Editor Note: You can listen to today’s Ready Set. Redefine. Restore. Call by dialing the playback #(559) 726-1299 #ReadySetRedefine2013.
Our topic on Day #4 was forgiveness and how critical it is in our lives in order to get to the lives we desire. Sophia also recapped the first 3 days of the “42 days” so that those who just joined the call today could catch up. The first 7 days we are laying a foundation of HOW we will get rid of that which we do not need in order to get to what we do need to keep in 2013. The calls are very popular, and social media is all abuzz on the power of these 10-15 minute daily (including Holiday) calls. Tomorrow’s Sunday call will be hosted at 3PMET in order to accommodate church services, family gatherings and brunch in all time zones.
Today’s “Don’t Miss It” chat had over half million views and impressions in 60 minutes. It was by far one of Sophia’s most popular chats to date. Her message as always was authentic, transparent, and real. Here are some of her Tweets which you can follow via http://www.twitter.com by hashtag: #DontMissIt. She penned a special message below as well for those who need a bit more context beyond 140 character Tweets:
#SaturdayLove NOW: Not all who come into your life come to TAKE something from you; Some people come into your life to RESTORE. #DontMissIt
There is a great line in the movie “Madea’s Family Reunion” where the Boris Kodjoe character “Frankie” says to “Vanessa” the character played by actress Lisa Arrindell Anderson that “All men don’t come to take something, some men come to restore.” It is a profound line we should all remember as it relates to life, because too often we MISS what God has for us, who God has for us, by remaining stuck in what someone else did to us, how they hurt us, betrayed us, left us, or walked away from us. Vanessa’s character in the movie has been sexually abused, mistreated by men, horribly handled by her mother (Victoria played by actress Lynn Whitfield), and abandoned by every man she has ever been involved with. She lacks trust, she lacks faith, she lacks courage, and she lacks the ability to give love another try. But the Frankie character is genuinely good. He is kind. He is loving. He is worthy. The conflict begins when he wants to love her, but she is so badly damaged that she cannot accept his love at face value.
And so it is with many of us. We have all been there. We were so busy being stuck. So busy protecting ourselves. So busy covering up with that mask our pain and neglect that we MISSED the prince or princess God sent to us. We missed that wonderful friend who was born to stand with us. Who loved, covered, and encouraged us daily. We missed when God sent that person who had power, access, and entree to our lives and was willing to use it to help us. We attacked them because we did not understand “why us”. We could not handle the favor of GOD being sent to us THROUGH His chosen vessel. We missed that BIG OPEN door because we could not take our eyes off the CLOSED door behind us. Fear controlled our hearts.
We let pride, arrogance, lack of humility and a lack of trust of people from our past who broke our hearts so deeply that we pushed away the best friends we ever had, the best potential mates we ever had, the best confidantes we ever had. And sadly, we did to them so cruelly what had been done to us for so long: We discarded them without so much as a word or warning. We “cut them off”. We got them told. We trashed their good name. We did everything we could to wipe away any trace of decency and goodness they brought our way because WE COULD NOT HANDLE, because we could NOT accept, the blessing of them. All we could see was their faults, and human frailties. All we could do was judge and condemn, and break their good nature and spirit with our wretched condemnation and harsh words. We wanted to get them before they got us. And most damaging of all, we did it all in the name of blessed Jesus.
How dare we? How dare you? How dare I?
My message today is a simple one: If you are holding on to what has hurt you in life; Yet sending up prayers for God to bless you–be clear–He can–He will. But will you be READY when he does it?? Will you?? If not you will MISS IT! I have been there. I gave myself totally as a friend, a confidante and as a servant hearted sister in Christ to a person I met some time ago. It was an instant and mutual connection. She had great gifts and much to offer the world. She simply needed a push, some good folks around her, access, and some exposure. She said she had been praying for years for a friend/mentor/sponsor like me. Well, I showed up. And I was ready. What I did not know, however, was this woman’s past and her present situation. All the things she had endured for years in secret and some in public humiliation too. It was a lot for anyone to handle. She had become accustomed to wearing her mask of pain and shame well. She had mastered the art of the cover-up. I had no clue, until people started to tell me what she dared not. I was floored. Sadly, she thought I would judge her too. How wrong she was. I wanted to help, but at some point I realized I could not. We can only be helped if we want to be helped.
God will always reveal to us, why he is allowing someone to reject us.
Their rejection is His protection.
What became apparent some months well into our otherwise wonderful and blessed friendship/fellowship was that she lacked trust. She had a low tolerance for human weakness. She was very judgmental and very quick to cut people off. Despite her own glaring weaknesses and faults. Go figure. Let me just say that our friendship ended badly. Horribly in point of fact. Pride, anger, and a hard heart ruled the day. Instead of understanding, friendship, and covering.
It still saddens me all this time later. I think it will always make me sad.
Why do I share this story? Because this sister and I had amazing potential to do great things together. Iron sharpens iron. She gave me much wisdom, as I did her. You could see her shift toward the possible when we were together. But old habits and dysfunctions in our lives die HARD. She had bad influences around her in the form of unwise counselors, yes men, and a very insecure spouse who unbeknownst to me did not like our friendship or me at all. Abusers & controllers never like the friend or family member they fear may lead their victims to personal discovery and freedom.
When we are not whole, healed, healthy people we walk around with poor vision. We miss those things and people that are blessings, and we hold close to those who do us consistent harm and keep us from our greatness. Ironically, we easily forgive our abusers, and we attack and curse those God sends to save us from us. We do what Joseph’s brothers did. When the blessing shows up in our lives, we throw it away literally in a pit, we sell it off into slavery, we seek to KILL IT due to envy, jealousy, lack of faith, lack of self-worth, and lack of love. This sister hurt me deeply. The people who drawn into our feud got hurt deeply. When we MISS what and who God sends for us, there will always be fall-out and it will hurt us most of all when we realize one day that we blocked our blessing with pride, arrogance, and lack of gratitude.
I have forgiven the offense, I have forgiven myself for my part in how I reacted badly to the hurt–and for chasing after and trying to resurrect a friendship that never really existed, and was in fact dead. I finally learned through wise counsel to love myself enough to walk away with no anger, regret or bitterness. I pray for her. I pray for her healing. I pray for restoration of all she has lost. Hurt people hurt people. In the meantime, I will use our mess,as a message to myself and to bless other people going forward. I hope you will do the same in your lives when you miss it, or they miss it. We all do. Forgive folks and pray for them.
All of us has a story like mine. Face it. Fix It. or Let It Go. Don’t miss what God has for you today by being stuck in what you lost yesterday.