Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Wedge of Deception…

Deception.  The act of deceiving, which is to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude.

Wow, when I look up the definition and see it spelled out before my eyes it sinks in so much more.  Deception is evil and hurtful – not innocent.  Yet, it is so easy to convince yourself that you are not doing something wrong.  You simply do not want to tell this one person the whole story because you know what they are going to say – and you feel fine with the decision you made or are making.  We have an amazing ability to convince ourselves why we are justified to keep some things in the dark from those we dare to call our closest friends, so close they are family.  Sin itself is deceptive.  The problem is, if these people really are that close, then they will still love you, even if they think you are making an unwise decision.  They will tell you it is unwise, because they love you, but still be on your team and fight with you and for your best.

Last night, my deception became too much.  I had to go sit in front of two of my best friends and confess that I had not out right lied to them, but I had very intentionally chosen not tell them about a choice I had made.  I felt fine before the Lord about my choice.  I had told the other people in my inner circle about my choice.  I just didn’t want to tell them because I know they are my most conservative friends and that they had a different stance – sure, they don’t think it is sin, but they certainly think it is unwise – and I just did not want to hear it because I did not want to feel like a child.  I did a great job of justifying it in my head why I was withholding this information.  I had a whole case built up.  I wasn’t lying –  so I was fine right?  I mean I was living in the light with others – so it is all good, right?  Wrong.  I was misleading them to think something else.  It was a lie of omission.  Like any lie, I was found out – someone else had told them, assuming they already knew – they were hurt and hot pissed, and rightfully so.  I had greatly wronged them – I had full on deceived them – two of the people that have been far more committed to my life than anyone else ever has.  They did not come to me and confront me though, and I am thankful that the Lord broke me down to come to them, confess, talk through and ask for forgiveness.

It was not an easy conversation by any means.  I broke their trust.  I drove this wedge in our relationship – and made them question, what else had I deluded and mislead them on??  And how did these two respond?  With grace and forgiveness – there were tears because there was deep hurt – but they both in their own way said, “I forgive you because you are forgiven in Jesus the same way I am forgiven in Jesus.”  I went to bed last night thinking – wow, the cross is so big and covers so much more than I can comprehend – because I know that all three of us prior to being believers (we all became followers of Jesus in college) held trust as a number one and if you broke that – good luck getting it back.  I sat there knowing, I may have just destroyed two of the best relationships I have had in the last eight years – and I certainly bruised it, but God has been so gracious to me yet again.  They forgave me.  They want to trust me (though I said please feel free to question me).  They want the best for me.  They want me to fall more in love with Jesus.  They really are on my team.  Such a practical picture of the gospel played out in my life.  I felt like the prodigal son – so undeserving, yet they welcomed me with open arms.

Will there be things in the future that I decide to do that these two think are unwise?  Without being one that knows the future, I can still fairly confidently say absolutely.  Will I be honest and upfront about it?  By the grace of God, I sure hope so – because being honest and disagreeing is far better than what we went through last night.  As one said last night, “No one was winning here,” we all had hurt and pain – though, that is not totally true.  There was a winner last night.  Jesus won.  Jesus ripped out that wedge that my sin had driven in because that is what Jesus does.  He rips open wounds and goes in and works and heals – and that is what he is doing in my life.  I do not  naturally trust people or believe they will be for me.  I too easily think I will do something to push them away.  Jesus Christ died to bring healing to this brokenness and He is committed to healing this wound.  He is using these two very practically in my life – even when I get in the way and seem to make matters worse.  He uses it for me to soak in truth and love deeper.  These two were a clear picture last night of how God, Himself, continues to forgive me.   Forgiveness at the cross does not run out.

Come back to Jesus, that is the only place where there is true freedom and joy.

Much love,

B

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The Shirt Off My Back…

Yesterday night, I was leaving a wedding.  I had noticed this woman sitting outside the building all day (I was in the wedding so had been there literally all day).  It was obvious she was homeless.  It appeared as though she had no one to turn to.  When I was leaving the wedding I was leaving in full on pain, hurt, and feeling rather pissed – and the best part, the person that caused all of that was my ride home.  Then, I saw Farah again.  Seeing her snapped me out of myself and before I knew it I was talking to her and getting to know her.  She looked so small and fragile – and who did she tell me cares for her?  Jesus.  She knows that the God of the universe has not left her or forsake her – and she is freaking homeless.  I just had a minor heartache and got mad at God.  Wow, talk about reality and perspective check.

After that lovely realization, I felt freer to listen to her – I wanted to hear her and learn whatever I could from her in a few short minutes.  As we were talking all I could think is what on earth do I have with me that I could give her that would actually help?  And it kept coming to mind – my blue flannel shirt.  But, wait – that is my favorite flannel that I wear all the time?!  Really – yes, really I couldn’t deny that it was all I had to give her and I knew it could be replaced.  Farah ended up not taking it because it clashed with her red skirt she felt, which then had me laughing – as I am a fashionista after all.  She has a routine and wanted to stick to it she said (we wanted to give her a night in a hotel), and she told us she felt loved even by the conversation.

I sit here today and remember Farah.  Is she perfect and without sin?  No, but she helped me last night.  If she can be where she is and still fight to believe that God is good, not withholding good, supplying all of her needs – then, me with the sad heart today, also can rest assured that though this is a very real feeling – I will be okay.  The God of the universe loves me, Brittany Hayes, whole heartedly because of Jesus alone.  And even better, He is far more committed to me and my good than I ever could be.  He sees the whole picture; I only have my vantage point – and remembering that gives comfort to my soul.  I know this is better – for both involved.

So, today with the help of the Spirit, I fight to rest – and yes, it is a good sweet rest that has already been made mine, but there is also an active fighting to stay in that rest.  I am my beloved’s, and He is mine – that is right where I belong.

Much love,

B

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