This is one of those weeks that if I could go back in time and rewind so I could do things differently I would, Monday began rough, it was one of those days were I couldn’t quite pull it together, everything felt overwhelming, and I was 100% distracted, so distracted I was almost late for an extremely important meeting and so distracted that I allowed little (BIG) things to fall through the cracks. Including setting the alarm on my house as I left in a rush. You can bet I learned a hard lesson from this mistake and since Monday I’ve doubled check at least twice before I leave that the alarm on my home is set.
When I returned home a little over an hour later, that day just became even more overwhelming as I walked into a mess, desk drawers emptied onto my desk, bathroom cabinets rustled through…and things missing, that’s right my LITTLE (BIG) mistake of not setting the alarm on my house, meant that someone or many someones could help themselves to pretty much every valuable thing in my home, but even more they made themselves at home, enjoying food from my kitchen, using my bathroom and ransacking my bedroom, literally emptying every drawer onto the floor, emptying my closet and taking everything they could manage to get out!
In that moment I wanted to be mad, and I was but I was even more disappointed, disappointed at myself for not setting the alarm ONE TIME, disappointed that someone would come into MY house, take MY things, and break MY heart, as I called the police shaking and then called others in tears, I realized that while I was learning a lesson a hard one at that, this was also an opportunity for me to love people who I didn’t know but who I knew were hard to love through prayer. So I sent a quick text message to a few of my prayer partners and I explained what happened and I asked for them pray but not to pray for me because of what had happened, but to pray for me as I prayed for those who had violated me.
Praying when it’s hard for someone you don’t know who has done you wrong is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done I wanted to be so angry, so angry that my camera with a memory card full of my memories is now who knows where, my Mac Book, with the outline for the book I want to write, the beginning of a talk I am prepping for a retreat, an lots and lots of documents full of hard work and intimate details about my life are now in the hands of someone I don’t know, I wanted to be angry that brand new clothes I had just purchased still with the tags on them were taken, I wanted to be angry that many other things I considered valuable were taken, I wanted to be angry that my bedroom the most private place in my house was destroyed, that someone I don’t know had touched my clothes, moved my bed etc. However through my anger my heart broke, broke for someone I don’t know, someone who feels that their own life is so broken they have to take from and violate others, all I could do was cry out to God, asking Him to use this moment as a God moment.
As I walked through my house, and realized some of the things they had gone through made it evident that my home was home full of Jesus, a thank you note I had written to a couple in my church, thanking them for serving ripped open on the stairs, my Jesus Calling devotional open and pages ripped out, Bibles taken out of Pretty in Pink bags, I prayed that who ever touched all of these things, would know that this was a house full of Jesus’ love and that somewhere where ever they are I would be praying that they would know that Jesus loves them just as much as He loves me.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel anger this week, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I felt betrayal, hurt and disappointment, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that fear overcame me the first two nights of sleeping in my house after this, but each night as I laid awake hour after hour in my bed, I prayed, I asked God to allow my heart to forgive whoever this was, I asked Him to allow them to see a glimpse of who He is, somehow someway that they would allow Him into their lives and they would know His Love is eternal, I asked Him to forgive me for putting so much value into worldly possessions that I know can and will be replaced. I would also be lying if I didn’t tell you that a few times throughout this week I didn’t question why in the world I am here?
Yesterday I was gently reminded why I am here, when as I walked out my front door, a few of the guys who self appointed themselves as my protectors, told me that word is spreading you don’t mess with Ms. Colleen and that they are watching out for me, as school let out and kids poured into my kitchen window while I worked, and flooded my porch and begged me to come outside and play, I was reminded last night as I came home from dinner with a friend and I heard, “I love you Ms. Colleen, don’t forget to say your prayers, baby,” I was reminded this morning as I sat at my kitchen table reading my bible and kids poked their heads in on the way to school to say hello, ask for a banana and tell me that they love me.
I can tell you that four days later, my heart still hurts a little, and I am still reminded that my house turned into a crime scene on Monday as I see crime lab residue in places that I’ve scrubbed and scrubbed, but I will tell you that each day praying for someone that’s hard to pray for has gotten a little bit easier, remembering and reminding those around me that those people who violated my space, are loved just as much as we are by Jesus. As I’ve gone through the week and people have asked how I can pray for these people and my response is that even when it hurts, even when I have to put aside my own emotions, I want God to be glorified in every aspect of my life, even the hard ones.
So my dear friends, I ask you this, will you pray for someone hard in your life today, maybe it’s a family member, maybe it’s a co-worker or a friend, maybe it’s someone who has hurt you that you don’t even know. I promise you it will change your perspective, it will change your heart and your attitude. Thanks for praying with me and walking this journey alongside me, whether through reading my blog, supporting the gift God has given me in ministry through finances or prayer, or volunteering, I am so thankful for my partners who I call friends!
I will leave you with this verse, that I have found myself meditating on this week, “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid,” (John 14:27 ESV)