Written By Hazel Casimier, USA
I was mid-conversation with my mom when she dropped the latest story on me.
I had thought we had passed the phase of accusations. I had thought that it’d been long enough that my grandmother would want to let go of whatever she was harboring against me. I had thought maybe we could one day, preferably soon, be over this phase of hurtful words and further destruction to the relationship.
Now stories were being repeated again to another family friend. I’d “stolen a sweater from her.” Then, as this particular story goes, I felt bad about it and left money on my grandmother’s Bible. A $100 bill to be exact. Here I was once again, hearing accusing words that pierced me to the core.
The latest accusation reopened the wound, yet I laughed out loud. Not because it was hilarious, but because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I laugh because I know that what is being said is the farthest thing from the truth. I laugh in front of those who tell me the stories, but I know it’s only a cover for the pain that I feel—pain that she feels the way she does, that she has those thoughts in her mind, that she’s so convinced of everything in such a distorted way.
I laugh, but in my heart I wish and pray with everything in me that things were different. I laugh, but I know that the words flowing from her mouth stem from some sort of pain she experienced long ago, a pain that has nothing to do with me. I just so happen to be the lucky duck that her emotions and pain are directed towards.
It wasn’t the first time I had heard it, and I know it won’t be the last. Yet each and every time, it affects me all over again. It leads to a period of questioning myself: “What did I do to make her feel this way about me?”, “Is there something wrong with me, that she doesn’t want a relationship with me?”, “Why do I even pray about this when the situation only seems to get worse?”
This has been going on for years. And in the past, I have allowed it to take up a significant part of my heart and mind, and I let it affect my emotions—severely. Many times, I lost my appetite, lost sleep, and cried tears. It was difficult for me to grasp because I simply didn’t understand why our relationship is this way.
The last time I saw my grandmother and tried to have a conversation with her at my brother’s wedding shower, she wouldn’t even look me in the eye, let alone talk with me. She doesn’t acknowledge my birthdays any longer. It’s as if I’m just out of her life completely. The sad thing is, it’s not as if we live hundreds of miles away. She lives right in our front yard.
I’ve contemplated going over, and came close to it so many times. I’ve thought of writing a letter to her. I’ve prayed about it, through it, and still do, about what steps to take, about whether our relationship will ever be okay again.
Each time I’ve almost gone, I knew it wasn’t the right time. So for now, day by day, all I can do is pray and trust that in the right timing, the Lord’s mercy and restoration will break though.
Trusting God for Healing and Restoration
The days tick by, and though I see no actual improvements, there are subtle signs from the Lord reassuring me that He has it under control. Last year, everywhere I turned, Romans 8:28 was shining through the darkness. God is working everything together for good, even if it doesn’t seem like it, even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it hurts right now.
Slowly, I began to understand that God didn’t want me to worry, He didn’t want me to get anxious or saddened about it. I was yearning for an earthly relationship, but He was drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him. He didn’t want me to think about or question what He was doing, He simply wanted me to trust Him, and to focus on Him, rather than my struggles.
I went out for a run that Monday evening, and rather than dwelling on the emotions that were creeping in, I turned to the One who knew my heart, my struggles, and everything that has transpired and will transpire.
With one foot in front of the other, I simply continued to say Jesus’ name with each step. I was at a loss for words to pray, but I asked God where He was in all of it. I took a break to walk, and as the sun shone through the tassels on the cornstalks, God reminded me that He was there, He was everywhere. He has never not been in the situation, and He wasn’t going to start missing out now.
Later that evening, I flipped open my Bible, and it happened to be the book of Job. I read about how everything was stripped from Job, yet he continued to praise the Lord. Aren’t we challenged to do the same? Sure, things might be different than I had hoped or prayed for, but the Lord was still in it, and so I will praise Him for the beauty He continues to create in my life.
It is a daily choice to praise God and to not dwell on the hurt. And it does require a strength that I’ve found only the Lord provides. It’s something I must seek diligently, consciously, and fervently.
When the tough days come and I long for that relationship I’ve yearned for since childhood, I have to consciously choose to focus on the Lord’s plan. And sometimes it takes continually saying His name in order to reflect on the very blessings He’s sent my way, and to trust that though it doesn’t make sense, He’s filling the voids and providing in ways that He knows my heart needs.
Whatever hurt you’re going through, you’ve been through, or that you’ll eventually walk through, take His hand and trust Him. Don’t let the pain, fear, doubt, or regret take up too much of today. There’s beauty in every moment and every season, and He isn’t going to leave it as dust. He can use the ashes and mold them to form the most beautiful masterpiece your eyes have ever seen.