Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31b-32, NAB)
There was something that happened to me a few years ago that I tried to wipe out from my memory for it brought me so much anger, bitterness, and resentment. I felt I was unjustly treated and unfairly depicted. It challenged me to trust that the God who called me to give my life to Him knew the truth, and to hold on to that hope despite the many attacks on my confidence.
The only way to set things right, I believed, was to clarify the issues with the person involved, but I found the other party unwilling to cooperate. I had not stayed as angry at someone as I did then, for I thought my very motives for serving God were misinterpreted, and the very challenges that I enumerated before saying “yes” to God were highlighted.
I wrote pages after pages of anguished prayer to God then, asking Him to sustain me for I was ready to give up, and in fact I tried to. But He and my leaders would have none of it. I was asked to endure the pain for the sake of my brothers and sisters, and to trust that someday I would understand why I had to go through that period of doubt and despair.
At that time, I had to seek the truth in my heart. If I knew the truth then no lie could dispute that, even if I could not defend myself, for there was no venue to do so. Others helped in lifting me up so I was able to finish my term and to even forgive, without the other person explicitly asking me to.
Since then I had not thought much about that incident, as I did not want to be tempted to speak against others and thus compound the problem. But little did I know that my heart was yearning for the truth. I was only covering up the pain with busyness but it mattered to me, for my own healing and closure, that the other person would make peace with me.
So I praise and thank God tonight because He had heard my prayers. The other person, who is really Jesus’ disciple, asked that we talk about the events of the past that led to so much confusion and misunderstanding, not only for us but for the people around us as well. We both knew that we simply set the matter aside and attempted to move on, but could still feel the tension in the air between us.
Finally, we were able to sit down and talk. I asked my support group of sisters to intercede because I did not want to say anything that I didn’t need to say; neither did I want to hold anything back if it would be in the service of the truth.
Only by God’s grace could such honesty be possible! There were awkward moments, and times when we both had to hold back tears, but we were able to sift the truth from all the lies that caused the trouble in the first place. It was unbelievable to realize that we had hurt each other and our brothers and sisters based on those lies. We had human weaknesses and the Enemy abused them in order to make us believe the worst in each other; to sow doubt, dissent, disappointment, dissatisfaction, depression and despair. He did not succeed because we were able to survive, and so did the rest of the community, from that attack.
I had known this person for many years but I think that today, finally, we became friends. It was such a relief to be free from those ill-feelings that I had held on to for too long. The witnesses to our past rift and the recent peace process rejoiced with us at the goodness of the Lord, for even after we thought we had already learned our individual lessons, He allowed us to repair our broken relationship and made us realize the truth – that His love is bigger than all the petty concerns that we nitpicked on before. He made us see that those whom He called, and those who followed that call through prayer and service, He would never abandon.
Tomorrow is a new day. This experience made me see how God knows the deepest pains that I try to hide, and how He could set me free just by trusting in Him and obeying His commandments. God’s timing might seem late but it always is on time. His ways might be unfathomable but they are always perfect. I stand amazed at His mercy and goodness!