Lately I have been thinking about the story I have been telling.
This fall and over Christmas I had a very painful relationship problem. I was treated poorly, accused of things I didn't do, attacked when I got upset for being falsely accused. Treated with extreme disrespect and humiliated in front of friends and family.
It wasn't pretty.
And I have been telling the story. To friends who ask, friends who don't ask, and mostly to myself. Over and over I would tell my story and reach out to God. Finally God answered me, "Melanie, that isn't your story."
It feels an awful lot like my story. I was there, I experienced the attacking words and the behavior, fielded the questions and condolences from the witnesses, was crippled by the pain of being hurt. This definitely feels like my story.
But immediately I knew God was right. This isn't my story. I certainly found myself tangled up in someone elses story, but God is right, this is not my story. It is their story.
However, the more I told the story, the more it was beginning to define me. Poor Melanie who has been so terribly mistreated. How could this happen? And people would look at me with sympathy and sadness, the same sadness I was feeling because of everything that had happened. So I kept praying because I wanted to be rid of my sadness and I didn't like seeing my pain reflected back to me on the faces of those I was sharing with. However, the more I told the story both to others and to myself, the deeper it was settling on me.
"Melanie, that isn't your story."
I do have a story in all this. But it isn't a story of how I was attacked and hurt. It is the story of how God walked with me through a difficult journey. The lessons he has taught, the lessons I have learned. My story is of learning to trust God with relationships you can no longer be a part of and experience his protection when you are. Because there are some relationships you can never get out of and no matter what happens in them you wouldn't want to. So God protects you. And you trust God. And you believe that God will redeem your relationship someday.
I am starting to heal, I feel stronger each day. My hurt is slowly disappearing. And God has blessed us with many good things this month. I think my husband and friends are all a little worried that I will start to feel so strong I will forget my hurt and try to re-engage in the relationship. Honestly, I am a little afraid I might do that too. But if I do that I will have forgotten my story, the story where I have placed this relationship in God's hands and am trusting Him to bring it back to me when it is safe and I am ready. That is the true story, that is my story.
What is your story?