Old Lists

By Nancy Strackany

 

Have you ever picked up an old pad of paper only to discover some random to-do list from years ago? I have to really look at it because some of the same things are still on my lists these days.

 

I’d had a good week, I felt God’s love and grace in so many ways. I was praising His goodness as I walked into the house to find my husband in a state of hurt and anger over his efforts to reach out to our somewhat distant daughter. Old hurts, painful memories and unresolved issues all came flooding back, and I was unprepared. I wanted to be supportive, I wanted to respond in a Godly way but the words we exchanged then and in several conversations over the next few days ended only in more hostility.

 

I had only been looking at how my husband was lacking understanding towards our daughter, how his words were hurting her. I wanted to protect her. I felt hurt by his counter attacks on my lack of support and care about him. Can anyone else relate? I was feeling hurt, my strength gone in moments as I felt the old stings of perceived indifference that came from my own father. I even knew and said I was projecting my own feelings but it was too late for that. Feelings were distracting me from my faith.

 

0bf84a3907f6beaeb922e1197112ce19In the wee hours while my husband slept, I finally turned to God for help. I brought those hurt feelings to the One who could do something about them. I asked for forgiveness, I forgave my daughter, I forgave my husband, I prayed for Gods love to flow through me. It was then when God finally saw a humble heart He could work with.

 

Two days later, I stopped my husband and was able to say, “I’m sorry, forgive me, I want you to heal, I want the whole family to heal.” I cried. In that moment he saw my heart instead of my anger. It was what God wanted him to see and what God wanted me to say. I got it… I am not my husbands judge. It is my job to love and respect him, to meet his needs and be a help to him. He had asked for my understanding and I had given him judgment instead.

 

During that time, we said we loved each other and I know we both were relieved that this was in our past. Most importantly, I know I am forgiven by God, and yet still working out the process of becoming more like Christ. It is not an overnight work and and it’s still on my daily “to-do” list. It’s work that sometimes has to be redone until I get it right. I am trusting that God is true and loving and has a good plan for me and my family. I can rest knowing that his mercies are new every morning and His forgiveness is forever.

 

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Gods to-do list for me was checked off in one costly project. “It is finished,” Jesus proclaimed as He took His last breath, took care of every wrong, sinful and selfish thing done by me and every person who has ever lived. That is God’s power and that is His plan. It’s beyond my full capability to understand but despite my finite view, I am able to see that humble power and especially love played out daily if I keep my eyes on Jesus.

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