesterday seated on that hard metal chair for two hours -- my pregnant bum just couldn't take it. It was all I could do to not jump out of that chair, grab my offspring, and run for the hills -- screaming all the way. But I didn't. I took Kaje's example and squirmed a little, humphed a lot, and tried really hard to be reverent. I tried hard -- seriously -- I tried hard to listen to the talks. I reminded myself often that if my heart wasn't willing, it wasn't doing me any good to be there, anyway. I stayed. And I'm hoping my heart was counted as at least a little willing, even though my flesh was weak.
And then, my six year old and I flew out of that building like a bulldog was chasing us after the closing prayer! Sweet release. We happily jaunted home and both took a little snooze. I never thought my legs would be the same again, but they are just fine. Amazing. Amazing.
During one of my mind wanders, I thought about a Stake Conference in the same building from six years ago, when I was confronted rather abruptly by someone the Lord had been trying hard to help me forgive for quite some time. I was once a part of the most dysfunctional friendship in the Western Hemisphere... I don't know if you know that about me. That friendship caused damage in me that was almost beyond repair (but not beyond it, as we have proof the Savior can do all things if we'll let Him). And one day, I just couldn't be a part of it anymore, and I snapped. It was over for me, even though it wasn't over for the other person. I was filled with so much anger I couldn't even believe it, years worth of anger and pain that had been bottled up. I spent the whole two hours of the meeting all those years ago out in the hall with this person, trying for the life of me to understand how any friendship had ever existed and knowing there would never be any relationship ever again. It was a very painful time in my life in that way. Trying so desperately to forgive both that person and myself. Yesterday I thought back to that time, and this is something interesting -- I still get upset. Six years later. I still have moments of anger and hurt and remorse that by leaving so abruptly I hurt back so cuttingly. I had to ask myself "Have I really forgiven this person? Have I really forgiven myself?" And the answer really is yes. I think that the scars are almost like an internal warning system, protecting me against allowing the same thing to ever happen again. But the release -- the forgiveness -- is real.
I guess that formed the theme for my thoughts yesterday. I was sitting at the dinner table after the rest of the family had left -- because I am the world's slowest eater -- and I got thinking of my big jerk of a step-grandfather and his horrible, wasteful, wretched children. They lied to my family, they abused our trust, they stole from my grandmother's children. Not just a little bit of money. A lot -- a lot of money. But the betrayal was worse. And sometimes I feel such a rush of anger. So strong I'd like to grind their faces in dirt and expose them to everyone they know for what they really are. I'd like to smash all the bones in their feet by stomping on them with all my strength.
And I guess that makes me -- mortal. Maybe not a very nice person. Maybe just a person who needs help in forgiveness, 'cause lets face it -- I'm just not that good at it on my own.
The Lord and I have been discussing this a lot for quite awhile. I say "Please help me forgive," and I work hard at letting go of the anger, at turning the other cheek, at walking two miles when they ask me to walk one. And sometimes -- most the time -- I think I am making progress. But then I'll have a little moment alone at the dinner table and I have rather elaborate fantasies of hurting them as badly as they hurt the people I love. So then... I pray. Again. I say how sorry I am that I'm just so annoying and can't let this go as fast as I'd like to. And I ask for help. Again. And then I cry, 'cause I just miss my Granny-Friend a lot. So much.
I think I must be one of our Father in Heaven's most annoying children.
But after years and years of wondering and worrying, I really do know one awesome thing -- He doesn't find me annoying. He loves me. He has so much patience with me and my disabled mind. But He does want me to be better -- to improve. He wants to help me be happy. And I think if given the right circumstances, He'd even pat me on the head and give me a squeeze. So I'll just concentrate on that.


Diane said...

I loved this post. I can totally relate. This weekend as I was driving through sanpete county I thought of Jack. I thought of all that had transpired, and felt my blood start to boil. Then I felt guilty for being so upset, and not just moving on. Even now, I think I should just feel sorry for him, but it's hard not to let the blood pressure rise! I think of what he gave up for greed. I'm glad we have such great examples of parents who turned the other cheek.

Ducksoup said...

one of the reasons i love your posts so much sometimes is because they help me feel human, if you know what i mean. i have way more faults than you for sure, but every now and again you talk about things that are troubling you and i can't help but think see we're all trying to do better. quite honestly when i read your posts i want to be more like you. i want to pray more with real intent like you pray. thankfully heavenly father knows you well because you commune with him often. that's obvious in your posting. granny would be proud of that being the master of prayer she was. as for grandpa jack i can't agree with you more that he and his children stole, lied, and let greed take over in their lives. the beauty of it all is that someday they will stand before the Maker and be held accountable. none of the money or furniture will even matter. not that you need to hear any of this, but sometimes i like to just think it and write it down. as for forgiveness, it's a hard thing to do. you need to check out this blog: scroll back in the posts before you start any of them to january 30th. i am still amazed at the forgiveness of this kind and loving husband. i want to be that kind of a forgiver.

i love you and wish i could have been at the dinner table with you yesterday :)

Ducksoup said...

p.s. guess what, we are going to disneyland end of april. want to come?