Cyclothymic Cister

Before the Internet, I used to lie in bed at night composing thoughts as if I were talking to a wise entity. (An actual face never came to mind). I would re-word and re-phrase the thoughts till they were crystal clear. Now I can blog. And hopefully, there are a lot of wise people with real faces out there who might just comment back.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bitterness Averted

It has been a year since my youngest daughter was mercifully released on probation from the county distention center. She showed signs of wanting to start afresh and of wanting to live a better life. With that in mind, I helped her as much as I could, from paying an attorney so she could keep custody of her child to providing her with housing, to buying paint to brighten up the place, to moving furniture. I had already paid the attorney that got her sentenced reduced to probation. You get the picture. I did what any caring mother would do.

Finally it looked like I would get a little payback on the money. (See post for May 18, 2006). My daughter agreed to let me keep her income tax refund. I received the check and was breathing a sigh of relief thinking this was a reprieve. That same day another expense ensued and without hesitation I used that check again to help my daughter. On my way out the door that morning, I felt compelled to turn around and go back into my bedroom where I kept a little vintage prayer book. I looked up the day of the month (it is a perpetual calendar) and read that day’s prayer. My eyes fell on these words: O God, incline my heart to follow in this way: Jesus said, “Do good and lend hoping for nothing again.” (Luke 6:35) Those words strangely comforted me.

Nine months have gone by since that day. For some reason, again, out of the blue, I picked up that little prayer book and turned to the appropriate day of the month. I was taken aback when I read those very same words and realized it was the same day of the month as that day nine months ago. The first time I read those words, I was full of optimism because I felt that my generosity would pay off, not by collecting on debts owed me, but by my daughter becoming a productive citizen and a good mother. But the second time I read those words, the situation had come full circle: my daughter has not improved; she has gone the other way. She is a disgrace. She is an unfit mother. She has violated probation numerous times and it appears her time has run out. I feel like everything I have given her has been defiled.

Already discouraged, I was about to become bitter. Then I read those words again, "Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again". I guess “nothing” truly means “nothing”. Yet if you follow that passage of scripture a little further you will read, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over . . .(Luke 6:38). God is faithful. I will continue giving without bitterness, even if the payback is pending eternity.

An aside: My granddaughter is not in harms way. She has a very safe secure home with her father and she visits me every other weekend.


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous cardiogirl said...

Hey Cister,

First of all, you made me laugh out loud at your comment about my "artistic" abilities.

Secondly, I worry about finding any or all of my children in the situation you described today. I realize eventually you have to let your children grow up and make their own mistakes. But it is so hard to sit by and offer support, whether it is financial, emotional or spiritual.

Keep the faith.

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I'm so very sorry that she has put you through so much. Hopefully, you can realize that it's not her doing it but the drugs and sin that she has allowed in her life to put that wall up between her and the rest of the world. But there's really no words I can say to make you feel any better about it. The best thing is to keep her constantly in our prayers.

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous cardiogirl said...

Where have you been Cister?

I've been reading a book about forgiveness, since I'm working on that with my butthead brother-in-law. (Can you tell I haven't made much progress?) It's so hard to separate the emotion and the logic, isn't it?

What I have read is that we are to emulate God's forgiveness and try to see that person as God would see us and to forgive whatever it was that set them down the wrong path. What's interesting is that it says that forgiveness and reunion are not one and the same. Meaning, just because we have forgiven the action does not mean we are going to bring that person back to the level of trust he or she once had in our lives. I found that interesting and refreshing.

I'm not sure I can bring my brother-in-law or my own sister, for that matter, back into my circle of trust. That's one of the many pieces I am having difficulty with. I'm not sure I can forgive and actually wish them well. I'm trying to forgive and not wish them retribution right now. I guess that just makes me human, right?

Sorry to ramble here. It's refreshing to run into someone else who has a similar struggle. Though we don't have answers, at least we have someone to commiserate with. Keep praying.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Chicka said...

::poke, poke::

You still alive? Check in please!


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