I didn’t want to see anyone, talk with anyone, or continue to have to deal with the rush of emotions that I experienced from what transpired the evening before.
However, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
The next day, JS came over. She said their family discussed the trip together and our friendship and relationship together was more important. JS and her daughter said that Alli is one of the nicest individuals they know and they would not want to do anything to ever jeopardize our relationship together. That we meant too much to them.
Time passed. Our relationship with our neighbors remained strong. My friendship with JS seemed to become even more genuine. JS’s daughter and her friend worked at our company for the summer, as planned.
We had many conversations with our pastor from our church. This was interesting because our pastor knows Bxxxx & Lxxx. Many years before us attending the church, our pastor had stayed at Bxxxx & Lxxx’s house. They are a host family for pastors attending seminars at their church.
It’s very interesting how we came to the church. It wasn’t through Bxxxx & Lxxx, but through a long time friend of mine. We use to attend the same church years before. And after that connection, we all realized it was the same pastor who stayed with them years ago.
So we didn’t have in depth conversations with our pastor regarding this. But one Sunday, after talking to our pastor, he made a very interesting observation and diagram. It is as follows:
This is a healthier scenario:
So…..we remained silent and continued to keep our distance with Bxxxx & Lxxx. It seemed as if every conversation or correspondence was disturbing.
We would be in contact only for necessary things. But they didn’t stop their pursuit with us. They continued to contact individuals we both know and text messages to them to “Pray for JD.”
We were pleasant, and responded to emails with “Thank You’s”.
I then received a phone call from Lxxx. I let it go to voicemail. Her message was, “Alli, I hope that when you receive this message you will hear my voice and know that you can come to me for a ‘safe place’ to talk to someone. I want to say I am sorry for my harsh words about JD and I know you were just defending him. I hope you will return this call so we can start to restore our relationship. You know you can come to me with anything and it’s a ‘safe place’. I love you and miss you Alli.”
My response was via email. I still was not confident in any phone conversations. I did not want to be taken to that place again by them. No……I had not trusted them and I did not feel “Safe” in opening up to them, trusting them, or regaining any kind of close relationship again. At least not right now. I do however have a saying I continue to use: Never say never, because you just never know what God has planned.
Lxxx and Bxxxx,
I have been evaluating calling for some time now. Each time I come to a conclusion of: what would/could I say? I have concluded that writing would be best right now. It has been on my heart, for some time, to respond/reply. I chose to wait until after your Lake Powell trip as I didn’t want it to possibly affect your vacation. However, I also do not want to ignore your message.
You did summarize it when you said “safe place”. I don’t trust that right now. I keep asking myself, “What did I ever do to deserve this hurt?” I do have a couple of theories, but even with this I’m still left with the same question.
I have reviewed correspondence over the past months, prompting many discussions with JD. Both of us are left with the same question: What would any conversation, correspondence, or rekindled dialogue do to change your minds and hearts regarding your true feelings of JD? What’s in one’s heart, comes out of the mouth.
Your feelings, opinions and desire to distance yourself from JD and the business have been vividly conveyed numerous times over the past 6+ months. Only recently have you communicated your desire to have anything to do with JD/us. You, for the most part, have painted him to be some kind of monster that your children are afraid of. Forgiveness for your harsh words towards JD is there! However, how you truly feel about him doesn’t just change; it’s what’s in your heart. It was mentioned in the voicemail that I was just defending him. Defending him was only a small part.
I know JD has caused hurt, and has asked for forgiveness. This leaves me with this question: “What’s different in being able to let God work forgiveness in each of these situations?” And my answer is: In any of the hurt JD caused, he never had attacked anyone’s character, personality or spirituality.
It was extremely hard to try and explain to our kids that we were not welcomed on the houseboat, but our neighbors were invited. Can you even imagine the questions and hurt that came from my children? Try answering Scott’s question of: “Why do they want our neighbor’s to go and not us?” And watching Faith’s tears as she witnessed the very real emotions I had when I was told JS and her family were asked to join you, followed by JS standing face-to-face with me about 10 to 20 minutes after I found out. I had not even enough time to process what I just heard, let alone all the feelings. These were true feelings of rejection, betrayal and a hurt I don’t care to experience again – and this was on top of all the other things that had happened within the past months. I can’t even begin to express how wrong that was on so many levels; mostly because of attacking our character, betraying trust, hurting my family and invading my relationship with my best friend/neighbor.
It’s interesting to me that the one person you really wanted to hurt the most was the least affected by this – JD. He wasn’t really surprised.
I haven’t had the capacity to handle this in the past 6 months with all that has transpired with our business and other individuals, and I’m not sure I do now? I have been through a grave amount of stress these past 6 to 12 months and I never thought I would have to be faced with this situation. Within the past year I have witnessed so much ugliness from so many people on a personal and business level, I’m left in awe. The only way to survive was to give it all to God. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God’s hand/plan were/are being orchestrated. And I know that he has a plan for everything that has happened. Through this all, I am being instructed to “Be still and know that I am God!” Answers have come mostly when I am silent.
I do forgive you and I thank you for your messages. And, as I have also mentioned many times before, how much you have done for us, and how much we have cared for you – I’m forever grateful. But there truly is so much more to this than just harsh words. It’s more about knowing your true feelings.
I don’t know what the future holds. I believe time will only tell. And I still feel that time and being still is what I’m being called to do.