child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Saturday, May 28, 2011

loving my enemies

There is a lot of commands in the Bible about love that keep me going.  Two summers ago, I was completely convicted by the command to love my enemies and pray for those who hurt me.  I had had a rough time with some people and was dreading the new school year and having to face them.  So I wrote out the verses in Luke 6 about loving people who I really didn't feel like loving and put it on my kitchen cabinets where I was daily face to face with it.  Every time the situation came to my mind or the names of the disliked people, I would pray for them.  I would pray that God would help me to love them even though I didn't want to, I would pray that He would help me to be merciful as He is merciful, I prayed that He would draw them unto Himself.  It started out difficult and by the end of summer it was second nature to pray for these people instead of gossip about them.  Over the years I have found praying for people who have hurt me to be helpful to me.  I find myself not harboring the resentment that was once festering.  Not that it is always easy peesy but praying for my "enemies" has become part of me, part of what I do. 

And now I struggle to pray for and love someone who has hurt me in the name of love.  The others did not have emotional attachment to me.  They were people who I've had to deal with in comings and going but not people who are part of my life.  I can distance myself and be objective and wonder what might be going on in their lives to cause them to behave like they do with minimal struggle.  Yet, I cannot seem to have any desire to want to love someone who I should indeed feel love for.

I don't want to pray for my mom.  I am angry with her.  I don't feel love for her right now.  I struggle to even want to love her.  Wow, this is quite an unload.  I try so hard to keep my feelings for her under a veil on my blog because I don't want her to look bad, or maybe because I don't want to look like a bad daughter.  Today though I realize, this is my blog, my emotional outlet, my place to be honest about my feelings and besides, no one in my family reads anything I write anyway. 

Yesterday we had to go over to her house.  I was excited for the reason, to see my extended family that I was moaning about the other day, but I was less than excited to go.  When she called me and bumped dinner up by an hour and the new start time was only 15 minutes away, I lost it.  We got in a nice little yelling match on the phone.  I got off the phone and let the expletives fly.  My hubby then let his expletives fly (in regards to them not at me!).  We both sat in our basement, me crying, both of us venting and swearing and dreading going to see my parents.  Hubby has been bottling feelings of anger and disgust towards my parents since September when I went to the hospital.  Finally they spilled out into our conversation last night.

He is angry that they never got me help.  When I was battling depression that left me regularly attempting suicide, they refused to acknowledge my pain.  They told my principle that I did not need professional help, I just needed more time with God.  When I was wasting away before their eyes, they never acknowledged that I had a problem.  See, good Christians didn't have problems so rather than admit that I had a problem, they pretended it didn't exist.  Hubby is angry that they didn't help me get help when I was younger and that it had a chance to get as bad as it has as an adult.  Now, from a very long time of battling anorexia on my own, I know that even if they had gotten me help when I was younger that relapse is always possible.  And yet, hubby has some points also.  Some of the sh*t that I am working through now should have been handled 2 decades ago and wasn't. 

He is angry that when I was in the hospital that we had to keep it from my parents.  They still don't know that I completely disappeared for a week.  He called in at work and was a single dad for a week with support from his parents and help from them so he could come and visit me on visiting days.  And where were my parents?  Oblivious.  Yes we chose to keep them in the dark.  I have seen the hell my mom has put some of her friends through for being on antidepressants and refuse to go through the same hell for my medications or my hospitalization.  She is convinced that godly people should not need psychiatric drugs.  Hubby feels like in their choosing to ignore all the big issues in my life growing up, that my adult life has been a series of working through things that I should have been already starting working through.

And I am angry.  I feel like no matter how good I am that I'll never quite reach her standards for me.  I'll always be just one task short of being good enough.  I don't understand why she can be a mom to people from their church who don't have family here but she can't be a mom to me.  I don't understand why I'm not loveable, why I am always second best.  I'm really hurt.  Really. Really. Hurt.  How do I love her when everything inside of me wants to hate her?  How do I pray for the one who hurt me who was supposed to love me?  I know that God doesn't ask us to love and then not provide the means to love.  I know He can fill me with His love for her if I ask.  The problem is that I don't want to ask.  I don't want to love her right now. 

I have all of the right answers.  I know that not only has God commanded me to love, He has also said that anyone who harbors hatred is not living in the light (1 John 2).  I guess I need to pray that God will give me the desire to be willing to love her and pray for her.  That is the starting place.  I'm not quite to the point of praying that God will help me to love her as He loves her, I'm at the first baby step of praying that God will make me willing to ask His help in loving someone I don't want to love.

For those of you who have an awesome relationship with your mom, you are so blessed and I envy you!  Treasure that gift.  For those of you who are like me and have rocky relationship with your mom, join me in praying that God would make us willing to be willing. 

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