Careening down a steep hill on inline skates, hair flowing behind like the mane of a wild mustang, cerulean blue sky overhead, with my faithful dog loping at my side, life felt like it couldn’t get any better.
I am not sure just when I realized that managing the curve of the cul-de-sac at the bottom of the steep hill at top speed like I anticipated would require that I “take out” my dog who was loping in a straight trajectory (inside the circle I planned to navigate). I knew instantly I had a choice to make: Either take out my dog by curving into him or jump the curb at the end of the cul-de-sac and hope for the best…an intentional rolling tumble on the grass, perhaps. That seemed the more promising of the options. I was an advanced inline skater, but nothing could have prepared me for what that maneuver would require.
Too late. The decision was made for me. A third option I hadn’t considered.
Next thing I knew, I was on my back in the gutter, stopped instantly (and violently) when my foot, not having cleared the jump as intended, slammed, instead, into a storm drain. I sat up in the street and extricated my skate-ensconced foot from the storm drain. My body faced north, but my foot pointed south. What a strange sensation it was to look upon my foot at that preposterous angle. It really didn’t compute. It still felt like my foot was “on” right. But it clearly wasn’t.
Within minutes I heard the siren of an approaching ambulance. The neighbors gathered around. I was swept up and off to the hospital where my ankle was “relocated” (and later would require two surgeries) and my leg was set in a cast–radiographs revealed a spiral fracture just below the knee. Not the best of days for me.
I guess this is what it means to be “stopped dead in your tracks.”
That was almost 13 years ago (Easter Sunday was the special day it happened).
Recently, soon after this website was revamped, I launched a blog series about navigating through trials differently. My goal was to encourage others to get and stay on the Path of Praise … no matter what. Facing my own trial at the time (which is ongoing), I shared the strategies God has taught me to use to be sure I keep my focus on HIM instead of on anything and everything else. I was on a roll sharing a lot of material with you! The content was encouraging me, even if the blog stats reflected that not many others were reading it. LOL!
Then, I posted about Forgiveness and listed four different “kinds” of forgiveness that it is important to deal with in order to navigate through trials as victORs rather than as victIMs.
I intended to post about each of the four in succession over the course of two weeks. I posted about forgiving yourself and followed that with a post about seeking the forgiveness of others–something that seems counter-intuitive when our trial is due to the way others are treating us. So far so good.
The third type of forgiveness, though–forgiving others–is where my heart met that storm drain and I was stopped dead in my tracks. Ouch. DOING this won’t be as easy as writing about it. And I didn’t want to write about it without doing it now. I know that the process I have gone through in the past to forgive others has been transformative! But right now it feels overwhelming…to do it…well…now. On one level, the level I keep pointing to so God knows I mean well–I am “living forgiving” (as Beth Moore might say). But I can tell that I have done the dance of “sanctified denial.” There is more here. I need to deal with the more.
I guess forgiveness is a bigger challenge when you know the person who has wronged you will continue to act the same–will continue to wound you–and there is no (godly) escape from the situation.
So, metaphorically speaking, I have extricated my “dislocated” heart from the “storm drain.” I am getting my bearings again. I was going along so smoothly–so arrogantly–with my series here before that. Now what?
I don’t know, but I think I will be writing about that as it happens. Maybe it will serve a redemptive purpose. I figured I needed to come clean.
How about you? Do you have someone you need to forgive? Are you in a situation where you know you will continue to be wounded by the very person you are called to forgive? What do you think God is calling you to do in this situation?