I have a praise to offer in response to my last post!!
My imposed alienation from my family (by them) has been weighing heavily upon my mind. As the holidays grow closer and closer, I am thinking about what Christmas presents to make for each person. I'm making rugs for both my daughters, and as I was looking at these I thought to myself how nice this would look in my brother and sister-in-law's foyer.
And then IT HIT ME!! I'm not going to see them for Christmas!! They do not want to see me or speak to me because of my belief in God!!
As I talked this over with other Christian friends, received comments from my blogging friends, I was uplifted and encouraged in this.
One friend told me that it sounded like I was "mourning them, grieving them, as if they had died". And that is true. That is exactly how I was feeling. Except they are not dead, they are very much alive.
I have received affirmations of my faith--"You are doing the right thing, going the right way--they are the ones in the wrong. The only thing you can do is pray for God to soften their hearts and show them the way. They need to be the ones to respond to Him."
And the one that sticks with me the most and has helped lift me from this sort of semi-depression the most: "And who was persecuted for the sake of you?"
Because this is really what this is--my own family persecuting me for my faith and trust in our LORD!
So, I again, thank God for my spiritual family--the people in my life who have replaced my own biological family--for providing me with people to uplift me and show me the way, for putting words into their mouths to comfort and sustain me, for prayer so that I can talk this whole situation over with God, and most of all for Jesus!!
Thank you, Jesus, for being persecuted and losing your life for me!! My own persecution is nothing compared to what you suffered. I have felt so alone, so discouraged in all of this. How must you have felt? So saddened, so much pain, so much anguish!!
Thank you for placing people in my life to encourage and uplift me so that my faith in you is increased, not decreased as my family has hoped this would do.
Help me to continue to remember them in my prayers--to soften their hearts towards you, God, for them to be open to YOUR WORD, and to come to You.
I know you will continue to show me the way, Lord. Help me to be aware of every instance you place in my life that points me in the right direction.
In Jesus' precious name.......