Written By: Deborah R.
Have you heard the expression, “Bite the dog that bit you!” I suppose it’s an expression of a lesson; as if you’re really going to teach a dog a lesson about biting. This amuses me. I can picture it now…a dog takes a bite at you and in response, you bend down and grab the dog’s tail and bite down as hard as you can only to have the dog turn and bite you once more! How comical our thought life can be.
However, in bringing this to a more substantial application in our lives, it’s very true. Only we don’t “bite” back the way we were bitten. Let me clarify this. The bible states that we should turn the other cheek when we are hit on one side. And, that we should give someone our coat who takes from us. We are to bless those who do wrong to us. WHAT? Bless those who do wrong to us? That’s crazy! No, my friends…that’s the love of Christ maturing in our lives. It’s the tree of the Spirit producing good fruit for all to eat. It’s taking us to the next level mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I recently “BIT” back and took a big chunk out of my past! How did I do this? I’m glad you asked. This past month my daughter had a big birthday sending her into the infamous TEEN years. She didn’t want a party, so I decided to throw her a surprise party. I would invite family and friends. Hmmm…family. Well, that’s a hard decision to make as to whom I would actually invite. Certain family is always invited to these parties and then there is the big one question of…will I invite her grandparents and her dad and step-mom. Whoa! Let me take a breath. You see, I haven’t had a relationship with my parents for about 5 or 6 years because of abuse in my childhood. And her father…how could I have a relationship with someone I loved dearly that ripped my heart out and left us for a co-worker? How could I ever do that!?
I really had to ask myself some serious questions. Am I the same person I was back then when those hurts happened? Am I still holding grudges against those who harmed me? Am I withholding my relationship with them as a ransom resulting from my hurt? Have I not grown at all in my Christian walk? How do I want my children to react to the hurts in their lives? I can talk the talk…but am I walking the walk? The choice is was mine to make.
I thought long and hard about these questions. I wrestled with myself in not wanting to let go of the “power” that I thought I had regarding both issues. I thought about my children and their feelings. They both love their grandparents and their dad. Am I going to add to the difficulties that they will face in life by withholding their grandparents from them or by keeping a relationship with their father at bay? My son will be graduating this year. That means graduation party and graduation itself. I cannot keep the ones he loves from enjoying his accomplishments. My daughter will be playing sports in middle school and she will want them to come and watch her. They both need that aspect of their lives fulfilled.
So, I invited my ex-husband and his wife and step-daughter. I invited my mother and dad. I told myself that if they didn’t come to her party that I wouldn’t invite them to anything ever again. Boy that shows great love – NOT. A friend told me that I shouldn’t stop inviting them because that’s their decision. They have to live with the decisions they make. Good friends are hard to come by especially if they can gently BANG you over the head and indirectly say GROW-UP!
Invitations went out and the party was had. The grandparents came. That was a good step forward even though it was a little awkward for both of us. He dad came but her step-mom didn’t. I had to prepare myself greatly for the evening. I was prepared for anything. The great thing about inviting those of a strained relationship to a gather of this nature is that there are other people you have to mingle with because you are the hostess! The evening went well. Her dad left early, I’m sure because his wife was not there but my parents stayed until the end of the evening. Conversation was casual and kept as light as possible. When the entire guest had left, I took a deep breath of relief and busied myself with cleaning as not to have any other conversations regarding the guest. Feeling good about the evening and it so surprised my daughter, I relished in those thought until my daughter came into the kitchen with me. She was talking non-stop and then I heard the tone in her voice become very soft and tender as she said, “Thank you mom for inviting Granny and Papa.” I told her she was welcomed and she ran to her room looking through her gifts from the night. As I finished cleaning the kitchen, tears came to my eyes and I knew I did the right thing by inviting everyone that I did. Those people who made me stretch and grow in new directions made the evening more special and more memorable for my daughter.
How do you bring to a close one event that gave you back the keys of your past? How do you summarize all of your feelings and emotions and mentally make sense of the situation…only by the Word of God!
Matthew 5:3-10 blessed are the poor inspirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We are in this world but we are not of this world.