Insult, Injury, Seeking release

Those who instruct writers tell that the best readership is when the writer connects from a personal place. So here is a recent telling of a personal relationship gone bad and how I am coping with that. My time is divided between writing two mornings a week, attending a crochet group one morning per week and participating in a church small group every other week. I have not joined any of church women’s Bible studies as my time is stretched as is.

I have been part of this crochet and knit group for many years. We meet weekly to construct our own projects. Sometimes a bunch of us decide to try the same pattern. Recently our leader was absent and no one knew where she was. Many reiterated, “She always tells one of us if she is not going to attend.” She had not told anyone. I called and there was no answer. Left her a message. Stopped at her house on the way home to drop a donation of hats and mittens someone had made. Lights were out but both cars were there. I assumed she was resting. I did not ring the bell. Placed the donation on top of her car in the open garage. Left a message that we were concerned by her absence. Later in the week I tried to get hold of her. Her phone mailbox was full.

When I attended group the next week she lit into me with fury. “I and my family are really pissed at you!” I was curious and it was humorous to me at first, “Why?!?” In anger she replied, “You called me three times! Even my cousin did not call that many times.” She accused me of butting my nose into other people’s business. I was told to just butt out. Wow. I thought I was showing concern for her well being. She had recently been hospitalized with lung issues. With the children’s virus going around that can affect seniors I was truly concerned. I still had no idea where she had been the previous meeting. I was wounded by her words. There had to be at least 15 other ways she could have handled that besides yelling at me in front of the group that was assembling.

I went out of the room to sign in at the Senior Center desk and realized I could not stay for that meeting. I was angry and distressed. I had brought a cake to share with the group for my birthday, and could not in good conscious act as if all was well. I got my cake, crochet supplies and purse out of the meeting room as she was explaining to the group what happened to her and where she had been the previous week. I did not wait to listen.

I admit, I have had a hard time shaking this one off. I have prayed. I have asked trusted friends to listen to my heart. Tried not to ruminate, just find out what the Lord requires of me in this.

This week the same Scripture came to me through more than one source.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:2 NIV
Photo by Molly Dutina

Our church has repeatedly been teaching about the fact that we cannot, should not, try to walk alone in our Christian journey. The preacher asks us almost weekly to examine our circle of friends and influence. I have been doing just that and find my circle too limited and me often suffering from loneliness.

So having just passed my 72nd birthday I wondered what I am going to do about this? My Dad died when I was 11 years old. I was left with my mom and sister who were like two peas in a pod. I was the odd girl out. After that I grew up with a steady diet of criticism of them. It all left me with a tendency to not trust women in relationships. Mind you, I have some close female friends, but I also have a long line of women who shamed, falsely accused or betrayed me. Last Sunday a guest speaker came and challenged us to tell our story to a small group of fellow Christians. I am reading his book and asking my church if we are holding groups like he suggests.

Okay, there is no Christian focus at crochet group. There are Christians who attend, many go to the same church I do! I do not want to discuss this with them as I fear getting into gossip about her. That is not my goal. How do I get in relationship with other women who want to share life in a trusting, safe environment? Our speaker, Dr. Alan Ahlgrim, pointed out repeatedly that we cannot be heart healthy alone. (He was not speaking of diet.) He means a place where we do not only share from our heads, but our hearts, too.

I have come to believe that perhaps the Lord released me from the crochet group with this woman’s foot upon my bottom pushing me out the door. He knew I would not leave of my own accord. Her rude manner and unkind ways just put me over the top to see the opportunities to participate in my church’s activities with newly freed up time.

From Joshua Hoehne at Unsplash Images

Please pray that I can find a way to share my heart as well as my mind with others. Pray I will find or help create a group where we can each be genuine without shame or contempt.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
From Bonnie Kittle at Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Insult, Injury, Seeking release

  1. Molly, one of the things I admire most about you is your intentionality. The text messages you send are always so thoughtful and meaningful to me. It hurts ME to know that someone used that as a way to be negative towards you and that it hurt your feelings. I believe that is spiritual warfare and someone trying to dull the very light that God placed in you to shine so brightly in how well and thoughtfully you love others. I thank God for you in my life, even if we still don’t have our weekly study. That is something I want to pick back up at some point in the future. You are a blessing!!!

    Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

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