I would like to share something with you that I have done and maybe it’s something that you need to do as well, maybe not…..either way I’m still sharing! 🙂
If you are close with me then you know that I do not have to best relationship with my mother-in-law. I am as nice as I can be when I am around her or when speaking to her. It doesn’t always end well but I know that I am trying.
She was living with us for many months last year. We were, and still am, thankful for all her help that she did for us while she was here (mostly watching our kiddos so we could go to appointments/meetings without having that distraction). She did help with house work and cooking too. These are things that I would never not credit it for her doing. I won’t go into details about what all happened during all those months but I will share this with you. 3 days after my youngest kiddo was born this past June, she left. Not a lot of warning and a lot of anger was left behind. This was the first time I had a csection, Mister could not take anymore work off, and I was left with taking care of everything around the house + taking care of 5 kiddos. I pushed through all that and have no problem stepping up and doing that, it is my family.
When she came here her car was full of her things. She moved everything into the house when she was trying to sell her car. When she left to move back to FL, she left all of her belongings here. I told her that she needed to get her things out by a certain date because I didn’t want her to use us as a free storage unit. She didn’t take that comment too well and said she would never do that. Here we are almost a year later and her things have been moved into 1 of our 2 bathrooms (that we can no longer use because of this) so it’s not taking up half our living room.
If it were up to me, her things would have already been on the curb for the city to pick up a long time ago but for the love of my husband (and this reason alone) I have not done this.
I tell you some of the bigger points that happened to tell you the most important part of this story.
Within the last 6 months it has been on my heart to write a letter to her. At first I didn’t know what I was going to say or why I even felt the urge to do this. I didn’t want to talk, text, or interact with her at all so why did I feel the need to write something to her!? Then one day it hit me….God was telling me to do this.
Ugh, really God!? Do I really have to write her?!
^^^^Those were my thoughts.
I still didn’t know what I was supposed to write. And again, it hit me. I need to write a letter forgiving her.
Ok God, now you must be joking, right!? I mean everything that she said and put us through and I have to forgive her!?!? Yea right!
No, this wasn’t a joke. He was telling me to do this.
Fine, I’ll write the stupid letter. And I did. I shared it with a woman that I knew I could trust and would be honest with me. Not just side with me because of what she did to us but to tell me the truth.
The truth was that I needed to forgive her so that I wouldn’t have hate, bitterness, and hurt in my heart. I cannot move on if I am still harboring those feelings toward her or anyone for that matter. No one can move on and start their healing process while having those feelings go on inside of them.
So back to me writing that letter. I did it. I wrote that stupid letter that God told me that I had to write. My friend told me some things that I should change and maybe use different wording. Well I didn’t want to because I liked what I said and I wanted my mother-in-law to know a few certain things. So I folded the letter up and put in somewhere on my dresser. I didn’t care where it landed. I wrote it and did what God told me to.
That stupid letter had been bouncing around in my head for months to follow. I didn’t want to have anything else to do with it…I did what I was told. Then I felt God tell me to do something else. Mail it to her.
The thought is laughable and I didn’t want any part of that. All it was going to do was stir things up and I didn’t want any part of that or her.
More months went by.
During all these months we began to struggle big time. Everyone’s attitude was going sour. Things were falling apart. “Friends” were talking about us behind our back. Money was becoming a huge issue. I mean things were really bad.
2 weeks ago I had the urge to re-write that letter. I talked with God about it and prayed that He help me write this and use the words that He wanted me to use. I looked up some verses in the Bible about forgiving, read them, and prayed that I would do those things.
It took me about an hour to write the letter. It was short. No details were given. I said what was on my heart.
Folded it up. Addressed the envelope. Put the letter in the envelope. And looked it at.
I hadn’t sealed the envelope yet. My flesh was telling me not to send it. I deserved to have her say sorry. I didn’t do anything wrong, right?! Boy was I wrong!
I hurried up and sealed the envelope. Walk it out to the cluster mailboxes. Put the letter inside the box. And stepped back.
I started questioning myself. Did I do the right thing? Was this what I was supposed to do? Should I have said something more?
None of that matter because I couldn’t reach in and get the letter out anyway. I sighed out of relief and started walking back to the house.
I was a different person when I walked into the house. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. The relief I felt was amazing! And I still feel it today.
The day she received the letter was the day she called me last week. I didn’t answer the phone and wondered why she was calling me (she usually just sends text messages). She left a message. Do I want to hear what she had to say? At this point I had forgotten about sending the letter. I listened anyway.
She was crying and telling me that it must have been hard to write a letter like that (more than anyone will ever know). She actually asked me to forgive her. I was speechless after hearing that come from her mouth. She never says those words, everything is someone else’s fault, and never takes responsibility for her actions/words or lack there of.
I don’t know how much of that message was true. I honestly take what she says with a grain of salt. I took her at her word though. It’s not my place to judge her, her words, or her heart. She knows that I have forgiven her and I know that I have.
I am still not ready to talk to her at all. I am still not ready to have a relationship with her. I know that I cannot completely heal from everything until her things are out of my house & sight. It’s just a visual reminder.
But I will tell her you that I do not feel the anger anymore. I don’t cringe when I see that she sent me a text. I don’t have days of the situation rolling around in my head. I don’t feel the need to defend my attitude and actions. What goes on inside her is her problem, not mine. She is responsible for her actions, words, and attitudes. This is something that I need to worry about anymore.
I am not kidding at all when I tell you this next part.
Things are starting to change in our life again. But this time for the better. All those things that were falling apart and going wrong…..are now getting fixed and going right.
Because I listened and (eventually) did what God told me too. We are being rewarded because of my obedience.
It wasn’t easy at all. It took months for my stubborn self to come around. Once I gave this situation up to God and just did what He said….everything else started to change.
I share this story because I want you to know that you need may have things falling down around you & it seems to come out of nowhere. It’s because you aren’t following His directions. Talk with the Lord. Ask Him to help you. He loves you and wants you to be happy. He is trying to mold you into what He wants you to be. It’s ok to shed some pride in order to be happy. I’m talking from experience here!
You aren’t weak if you make the first move in a bad relationship. You aren’t the loser if you let something go. You aren’t getting the bad end of the stick because you aren’t getting the recognition that you think you deserve. It will come back to you if you listen to what He is telling you to do. Please listen. You will be rewarded abundantly if you do. Take my word. It will take time. Do not give up. Keep moving forward, praying, and talking with God.