Saturday, August 1, 2015

Beloved Enemies

On the (almost) eve of my 44th birthday, I cannot help but sit and marvel over what God has done in my life, particularly over the last eight years.

Up until that time, it was as if I was invisible. At times I didn't even feel human. I drifted from day to day with no thoughts of a future and often wondered how my heart continued to beat through the night. I had no conscious will to live, but something in me kept hanging on. At times, I truly resented that part of myself.

But one day, I happened to attend a conference featuring Judith MacNutt. While listening to her speak, a myriad of dormant feelings began to awaken in me. I didn't leave that conference healed, but I did leave with new signs of life stirring around in my heart. And I didn't want to die anymore.

My journey to healing officially began then, and I endeavored to work intensely to recover. Interestingly enough, it was during this same period of time that I had accrued almost overnight, and for the first time ever, enemies. And not just one. They appeared everywhere. Especially at church.

Now, when I talk to people about having enemies, their eyes grow wide with fear. They think I'm about to engage in a long saga about some kind of victimization, and naturally (and to their credit), they don't want to hear the story...but read on because this is not that kind of story.

No. I am here to say that the most joyful revelation I have had, and it came only recently, is that all of those enemies that came out of the woodwork eight years ago, have been the biggest and most tremendous blessings I could ever experience.

My enemies taught me how to forgive. How to love. How to persevere. How to bless. How to wait. How to praise. How to give. How to cry. How to pray. How to rejoice in suffering. How to obey. You brought meaning, focus, and purpose to an empty wasteland of a life. I am alive because of you. Thriving because of you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have given to me more than anybody else ever could. Truly, I say to you, may the Lord bless you and keep you and to make his face shine upon you. You are beloved.

Enemies are nothing to fear. In fact, their sudden appearance generally signals to you that God, too, has just shown up in your life. And where He is, victory, growth, change, and healing are never far behind! Thank You, God, for the gift of a restored life.

On the contrary, "If your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." ~Romans 19:20

More will love them.

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