The Strength to Forgive: I Was Not Built to Break
This blog post was composed several months ago but I never published it until today. Hope you enjoy my moment of transparency.
Galatians 4:16 reads as thus, "Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" It seems that every day, there's more and more bad news about the City of Lumberton. The people of this city are hurting; either they have lost a loved one to the death, the justice system, or the person has yet to realize they're lost. When one hurts, we all feel their pain. I am saddened by the turn of events that seemingly plague this city. As a matter of fact, I am writing this while preparing to attend the funeral services of a beloved family member that lost her fight against cancer. The other day, a friend posted a status on Facebook and at the end it had the following phrase: "Life goes on." Although we might not like it, but our death or the death of someone we love does not stop life from going forward. We may take a brief moment to offer our condolences but we are still in prepetual motion. As I reflect on the things that have transpired here recently, I wonder if there was something I could have done, something I could have said to make a difference. We are so self-absorbed, we often forget that others are dealing with unimaginable pain.
I have held on to a lot of pain over the years and I think it's time to let it go. I can wag my finger and blame Stephanie Mullings for her part in having me arrested but I cannot change her character; that is something she must deal with. It's one thing to say you're a child of God but it's another to show that you're a child of God. At this point, I must release myself from this prison of wanting to blame others. I knew I would be attacked when I started blogging. As a matter of fact, when I posted my first blog, not knowing what I was really doing, a friend sent me this text, "be ready to be hated on, misunderstood, and criticized because that's the price you gotta pay when you share your gift." I kind of shrugged it off but in the back of my mind and written on a post it not next to my computer, the note has been present for every post, every vile comment directed towards me and every attack I endured. Thankfully, I didn't succumb to these attacks, to the chagrin of my so called haters, but by the grace of God, I have been able to continue. I have lost friends, I guess they were never really friends in the first place and even lost a church home over this blog. But I would not change a thing. Well, perhaps a few things. In general, people don't like the truth. Did I ever think Dennis Hobson, Bobby Gibson, Timothy Johnson, and Rebecca Hale would team up to find some antiquated law that could lead to my arrest for parking in front of my place of residence; no, not in a million years. But it happened and it's time to put a period and move on. Time and time again, people have showed me who they were but I refused to believe them. When my job application was thrown in the trash, I should have believed them, when I was told that Hobson was like a brother to her and she would do anything to protect him, I should have believed her, and when they dug threw a stock pile of fines over $798,000 to get an arrest warrant for a parking ticket, I should have believed them. At this point, I am at a point of forgiveness. Life is too short to be concerned about the misgivings of others. The fact that I forgive Stephanie Mullings and her cohorts does not mean I don't want them to give an account of their actions; it just mean that I can no longer afford to hold any grudges against a person that apparently does not have the wherewithal to know the difference between right and wrong. While I'm in this mode of forgiveness, I also forgive those that I attended church with for over eight years. If you want to blame me for feeling some type of way then so be it. I never called anyone in that congregation a bitch and I didn't try to hit anyone with my car but if that's what you need to justify your actions then by all means; cling on to those lies. I have no desire to return to Egypt so there's no need to continue to fabricate lies about things I say and do. I blog regularly and I don't have the need nor the time to post anything anonymously. In all fairness, I what happened between me and those church members should have never make it into this blog. What was said was not for outsiders and it wasn't fair for the pastor that I thought I built a relationship with over the years. Looking back over the post, it seems that I was blaming him for the actions of others and throughout the entire ordeal, he never responded to me in an unkind or bitter manner; despite the horrific imagery I used to refer to him and his congregations. I usually day I have no regrets, but to refer to this man of God as a sheep in wolve's clothing was unwarranted and since I publicly defamed him, it's only fitting that I apologize publicly for my actions. I will never understand why I was never called to the office for an opportunity to confront those that were spreading lies about me but I guess it's not for me to understand.
Rabbi Goldstein said
"Everyone wants to know how to move on from a tough situation in their lives. The point is people tend to act out during the process of moving on. In fact, the only way to truly move forward is to start with forgiveness. Whether you're learning to forgive your self for years of repeated disappointments or searching to forgive those ones you love for repeatedly disappointing you. There will come a time when you will be asked to utter those words 'I forgive you.' In that moment, you have a choice; you can either suffer defeat and remain a failure or you can rise from the ashes and move forward."
I choose forgiveness so I can move forward. In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from Winston Churchill.
"Success is not final and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."
I know the blog posts have been rather lengthy this week but they were needful. I hope everyone in Lumberton embraces the joy for forgiveness and move forward so we can ready ourselves for a better city. It's not only needed but it's long overdue. Peace and blessings.
Playing the background, Whitney Houston, "Didn't Know My Own Strength."