Guest post by Elisha.
There was this woman in my life that was someone I just couldn’t seem to get away from. She drove me crazy. She was one of those people that when she was around my true colors rose up. Sure on the outside I kept a pretty face, but on the inside I was the biggest hypocrite as I wished with all my might she would just go away. Everytime she was around she would say things to cut me, to make me feel bad, or just to be mean. It was irritating.
All the while I knew all the right answers…I knew I was to forgive her, I knew I was to love her and I knew that there was probably some underlying hurt in her life that caused her to say these things. And as much as I prayed and vowed that I had forgiven her and that I would kill her with kindness, everytime I saw her I still wanted to ring her neck.
One day when the topic of the home group that we hold in my home came up she stated that she was going to start coming. GREAAAAT!! Just what I needed.(Please note the sarcasm). So she had been coming for a few weeks and the ministry always seemed to be directed at her and that drove me more crazy as she would sit there with a blank stare and say she was fine and she was already doing everything she needed to.
The pharisee in me sat there despising her. The unforgiveness and bitterness in my heart was rampant and I knew then that I could not ever love this person. I could pretend and even say all the right things, but in my heart there was no love. So, yesterday came and we decided to meet and get on our faces to seek the Lord. As I lay there on my living room floor I heard the Lord asking why I cared so much what others thought of me when I know the King of Kings. Why I longed for others approval when I was the bride of Christ.
Then He showed me this woman I despise who was next to me at the time and asked if I was willing to love her. I confessed that I couldn’t. He said to humble myself and consider her better than me. Immediately I knew I had to drop my pride and be obedient. As I submitted to the idea that I was the least and the worst, God cleansed my heart from
the unforgiveness and bitterness. No formula, just a change of heart.
Then, my spiritual authority said out of the blue…”I think we should pray over (Sally).” I knew I could lay my hands on her to pray because of what God had just done in my heart. As we prayed I just asked for Him to show me His love for her. I knew if I could see it, then I would be able to love her.
As she sat there she began weeping and crying out to God for all the times she fealt alone. She said, “For the time I was alone in my closet, for the time they beat me, for the time the called me worthless, and for the time my parents killed themselves.”
Immediately a flood of sorrow rushed through my body. So much I could barely stand it. I kept my hand on her and wept with her. God showed me this was just a taste of the sorrow He fealt through all these things that she went through and that He never left her. We wept and wept and wept.
Then she turned to me and we embraced and on top of all the sorrow a new emotion came…..LOVE. An overwhelming love for her that physically my body could not contain. I began shaking and could barely speak to tell her how much God loved her. We sat embraced for awhile as this love took over my entire being. Love so great I couldn’t even look her in the eyes becuase it was so overwhelming.
Again, God revealed that this was just a taste of how much He loved her. When the emotion died down enough to be able to come together again as a group there was something new in me. God had given me love for her.
I looked at her with new eyes. She honestly looked different and I swear her voice was different. We were new women. Released from the grasp of the enemy who loves division and strife. I could not love her with any ounce of the religiousity that is in me, but God’s love is more than enough and so much better.
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