"Did they ever apologize for the way they treated Clint and your family? Did they make an effort to repair the relationship? Where is your family at on it? How can we pray?" We were surprised and touched to know a group was still praying about this when we were asked these questions not too long ago. I waited on answering because I really didn't want to think about it. Then, a few days ago, something else happened. Today, I was asked about the situation again. So here goes...
We let the relative know that any time they wanted to be a family and came with honest intentions, they were welcome. We left it open. That was back in March or April. We have not heard a thing from them once they purchased the house from Clint. With the lengthy and loud profession that "I LOVE THIS MAN!" directed towards my husband, you would expect something by now, but no.
Clint's birthday came and passed, as did other family members'. With the statements about how it was not about the house, but was about the relationship, you'd imagine at least a slight effort would be made. Again, not surprising, when you consider it. It's just same old, same old. We thought we were done with it all, but it keeps popping up.
Clint ordered the screen to replace my laptop. The seller took a P.O. Box address, but unknown to us chose to deliver it by a carrier who needed a street address. When the carrier looked the street address up on the computer, the insurance information came up. Because of the house insurance the Relative put in Clint's name without Clint's knowledge, our address is now connected to the property. The computer screen was shipped an hour away from our actual home.
Yes, the insurance had to be put in Clint's name for the coverage to be complete. However, concealment that he owned the house was a deliberate choice. Sitting in our home and lying to a direct question about who owned it was a deliberate choice. Obtaining insurance before addressing Clint's ownership was unethical, but not as unethical as claiming to want to heal the relationship while lying and scheming about the property with friends that told them hiding pertinent information was OK. None of the manipulative or deceitful efforts had to be made. None of the many lies had to be told. Manipulating people is not condoned in Scripture. There was an easy, honest, and straightforward way to handle it, but that was the choice not chosen. Choices are still being made.
The Relative has Clint's contact info, but did not call to alert him of the mistake with the screen or try to work out a way to get it to us easier. The occupant let UPS know the package was there. UPS says they have returned the laptop to the shipper, and now we are waiting on it to be delivered to our home.
An interesting thing has happened through all of this. The decades long burden that kept us praying for healing in this relationship has been removed. Clint and I have done all we can. We have reached out time and time again in spite of the things being done against us. We made the most of every opportunity. We were willing to overlook everything they did, but they never came to work things out. We have peace that we have gone above and beyond what God required of us. You can't shake hands with someone who has theirs hidden. The last time we heard from them was when they called to see if we had signed a piece of paperwork.
We simply rest now knowing that God is in control and will bless us for the way we eagerly welcomed them into our lives with love and forgiveness. God will bless us for showing them kindness while they had ill intentions. Yes, we opened ourselves up and were wounded. However, we know now more fully who we are and who they are.
We like who we are as a family in Christ. By how God's light revealed things being done in darkness, we are encouraged to draw closer to Him because we value His protection and intervention. When a member of our family feels frustrated by what has transpired at Relative's hand, we uplift and encourage each other to pray for Relative. We admit we struggle when we see how each other has been hurt. Sometimes it is very easy to keep the right mindset. Sometimes, like now, when wounds are reopened, it is a challenge. We choose to work through the battered feelings to maintain an attitude of forgiveness and love. God rules in our heart and helps us make the right choices. We are thankful He understands our hurt and frustrations and forgives us for failing. We are so thankful just to know Him during trying situations like this.
We rest knowing they could have used the laptop screen as an opening to change things, but chose to hold onto their bitterness by keeping distant and impersonal. We pray for blessings, provision, and protection in their lives, but also have the wisdom to recognize the kind of people they have revealed themselves to be time and time again. Sadly, based on many past and recent events, we believe they would hurt us further if they could. Even in that, we can rest while thanking the Lord for protecting us from further harm by keeping them away.
praise him in his mighty heavens.
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Update to this story: http://www.contentmentacres.blogspot.com/2012/08/ups-is-awesome.html