It’s a great day when I get that phone call and I hear one of my young adult children say, “Mom, I have a friend I want you to meet!” I love it when our kids invite us not only into their world, but introduce us to their friends.
It was worth the three hour trip to Athens to meet one of Collins’ friends. It was actually her new boss. When Collins stepped away from college golf, she had some time to fill. It is not in her to just sit around so she accepted a position at Chick-fil-a and loved it. She met the most fabulous people at her first job. Her second job, which fits better into her class schedule, involves working for this young and highly motivated 27 year old business owner. They met this past fall but the job did not become available until Christmas break. Collins was thrilled to go to work and learn from this young woman who is quite the entrepreneur.
We have so much in common and some mutual friends. I continue to see God working out His “best Yes” for Collins even though the road to that best yes has been “very rough” and painful. It was so much fun to have dinner with her and see her “growing” in statue before my very eyes. That painful road which started with the coach she loved, and whom Collins picked to play for, being fired from her coaching job.
We will never figure that one out except to see that Kelly has done just fine. Kelly was immediately hired in another school and her team at Furman is flourishing with a BIG win just recently. So happy for her! As for Collins, she is realizing so much about life that exists outside of the golf course. She is learning much about people, human nature, and what “maturing” is all about. She has learned when you fall or get pushed down, what matters most is what you do after…..:)YOU get up!
One of the greatest things I have seen her work through and embrace is forgiveness. I think, in life, we are all challenged at some point in time with a huge dose of “self-examination” in this area with a “test” of, “Do we really understand forgiveness and how to forgive and why?” Releasing the person or people from the harm they inflicted either intentionally or unintentionally is part of the Christian life and walk with Christ. He first forgave us and expects us to forgive.
It doesn’t mean we have to be “buddy buddy” or even trust that individual or individuals again. Trust is earned. Sometimes in life, you walk away with the lesson, with forgiving, and separate forever more. Looking back, I would still like to take the painful experience away from her…but not really. For God’s best yes is most important. For her to learn very early in life that there are some people “who do not have her best interest at heart” is an important lesson.
Sometimes it takes a long time to learn that there are people who say they care but really don’t for whatever reason. It is a fact of life, isn’t it? You know it is a part of growing up and maturing. It can be hard to realize that some people really do not care about you and don’t have your greater good at heart regardless of what they say.
Our sin nature is a funny thing…Christians and non-Christians alike hurt people. Hopefully, as Christians, we recognize and seek forgiveness, repentance and restoration when we hurt. But for the non-believer, the one who doesn’t have a relationship with Christ, we have to “lower our expectations”. I have told Collins many times that you cannot expect a non-Christian to act and behave like a Christian.
I have also warned her that, as a Christian, we have to truly live our forgiveness and let the power of Christ radiate through our thoughts, our actions and our words. She now understands…it is so important to watch what people do instead of relying and banking on what people say. Actions and words have to line up…for integrity…respect and a true picture of having someone’s greater good at heart.
Part of living a life sold out to Christ is doing the Hard right thing. Turning the other cheek. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you… means forgiving and not treating people in an evil manner. Do not repay evil for evil. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be “kicked” or “harassed” or treated disrespectfully or walked on like a “doormat”. It means… being kind in the face of evil. Have enough respect for yourself and what you believe to walk away if you need to…choosing “the road less traveled”. Living the verse found in Proverbs 4:23, “You have to guard your heart because EVERYTHING you do flows from it.”
Guarding can mean walking away, confronting the truth in love, calling out blatant wrong,…..you leave the results to God. When you truly learn to trust God, walking in His instruction, over time, and sometimes not immediately, you see His loving hand…you see light again. You see that He has your back…a future hope and a much better YES!
An added benefit? Sometimes when you do it God’s way, over time you gain respect. God’s time has a way of revealing many things to others that, at first, only you and God see. But, His timing and His ways are perfect.
Learn from this post…God has your back in the toughest of times. He may ask you to do the hard right thing…forgiveness of evil is something He requires of all of us. BUT HIS BLESSINGS DO FOLLOW…forgiving and putting vengeance in God’s hands is His best Yes.
Romans 12:9, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”