One of the hardest growing pains of being a Christian has been the lessons I’ve had to learn this past year.
I used to get stuck mentally as well as emotionally when people would hurt me, I’m sure we all have and do.
I was stuck because I would not only pray to God asking him why something awful was happening to me and asking God what exactly he was going to do about this awful person(s).
It’s such an easy place to get stuck in when we have endured unjust hurts like the loss of a loved one, having to move away, suffering rape, enduring abuse, losing possessions, being in debt, losing a job, being abandoned, being unwanted, having promises broken, being mistreated, being unloved and being wrongfully accused.
It’s a tempting trap getting stuck in the “tattle tale” mentality, yet that way of thinking prevents us from fully knowing Christ and becoming like him.
If your where I am in my spiritual walk then you also have overcome the growing pain of understanding we will endure suffering and we will get through it for God’s glory.
Despite accepting this truth, I would still get stuck in this box of emotions knowing God allows us to endure suffering for growth, but I really wanted to know what would be the “bad person’s” fate.
I would whimper to God saying “poor me”.
Once I was finally able to shift how I prayed, that is when my selfish eyes were opened and I was able to actually grow deeper in my faith as a believer.
I had to start actually praying for those that hurt me, not that they would get what the deserved, but I had to pray for them to want to change their behavior.
I had to start saying to God, “Poor them!”
Having a changed heart and being able to pray for our worst enemies must not be confused with finding joy while suffering.
Both are very different and difficult lessons to learn.
Again, I knew God said we would suffer and to see the silver lining through it all, but I really honestly struggled with understanding how my prayers were all wrong.
It’s not wrong that we give our sorrows to the Lord.
However as we mature with Christ our sorrows extend further, to grace.
I really wanted to grow in my faith and with most great things in life, it comes with a price; pain.
“God my boss is so mean to me I can’t stop crying” I think the heart of God longs for us to say this instead “God my boss is really mean to me, it makes me cry but how can I show them your love?”.
That right there is when we allow God to take full control over a situation and we give him full trust.
God is the creator of the universe, he’s not going to stand back and watch his children be unappreciated and overworked.
It’s when our prayer life changes, our hearts change that we become more like him by acting out the character of Christ, he will take care of the rest.
It could be a day, a week, a month or a year but that  boss may come around and have a changed heart.
Should the boss never change their awful ways, the Lord will provide you with a different job then.
We can apply the lessons of this boss/employee relationship to every difficult relationship in our lives.
We really don’t need to worry, we just need to focus and complete the task at hand which is to just love.
(When it comes to an abusive situations, under no circumstances are we called to repay a punch with love, absolutely not.
We can forgive and love them from a far, but there is no requirement to physically stick around.)
Aside from that exception we are all called to love others as God loved us.
In this journey I have been in, I actually had to allow myself to feel  sad for these people to a certain extent and remind myself it’s not my job to serve any punishment.
Make no mistake, it’s perfectly acceptable to feel hurt, the bible says God weeps with us, he doesn’t like seeing us sad or wrongfully hurt.
However, we eventually do have to allow ourselves to heal and move on from that hurt.
We can’t always remain stagnant in victimizing ourselves.
It does not minimize what was done, society will try and rename forgiveness as “letting them get away with it”.
That’s a trick.
You don’t even need to be a believer to see the negative impacts revenge, retaliation, hate, violence or vengeance has.
We as Christians are not letting anyone get away with anything because God certainly doesn’t.
He doesn’t let anyone get away with anything not even after they’ve passed away.
It’s honestly the hardest most painful growing pain to overcome healing and shifting into feeling sorry for someone that hurt us so so deeply.
We should, in fact we need to feel sorry for people like that because if someone was capable of causing such pain either emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually or verbally, they don’t know who they are and they need serious help.
I learned that even though I was the victim in many cases where I was hurt, I didn’t always have to remain a victim because that person was in trouble and I wasn’t any longer.
Sometimes the simplicity to our afflictions is for the transforming of the character of others. Ouch.
“So my suffering was all to benefit someone else then?” is a likely self centered thought, I know I thought it.
God’s answer is: sometimes, not even a yes.
For he can use the most horrible of situations and use it for his glory however, not everyone will be changed.
It doesn’t mean our suffering was all for nothing, that’s when God’s wrath steps in and we don’t want to be around for that!
The bible is extremely clear about the unfortunate outcome to an unrepentant heart.
I’m learning, failing and then relearning all over again that when I get hurt, burdening someone else on top of their other burdens isn’t living out as a follower of God.
In fact, my role as a believer is to relief others of their burdens!
It isn’t our role to add condemnation and more guilt towards someone, it’s the opposite actually.
I find it difficult to express in words how different my relationship with God is.
I feel hurt, the Lord knows my suffering and weeps with me.
Once I’ve heeled, created distance, cut off a relationship, reconciled or whatever healthy way God calls me to behave in order to forgive, I listen.
Next comes the hard part, I allocate specific time to pray for those who have hurt me, I give my worries for them to God, I do something nice for them (if safe and appropriate) and I think of them as a friend, acquaintance, spouse or family member that I feel sorry for (not in a condescending prideful way) rather then an enemy I despise.
The difference of enduring this painful lesson opened up new potential with my character, that we are all capable of.
I had to change my prayers from being selfish to being concerned about the person that hurt me.I had to suck it up, feel the pain without any medication and grow.

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