Painful Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be the most painful part of an offense. When someone has truly wounded you very, very deeply, the idea that you must pass over their sin and love them anyway is repulsive and sickening, especially when they are unrepentant.

Can you imagine a sweet girl like me carrying a grudge? Can you imagine me burning with anger for years? It doesn’t happen often but that doesn’t speak to my character, unfortunately, only to my attention span. Honestly, for me to remember to be resentful is a lot of work, and once someone makes me laugh….well their sins just slip away. Long lasting hurt and bitterness isn’t something I often deal with, but I have.

Almost two years ago I felt utterly betrayed, misused, and abused.Though the offense might not have been directed at me specifically, it was against a dear loved one and that made it worse. Anger, hurt, bitterness, and tears were all at once blown to enormous proportions. I could barely swim through all the pain to “do the day.”

Some of the anger was righteous anger; what was done was truly awful. But beyond that, I was angry and bitter at what it meant to me. I cried every day for weeks. I had dreams where everyone had forgiven this person but me, and I still shunned them.

My spirit fluctuated between two attitudes: 1 What they did doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, I can’t ever do that, and 2 I must be noble and forgive them anyway.

The path was long. It started with prayer. I knew from the start that I could never forgive them without God’s help. I prayed prayers like, “God help me to want to learn to forgive them. God, please help me to really pray for their good…. And make them eternally miserable for what they did!” Sometimes I was able to sincerely pray for their salvation. Then I would write in my journal, “I’m finally free from this bitterness!”

That usually lasted until I happened to see them again, even just for a second. All the anger and hurt would come back. I would go home and cry again.

After awhile I wrote this blog post with my first plea for prayer from others. I was pretty bad at expressing my feelings then, and they were very mixed, but my life really did feel like a grimy cement tunnel with no escape.

I have a journal on the computer where I journal everything in my spiritual life as an allegory. I called the offender “Traitor” and called my bitterness, “this rope around my foot.” I couldn’t go anywhere while it was there. Sometimes I thought it was gone, but then it would trip me again.

It took time. It took time for me to finally come around to their point of view. Every sin looks different to the sinner than the audience. The initial sting took time to wear off and I could see beyond the broad grin on their face to the emptiness that someone without Christ must carry. It took a lot of time for me to finally meet their eye for a split second and nod. It took a lot of time for me to finally give a little smile.

It took prayer, time, and compassion. Like I said, any person without Christ has a void. While grins were easy to fake—I wore fake ones every day—tears were hard to see. I could finally pray for their salvation and the fixing of their life only when I realized that without Christ, I would be worse. With Christ I have been provided everything I need for life and godliness. But without Him I would be like chaff, driven by the wind and tossed by the waves.

I don’t know when the rope around my foot was finally cut. But when they actually spoke a greeting and I wasn’t repulsed, I realized that I didn’t hate them anymore. When I heard about family struggles and didn’t feel scorn, I knew. When I saw them spend hours on the internet and had compassion, I knew that they were forgiven. But I felt like it was only me who had been freed through it all.

It is freedom not to carry around anger. Regret still lingers, but it doesn’t tie me down. I might think about the whole deal sometimes with a sigh, but it doesn’t plague my days and nights. I still don’t know what God was doing through the whole thing. I have no clue why He didn’t prevent it, but that will take time, perhaps a lifetime.

For now I pray that the Lord might save this person for His glory, and that the testimony of our family might not be lost with time.

After all, God is always good, and His grace is sufficient.

In Christ,
Ellie

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Read My Story!!!!

I must apologize for not blogging. I am very busy, believe me!

My brother is engaged! He is planning on getting married October 13th, 2013.

Thus, I am busy!

Second, I go to Wisconsin tomorrow! I am terribly excited and I will try to take all the pictures I can! It’s the awesomest place I’ve ever been! We are still trying to get packed, get food ready for the 10-11 hour drive, and pack the van.

Thus, I am busy!

But I haven’t completely forgotten my blogger friends. I do have pictures I have drawn, but the picture I am working on I cannot show you. Not yet! 😉 Instead, I have something for y’all to read. I found and read over one of my old drafts, from June 2013, Camp Nanowrimo. I think it is my favorite draft that I have. I made a cover for it awhile ago….

Nighttime_Sky

To be sure, I have plans to change some things in it, but I want to let y’all read it and critique it. Please be ruthless with the story, and please be kind to me!

If a doc. doesn’t work for you somehow, let me know and I’ll try to email it to you, but it will be after I return from Wisconsin.

NOTE: If an italicized sentence or portion is not expressly a thought of a character, then it is subject to removal and is italicized just for me. I’ve also written notes for myself, just ignore them, if you want.

1 The introduction to the family of Adofo, and how misfortune befell them in the cozy town where they lived and what became of their misfortune.
2 Leaving the town and journeying on
3 Dividing 
4 The fates and fortunes of Hanson and Westby
5 The fates and fortunes of Mireille and Hurlee
6 The Placing of Hanson and Westby
7 Living in the place
8 What became of Westby’s place
9 What became of Hanson’s place
10 Hanson’s captivity 
11 Westby slipping
12 The Capture of Mireille
13 Westby’s search

Part Two

14 Hanson’s escape
15 Hurlee slipping
16 Mireille and Westby’s Captivity
17 As a Captive
18 Captive and more
19 Breaking point
20 Rescue
21 No Rescue
22 Preparing for Change
23 Escape
24 Betrayal
25 Westby’s rescue
26 The end
for those who wondered

Enjoy!

Chill Peeps!

Electric Bubbles

Cat History

I love cats! They may not be my very favorite animal–but the only pet I’ve ever had, and terribly sweet, so I’m going to tell you about ours. (My grandparents live in the country and have a looonnngg history that I would be more than happy to tell–but you wouldn’t be very happy, trust me.)

Our Cat History could start anywhere from 10 years ago or before then. We wanted a dog. We wanted a cat. We wanted a fish, and a pony, and a kangaroo, and a panda bear, and everything else–but no, my father said 8 children was enough animals for him.

But God, seeing our dire need and desperation, sent us a cat. Her name was Kitty–and she was purrfect. She stayed outside, the neighbor loved her, my dad could not object–as long as she wasn’t his cat, she could hang around.

cat sleeping on jacket

You could compare her to a dog/panda bear/pillow, or just the best cat ever. She was a full grown cat when she came, 10 years ago, and by now, she’s quite old, but still just as happy.

kitty in the kitchen

Yes, very happy. Her purr is as loud as the lawn mower outside, her meows (which became frequent in the next few years as she sat by the glass door begging to come in) were like music, and her whiskers never lifted to hiss at us, even when Jimmy tried to cut them off with scissors.

She was a bit tense when she first came, and as she grows older and stiffer, she is getting more cautious of children and vicious petting–but nothing like when she first came and fell off our deck railing. Yes, she fell off the deck railing as Billy opened the door, AND she fell 15 feet,  AND she landed on her back! Our cat is not a normal cat. And the way she runs from thunder–she can’t have 9 lives to spare. (She must have given them all to Haley.)

Kitty stayed long enough to be given a middle name, Longhair. That’s right, Kitty Longhair Jackson.

sleeping kitty

That’s her. Sleepy, frolicky, put-your-feet-to-sleep-at-night-y. She’s quite a heavy cat!

We went through a couple other cats or so, Phoebe, Teemo, and perhaps some I’m not remembering. They came and left. Phoebe was a kitten and only stayed one night after following us home–but she was dang cute! We all remember her. Teemo is still around the neighborhood, terrorizing other cats, but by no means is he our cat. *shudder* Think the opposite of Kitty–that’s him.

So last year, early spring, so just about a year ago, enter Moecat.

cat face

Moecat was originally named “Kitty’s twin” which changed to “Cat.” See, we already had a Kitty, now we had at Cat! But he was not really our cat. He was dead afraid of us. He came up on the deck to drink Kitty’s water, to hide in her basket, but anytime one of us was seen through the window, he was gone in a flash. The trick was milk. Raw milk with cream…. 🙂

cat looking in mirror, cute

When “Cat” stayed longer than we expected, some people began complaining that “Cat” was not a real name. He needed a better name. Someone came up with Bo. The people who liked “Cat” were vehemently voting for “Cat”, and the other half was vehemently voting for “Bo.” I believe I came up with the compromise. “Bo” was changed to “Moe” and “Moe” to “Moecat.” Moecat was just the perfect name, no one could argue.

Today, Moecat is the perfect picture of regeneration! Okay, he is not as clean as Kitty is, but oh my, he is sweet. As soon as he was okay with us being around, he was okay with us petting him, and even okay with climbing in our laps and digging his claws in to keep himself there. It is still hard to get him off your lap when he wants to stay on, it’s precious.

laying with cat

That’s him. He’s my little baby. By now he’s almost as cuddly as Kitty, (when he is in the right mood. He’s rather temperamental. We are both pretty tired in this picture–and warm. So we’re being nice to each other.) He still comes around, and when he earns a middle name one day, I plan on calling him Moecat Hobbes Jackson. His long body, his square head, his pouncy but sleepy tendencies, his long drawn out meows….it suits him.

Our next cat, Misty, stayed for a long time. She ran away from her home at our neighbor’s house–right before our neighbor moved–and she was a sad picture. She ate birdseed, hid in Kitty’s cat house, begged at our door just like the other cats….and when we started feeding her she was ours!

black cat

She was a very affectionate cat and quickly became bold around everyone. She seriously sounded like a crow or raven when she meowed, and if the neighbors hadn’t already named her….ooh, she would have had a cool name!

We thought we would keep her! She lived in our back yard for weeks. But right after we put this picture on Facebook and declared we had a new cat, someone dropped by and saw her. She took our cat! Took her away to an animal sanctuary with all those other cats, where our timid–but darling sweet–Misty had better be pet at least 4 hours a day! We were seeing her become such a teddy bear, it was sad to see her go where people have no many other teddy bears to hug instead…. It was a sad conclusion, but the sanctuary is a happy place. I’ve been there.

So far the only cats that have stayed more than a few months are long-haired brown tabbies. All the others come and go.

Until now!—-when I wonder if we have another cat….

mitzy

Eddie and Jonny call her Mittens, named after the cat from Bolt, but me, (I generally dislike general animal names) call her Mitzy.

This cat cracks me up every time she comes over. Not only does she look kind of funny, what with different color eyes, she makes the funniest noises! She isn’t very comfortable around us yet–and boy do you know it!! She sounds like a broken CD player! And though she doesn’t like us, she has no qualms about walking straight into the house to eat. She doesn’t enjoy petting–but for now she tolerates it. We hope one day to conform her to Kitty’s image and have her stay around forever.

mitzy2

From Yours Truly

Electric Bubbles

All photos (except the one of me) taken by myself! 

My Dear Blog Readers….

nanocaution

I have not blogged in several days. Days that feel very long to me, but probably aren’t that long. You guys have all guessed the reasons, it’s because Camp NaNoWriMo just started! And because it did, man, I feel strange.  So-o, I can try to write a blog post….

NaNoWriMo hasn’t been like it usually is. That means, I’m fighting to get words down on the computer, not the usual just typing for awhile and I got enough. I suspect I’m becoming more like the other Nano’s I’ve heard about, the people who have to fight to write. But! I am getting words down. I have 12,365 at the time of this post. Also I am aiming to get 80,000 words instead of 50,000, so that’s another reason it might be harder.

I just got some Starbucks coffee that I can’t get over. I feel like I’ve already drank too much, I’ve got all these jitters–except that I haven’t drank any. The coffee is a Dark Komodo Dragon blend from Indonesia….And the coffee jar’s name is Alfred Shaffer….  He is sitting right next to me, and since he is just a mason jar, I can see all the coffee beans smiling up at me. Lovely….I had a humorous experience when I first filled up the Alfred Shaffer. I was so happy I started running around my room, using the jar as a shaker, and singing to the Happy Smiler’s song, “Coffee, coffee, coffee, we all want some coffee, we all want some coffee every day, day, DAY, daayy!” Then my little sister, Gracie, finally flagged me down and showed me that she was on the phone. Thankfully, she hadn’t reached the other person yet so only my family heard me, and that, they ought to be used to by now.

So far in my NaNoWriMo novel, I can already see the path that God is leading my character on, though she doesn’t see it yet. Everything that happens leads to another in God’s perfect plan. 

So, what’s happened? A miscarriage. That prompted Lassie to step forward and help a little black orphan who was caught stealing. Her husband in a sudden rage through the little guy, Jim, out of the house–and Lassie took him to Silvia. Because Lassie was thinking about Jim, she started reading James….That’s where we are.

Everything is so rough right now. So very, very rough, I’d be ashamed to let anyone read it.

There is a scene though, the very first one that I wrote and revised before the month began. It was really part of planning the novel. So, I’ll give you that–and quit this blog post.

Scene 1

There ya go!

Off to brew some coffee!

Electric Bubbles

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.

~Steven Wright

Camping, my story

I hadn’t completed that the form from Camping! because I was filling it out in story form and I took my time. It is now completed. The characters come from 4 different stories, some from written stories, and some  (Clark, Lassie, Jim, and Elijah) from my April NaNoWriMo novel.

Here it is, for those who want to read it.

Yours Truly

Electric Bubbles