“Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
There is a person in our life that my husband and I find difficult to maintain a healthy relationship. The relationship always seems to have underlying issues festering that causes undue distress. And then, without any notice, the relationship that we had hoped to maintain falls apart again. We have both come to the conclusion that it is because there are too many past hurts that have never been dealt with. Because of this, neither of us are able to move forward.
Then, a few months ago, this individual was on my mind while I was trying to sleep. Usually nothing can keep me awake at night but for an hour I just tossed and turned while this person kept coming back to my mind. Finally, I stopped and just prayed, “God, why is she on my mind SO much? I can think about all of this in the morning but right now, I NEED sleep!” Did you ever notice that to our Lord, sleep isn’t the priority that we humans place on it? To this end, His response was to keep her on my mind until I finally got out of bed.
After thinking about this and then praying for a few minutes, I came to the conclusion that maybe it was time to try and deal with this. So I started writing a letter. I wrote about our entire relationship from start to present day. I wrote the things that hurt me and the events that caused frustration. I debunked all the lies that had spoken about me to my husband, and every rude thing that had been written or texted to him. That night, I wrote down things on that sheet of paper that I didn’t even realize I remembered! In fact, the unhappy memories just kept pouring out of me — so much so that I didn’t even realize it was three in the morning when I finally wrapped it up. It was long too, really really long.
I thought about sending it but decided that I should wait until my husband could read the letter too. I also asked my sister in law on my side to read it and another relative on my husband’s side. They both agreed that it seemed fair, accurate and non-judgemental and that yes, I should send it. When my husband came home, we read it through line by line and then we prayed about it. We really wanted the letter to be a blessing and we knew that God had pushed for me to write this. The funny thing is — when I went to send it, right at that exact moment, I lost internet service. Just like that. I had copied the same message over to facebook but it would not send from there either.
I didn’t understand because I know it was God who wanted me to write everything down. Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to edit the letter while seeking God’s wisdom. But something unexpected happened. I soon realized that with every edit made, I was slowly deleting one transgression at a time. The letter was becoming shorter. It became less like a list of the numerous events that caused our relationship to fail and more of a plea to start over.
Each time I read the contents, I wondered if now the letter was ready to be sent. Then one day, I heard God say, “Humble yourself.” Yes, humble myself. It was here I realized that this letter wasn’t meant for another but rather, it was meant for me. It was meant for me. I needed to heal and to offer grace to this individual once again. And, in so doing, humble myself to allow someone with authority to either move past all the bad things that have happened (like I am trying to do) or to once again hurt me.
I reckoned it would not be easy. However, the difference this time was that I knew my Lord God and Saviour was on my side. I knew that He is big enough to take care of the details, and subsequently, this individual’s heart. Moreover, It wasn’t my place to wait for that healing to come to fruition. Rather, it is my place to accept MY healing in this matter and praise Him for it! I had to stop waiting for others to be healed and instead receive my healing because I wasn’t responsible for the hurt. I just had to forgive, like the Lord forgives us.
This week, my husband was bothered by it all again. We both needed this relationship to heal once and for all. So, I told him that I didn’t think God wanted us to try and figure it all out or make amends for everything … but rather, it was time to just let go of the past (and the hurt that came with it) and allow the relationship between us and the individual to build again. He has much more history here than I do. Thus, he also has much more hurt as a result.
Still, in the end, I don’t know what God has in store for all of us but I realized that sometimes the healing is for you and you alone — and not necessarily the person you are trying to save.