I'll admit this. I get caught up in the cares of this life. My thoughts are occupied by so many small things; work, home, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, my family, my problems, etc. If there were a way to accurately gauge the time I've spent thinking about problems, I'm sure I'd be ashamed.
Often, when I am facing a challenge, I will think about it endlessly. I'll have imaginary conversations where I am formulating the perfect arguments and comebacks. I can get so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I forget to look to the Lord for guidance and instruction.
What if I could learn to live my life as though it were no longer my own? Imagine the change that would occur if I finally accepted that I no longer live and it's all about CHRIST!
Currently, I am dealing with some personal issues that have been lingering for years. I'm a victim of internet harassment and character defamation. I met a group of women in a chat room nearly four years ago and we had a disagreement. It spiraled downward and we all made mistakes in the way we conducted ourselves. They are unwilling to let it go and have been stalking and harassing me ever since. They accuse me of assorted crimes, make posts about my family and my marriage. They talk about my children and make up vicious lies.
It's been really hard not to respond. I'll admit, I've slipped and responded a few times, like the time they posted the youtube link to my grandma's memorial video so they could mock my figure. That attack stung because I adored my grandmother and six years later, I'm still grieving her passing. (For what it's worth, I think they confused me with my aunt- but that doesn't matter.)
So, as I continue to endure this season of my life, I am challenged by this scripture. It's not I that lives, but Christ in me. How much should I allow these women to affect me? Daily, I forgive them. Sometimes I forgive them several times in a day. I do have peace, in spite of the nasty attacks, because I guarding my heart. I won't allow bitterness to plant a seed. I do pray for them, but I won't pretend that it's easy to do that.
I've learned to forgive more quickly and for that, I thank these women. They've given me daily opportunities to practice forgiveness. (I'm not being sarcastic.) Through trials, we have the opportunity to improve. We can test our endurance and gain strength. When this is all over, and I'm sure that it will one day be over, I'll be a stronger, more patient person who deeply appreciates the fact that I am no longer living for myself. It's not about me. It's all for Jesus.