Back to work...

I have had out of town company for the last two and a half weeks and we also went away for the holiday weekend. My editor was away for the July 4th holiday as well, but today he was back at work and sent me seven chapters to review. The first five I had already looked at once and sent back to him. The last two were fresh and he had many questions for me. I have spent the whole day reading and responding and explaining certain things in greater detail. I have now reread and edited most of these chapters so many times that I feel like I could almost recite the book. Well, not quite. But you get the point.

Some chapters were painful to write and every time I review them, I relive those painful experiences. I keep thinking that, at some point, I won't cry anymore when I reread them. But that has not happened yet. My editor asked me (in the margin) today why I was being vague about certain details. Tears ran down my cheeks as I typed the details that I didn't include in the book so that my editor could understand my desire not to hurt, humiliate or villify people by including them. I asked for his opinion about whether they are necessary details. I don't have his answer yet.

As I reflected today on my desire to avoid embarrasing or hurting certain people in my life, I couldn't help but think about the harsh opinion of me they hold and have expressed, their skewed perception of the heart they have never known. And although the pain is not gone -- and may never be -- I am reminded I must accept that I cannot control how anyone else views or misjudges me. In the midst of the disappointment and heartbreak, there is peace in acceptance. I relinquish to God what I cannot control. And that has been something really big to come out of this writing process.

Danny says he has watched me grow in the grace of God as I have written this book. I know I am learning to rest and find comfort in GOD'S acceptance and love, which is enabling me to increasingly let go of my need for the love and acceptance of others. I feel like this is something God has been teaching me now for an awfully long time.

I am still a work in progress, but I am thankful for the lessons God is teaching me through my struggles. I know the pain is not without purpose.


Celeste Maia said…
It will be a wonderful book that we are all looking forward to buying and reading.
Ann said…
Dear Shari,
You are a magnificent person, a beautiful child of God. Your expression of those with a “harsh opinion of you”, and with a “skewed perception of the heart they have never known” really spoke volumes of the challenge you have had in sharing your story, still showing sensitivity towards those who have indulged in this thinking towards you. God bless you, Shari, as you prepare your book for publishing. You have an amazing story, and are a dear friend!
Love, Ann
Shari said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari said…
Thank you, Celeste. Thank you, Ann.

I have had a couple of low days. Over a month ago, someone close to me made some harsh and cruel judgments of me in writing. It was clear just how much this person wanted to cut me with their words. Weeks later, I am still stunned by the tone and viciousness of what was said and how far back this person went to assassinate my character. It was abundantly clear that this person has resented me for many, many years (much longer than I had ever realized). The communication left me practically speechless. (I know, hard to imagine.)

I couldn't respond to the specific things that were said. I had no desire to defend myself against the attack. I just felt like I never wanted to talk to that person again. The communication reopened old wounds that I thought I had totally healed from and it also created new ones. (Ironically, situations that I had so gingerly tried to write about in the book--in order to protect and be kind to this person--were used as weapons to hurt me and false accusations from over twenty years ago were leveled against me afresh).

I feel like I am back at square one when it comes to the process of forgiveness. I truly believed I had made peace with it all and then it was dug up like a grave in this effort to blast me. If I wanted to embarrass and humiliate this person, I would copy and paste the email to my blog. But that is not my desire and I would never do that.

Short of a miracle of God, I doubt I will ever have a relationship with this person. Some days I feel anguish and other days I feel absolutely no desire to ever even try. Sometimes I genuinely believe that I don't care anymore what this person thinks of me. But if that were true, I would never hurt or grieve internally (and I do). I have come to terms with the way things are and I know that I can't fix anything at this point. "It is what it is," as my husband says. But I have days when I feel very sad about "what it is."

I can live without this relationship. But I want my heart to be right and I want to be able to forgive because God has forgiven me. At this point, I will admit that I don't FEEL the forgiveness. But I know that forgiveness isn't dependent upon a feeling. It's a choice. Jesus is my example of forgiveness and He was able to forgive even in the midst of pain much greater than mine. I need to forgive and right now it's really hard. I am not too proud to admit that or ask for your prayers that I will grow in my ability to forgive whether it is ever asked for or not.

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