But then it changed years ago during a family blowout. All of us with our separate pressures, and mine being a born again Christian with a specific calling to fulfill; we were changing. And one day I was visiting home in New Jersey, and my Boricua sisters (three in total) and I were no longer connecting like we typically do. One sister in particular and I argued. I’ll call her Eve. We screamed. I hung up. And I walked away. Eve and I never recovered.
Months passed. And through prayer, I decided to forgive and seek forgiveness, but Eve wasn’t ready. Eve had hurt the other sisters too. BUT that hurt didn’t take hold. Eve forgave the sisters and they forgave her. But Eve shut me out. I wasn’t a part of the package. I wasn’t good enough to forgive. As time went on, the two sisters and Eve continued in sisterhood, broken, but it was THERE. As for me, Eve moved forward as if I didn’t exist.
I believed we were both wrong during that blow out. But only I was able to see my fault. She didn’t want to see herself. She only wanted to see me. And what occurred is not really important. Hurt is hurt. Wrong is wrong. Sin is sin. And forgiveness is forgiveness. It’s all the same ingredients no matter how you cook it. But here is the lesson.
As years went on, it often angered me that the other sisters continued in their relationship with Eve because I felt Eve was selfish; sometimes a user. In fact, I told my other sisters, “Eve is that boyfriend that has sex with you; tells you that they love you, but once they hit it; they’re out.” Eve was that person to me, I’d tell the sisters in my hurt. She was a good friend when she was in need, but not good when others needed her. “Doesn’t anybody see that?! Don’t you see how she’s treating me! Are you going to continue in a friendship with her when she’s treating ME this way?!” I’d shout. The answer was yes. In time I realized, that’s how I SAW EVE. That was my story and my journey with Eve. While the other sisters were also disappointed with Eve’s behavior as well, they had their own journey and kinks to work out. They stayed connected to Eve and that HURT me. But then I realized they were accountable to God for their own forgiveness and THEIR own journey. In time, I was able to forgive Eve and move on. Why? Because that's what God required for ME to do. And the smartest.
The most important lesson in all of this is, don't get caught up in someone else's unforgiveness. I remember on another occasion when a friend of mine remained a member at a church that I felt hurt the name of Christianity. Could I be angry with her for sticking it out with a church that I felt hurt people? No…because if God told her TO STAY, it’s more important for her to be obedient to God than it is to worry about hurting me or living up to my standards or opinions. When God tells you to move forward; forgive AND begin anew. When God tells you to be still, be still. If my sisters were to die tomorrow with unforgiveness on their hearts because of how Eve treated me; that wouldn’t be a good thing. Right? In fact, the Bible instructs us not to take a wrong and share it with others. If someone mistreats you; that's between YOU and the other person. Not the world. Another piece to this is, we often pray for things and wonder why we're addicted; lonely; childless; unmarried; in debt; depressed, and sick. The Aramaic word for forgive is to untie. When you're called to forgive; forgive. Forgiveness opens doors and it unties you from junk. You're free to receive the goodness of God.
Today, I am glad my sisters and Eve remain connected. People are reasons, seasons, or our lifetimes, and Eve was seasonal for me, but a lifetime for others. And I am okay with that. So again, don’t hate others because of someone else. I’ve lived this lesson a few times and there is always a bottom line- the answer to our prayers often lie in forgiveness and your journey is yours and no one else’s lesson to carry. p
1 John 4:20
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.