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2022 has had a very interesting start for the Speight Family. I must begin by saying that God has graced our family with a love that cannot be described. During this pandemic, we have grown even closer, if that was even possible. As I’ve said before, the last 10 years have been amazing and even though there has definitely been some drama, God has transformed us in so many ways. But getting back to how our new year started, it began with us watching the movie, Encanto. By the way, I love animated movies and cartoons. 😀
I can’t tell you a lot or I’ll give the story away, however, the movie was about a family of very gifted people, but one of them did not have a gift. The family did not realize how difficult and hurtful life had been for the one without the gift. They did not intend to hurt her, but they constantly reminded her that she was different. So as always, we talked about what we gleamed from the movie and then something happened that we never expected. We began to discuss how other family members have hurt us in the past and many of those past hurts are still pretty painful, but just like in the movies, as we talked and walls started to fall down.
I would venture to say that over the years, we all have built up defense walls to protect ourselves; our feelings, our emotions, our hearts. It has been our only means of survival. We tell ourselves that it really doesn’t matter, we are ok, but in actuality, we are not ok. Our defense walls are thick, like the walls of Jericho and we can’t allow anything or anyone to permeate those walls or our wounds will be exposed. But the Walls Must Come Down! Unfortunately, the walls not only prevent pain from getting in, but there is also a guard at the door called unforgiveness, that also prevents true love from getting in or out.
As I prayed for my family at the table after all that we had said, I saw that all the walls had fallen, but there remained an archway for the door. In order to pass through the archway, we’d have to remove the guard of unforgiveness from the doorway. First, we must forgive ourselves for any part that we have played and for all the ill-feeling that we may be harboring. Then we must forgive all those that have hurt or offended us. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. Many, if not all of us, will need the help of the Holy Spirit for this one. Understand, this is not to make you forget what happened, nor does it may them guiltless, but it allows you to release any bitterness that may be lingering in your heart and the healing process will begin. There’s already a strong foundation of God’s Grace and Hope to build upon.
Once the walls are down and the doorway is clear, love can flow freely in and out. God commands us to love as He loves us. He also specifically says that we must not only love those that love us, but also those that may hate us and despitefully use us. For He knows that if we truly love Him with all our heart, all of soul and all our mind, His Love will compel us to love our neighbor, as ourselves.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Unfortunately, this does not mean that we will never be hurt again, but the Lord promises that He would guard our hearts and when we trust Him, the pain will not go as deep and won’t last as long.