One of my nearest and dearest friends has accused me of being pig-headed. She's right, of course, but for the wrong reason. She thinks my refusal to forgive John stems from a reluctance to show weakness. In fairness, it's my fault she thinks that because I've done such a horrid job explaining to her why this particular problem is so insurmountable to me.
You see, when I speak to her, it's typically before I've even had a chance to process my thoughts through writing. When she asks me a question, my unorganized thoughts just spill out and spread, forcing me to spend more time cleaning up the mess than actually communicating my true thoughts.
Again, that's completely my fault. I should probably just steer clear of talking about anything until I've had a chance to write out my thoughts.
Anyway, because of my jumbled mess of an explanation, she thinks I refuse to hand my brokenness to God because I feel like I need it as one might need a security blanket. I refuse to acknowledge that God demands forgiveness from me because by forgiving John, I might lose some of the steam and anger I believe he deserves directed in a constant stream at him (which is partly true).
She accused me of trying to shoulder everything entirely by myself when I should be going to God for help carrying the burden.
She's not entirely wrong. I SHOULD be doing that and I SHOULD be handing everything over and I SHOULD be forgiving him.
However - and this is a big however - I can't. Not yet. I just can't. And I'm okay with this.
When I tell her that I'm okay with not making any move towards God, my friend's poor heart wrings itself out because she knows I'm in a bad place that will only get darker if I don't figure out my way home soon.
Again, she's right.
However, it's not that I am too stubborn or too strong-willed or too confident in my own strength that's keeping me lodged firmly in place. It's actually the exact opposite that's keeping me in place. I'm stuck. I've given up. I am too weak. I have no confidence in my ability to make the moves necessary to forgive him because the scorn and repugnance I carry have created a thicket of thorns that has completely ensconced me.
Have you ever seen a sheep stuck in a bush or gate? While I was in Ireland, it was common. Sheep got stuck EVERYWHERE it seemed. Some would kick, buck and bleat, but others (likely those that had been stuck longer) sorta just chilled in place. They knew that, eventually, someone would find them and free them.
I'm like the latter sheep. There's no point in bleating, kicking or bucking. I haven't any strength left to try, anyway. The only thing I've strength to say is "Alrighty, God, you know where I'm at. Come get me."
And He's coming. He sent Our Lady ahead of Him to soothe me. He sent the Holy Spirit to sustain me. Soon, He'll arrive and pull the thorns from my wool. At this point, He's the only one able to do so.
That's why I seem so content to remain in the state of sin. However, that's like saying the sheep is content being stuck in the briar. I don't LIKE being trapped, but I recognize that no action on my part is going to make it better. So all I can do is trust that my Shepherd is coming for me and wait to see how He manages to free me from the thicket.
As a complete aside, this incredibly gorgeous painting was done by an anonymous student in a German art school around 1917. It's an oil on tin painting. Isn't it absolutely magnificent?!
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