Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quote for the Week...And A Question...


This is something that I am struggling with right now. I easily forgive most things, but when someone is repeatedly cruel and hurtful it is hard for me to keep forgiving over and over. There is someone in my life who is very hurtful, who is destructive to my family. Someone who shows little regard for our children or us. I am struggling to forgive them over and over for the awful things they say and do. It has been a constant struggle for years. I forgive and try to start over only to be absolutely crushed over and over. I know that God wants me to keep forgiving them. I think that I can do that, but I also think it is not healthy to maintain a relationship with them. Is it ok to forgive this person for all they have done, but to stay away from them so that it stops or at least isn't so visible to me or my family? Is it ok if it is someone in your own family?

33 comments:

Jill W said...

I agree, it is not healthy to maintain a relationship with them. Forgive and move on. Keep contact to a minimum. If they want to know why--tell them. Maybe they need to be told how hurtful they are. I would be honest & compassionate, but I would not expose my family to something that is hurtful over and over again. We will pray for you & for this person.

OH MY #6 said...

Kimberley,

I am struggling with something very similar to your situation and have been for years. My heart goes out you my sweet friend. I wish I knew the answers, I really do.

Lea

kerri said...

I think your on the right track, give you and your family some healing space, if they want to know why this has occured, it might be time to have a one on one and explain the situation.It might be they're unaware they are being so hurtful, I would not like to believe anyone could be hurtful on purpose, yikes!

Juliette said...

I think you have the answer. Staying away from toxic people is the best you can do for your family. If they don't understand be honest and tell them the reason. It is necessary to forgive but it's not sane to stay in a situation when you are hurt over and over. Either physical or emotional abuse, you need to break free at one point. Even if from your own family.
Good luck RMJ.

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy(Kim & John) said...

I WAS in that situation... I had to deal with it for 26 years.. Then when I was old enough to realize how it actually impacted me.. then I voiced my opinion and it still continued ~ so I cut all ties to that family member..And to be honest.. it took a huge weight off of me.. I do miss that person with all my heart and love that person to death.. but I do not have any contact for the last 6 years.
LOVE the quote..
Have a Great Week..
Hope things get better ....
HUGS to you..

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

I am sorry you have someone causing so much pain and I admire your realization that forgiveness is commanded.

I think one can forgive but that doesn't mean there has to be an ongoing relationship. Afterall, we can be forgiven but still have consequences of our actions...I pray God will grant you wisdom for this situation and peace...

Lisa

Debz said...

I totally understand. I am going through something very similar and yes I will continue to forgive over and over, but I have also started guarding my heart and pulling back somewhat. I think it's cosher to do that expecially if it is damaging to your own heart.
Praying for you dear friend.

Sophie's Mom said...

If this person was physically hurting your child, it would be black and white. Emotional abuse/harm is just as bad. Forgive, and don't feel guilty for protecting your child. It's one of your most important jobs! ;)

Noemi said...

WOW! you know how this struck a cord with me... This post made me cry because it is what I have been asking myself these days. It is very hard and difficult. Especially when it is a family member that is so close. You have made me realize that I too need to forgive. We do not spend much time with this person as we live so far away, but words and actions can travel so far.

(((Hugs)))

that girl said...

Well, you know I recently (Feb) broke off the toxic relationships with my mother and siblings. They thought I was being a drama queen, and I'd be back -- but it's been a full month and each day I feel a little lighter and freer.

You have such a gentle spirit, I am sure you will be able to do what needs doing with minimum damage.

Do what's healthy for you and your family.

Praying for you!

Nancy said...

This sounds like a VERY similar question I asked my pastor. My question...Can you forgive someone and not continue the same relationship you had with them?

His reply - How would you feel knowing that God had forgiven you, but did not want to have a relationship with you?

I am having a hard time with this too. It is hard to forgive someone whom you would rather not see again, and if you have to, to have everything as it was. Especially when you have been hurt by them.

I wish I knew an easy answer.

Heather said...

Oh Kimberley - I hear ya sister! I am going to email you privately with some scripture that has helped me with this, immensely!

I am so sorry that anyone is causing you pain and would pray that this wouldn't happen, but knowing full well that leopards don't easily change their spots, I will pray more for what God will do through this for you and your family. I pray for strength and for forgiveness (some days it is so hard isn't it?)

Thinking of you and sending lots of love!
Heather

Sherri & John said...

Kim,
I too have had a relationship like this with my mother for years. I don't know what the answer is for you, but for me is was to cut her out of my life just to keep myself and my family happy. She had caused much hurt in my life, and I had forgiven her over and over, but I couldn't do it anymore and still end up in the same situation again. I have little to no contact with her now and I feel so much happier and the stress and fear of the next verbal/emotional attack is gone.
I can't tell you what to do, but do what is best for you and your family first. No one has the right to hurt you, regardless of who they are.

Steffie B. said...

First off...I am so sorrytohear about your Grandmother. I will keep her in my prayers.

As far as the family memeber that is hurtful....have you approached them about it? I am one to say that "I" do what is best for my family.....I'd stay away or at least have minimal contact.....but that is just me.

Hang in there.....hugs! ;)

Carol said...

My sister and I have not spoken in years. She abandoned both my parents when they became too ill to care for themselves. I haven't been able to forgive her. It still hurts.

I send you good thoughts my friend. Best of luck with that situation...........

amy said...

gosh. I have to be honest. My husband said hurtful words to a friend and althoough he sincerly apologized and asked for forgiveness, this friend said not and that my hubby was just dirt on his feet that he needed to get rid of. ITs hurtful on both sides.

On another hand, there are many people in hubbys family who keep putting him down and he continues to forgive

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Ok... this is what I think that maybe I would do... I would tell them that I am finding it hard to forgive you but I am trying... for now... I am going to have to keep you out of my life until I feel better with it all and then will decide what I want to do... right now I don't need the negativity... hang in there... you know where I am...

Mr.Brian said...

I think it is great that you can continue to forgive this person.
I would do as you are asking forgive and just try to keep your distance.It is kind of like touching a hot oven,after so many times of being burnt you will use pot holders.
So should you with this person.Forgive them but try to avoid them as much as you can.When and if you need to be around them,put on the shield of armor (pray) and be polite but ready to exit when needed.
Now that you have a man's view point.......
Good luck,I have a sister whom I tread lightly when I am around her.

Mr.Brian said...

Or as a second option Steff and I could come a rough this person up in the parking lot.LOLOLOL
Sorry I just wanted to make you smile today.
I am always offering Steffie's and my assistance when friends are being hurt.

Special K said...

I think there's a huge difference between forgiving someone who has acknowledged and apologized for their hurtful action and is sincerely trying to make things better and allowing yourself to be victimized continuously by someone toxic.

If the situation is the second... then feel no guilt for walking away from that. It's up to you to protect yourself and your family. I've had to do it, too. I'm much better off now. Good luck...

nikki said...

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this, Kimberley. (especially if it is a family member)...that makes it tougher.

Your heart will know what to do - the well being of your immediate family always comes first.
I'll keep you in my prayers!!

Linda said...

A hard problem because you are such a special person, I don't believe God wants us to forgive and then continue to be hurt by someone who is toxic to your life. Forgiveness is a gift you give when someone has hurt you and they are sorry,some people are never sorry or maybe not able to see how ugly they are inside, Give yourself and your family the gift of forgiveness and keep these people out of your life because you need to protect your children. I have forgiven people for hurting me and maintained a very limited relationship because by forgiving them it helped me to understand I can not change them, I can only change my behavior and I choose not to be hurt. Hope this helps, you are too good a person to have UGLY in your life...Linda

The Byrd Family said...

Yes, Yes, and Yes. Kimberley, God tells us that if we can't forgive others He can't forgive us. BUT all you can do is pray that this person's heart will be changed and the only one that can do that is God.

I agree with Jill, I would not expose you or your family to this person any longer. Give this person to God.

Cyndi said...

I would forgive and try to stay away from the situation if possible but then pray for them daily. I know this is hard to do when they continue to hurt you and your family but the power of prayer is awesome!!!

Truly Blessed said...

You're not alone.

It's not only okay to forgive, but keep your distance, I believe it's your responsibility as a parent to protect your children from harmful and hurtful relationships with people who mean them harm. And you still have an obligation to pray for that person...

That doesn't mean you don't act respectfully when you have to be in the same area, but it does mean that you don't open yourself up to more hurt every time you see them.

It's a fine line, I know, I speak from experience, sadly.

God bless you all.

Kelley said...

Wow...sounds like lots of people have similar situations, and that makes ME feel somewhat better, because I have a similar situation, too. I agree with a lot of what's been said...and especially to pray, pray, pray. At the end of the road, you are left with yourself, and you have to be content with the choices that you make. Do what you can to protect your family and yourself from hurtful things, and try to maintain a forgiving heart. I think it's perfectly fine to maintain some distance, too, though. You can't set yourself up for more hurt...that's not how forgiveness works, in my opinion.

Waiting for Mia Hope! said...

Dear Kimberley,

I think we all have someone in our life that treats us the way that you have described. I'm sorry your feelings have been hurt over and over. I do believe that God wants us to forgive them and perhaps they are put in our lives to learn this tough lesson? However, I do not feel that God wants us to associate with those that are abusive to us. I consider these people to be "toxic" and I forgive them but I no longer allow myself or my family to be subjected to their "unhealthy" behavior. I believe the best thing we can do is to forgive them and pray for them. Kimberley, the love you have in your heart just radiates from your blog. I know you will do the right thing! :)

Patricia/NYC said...

Oh Kimberley, I so struggle with this too...it is the one area that I pray about daily! It's definitely best to forgive, but I also think that you have to protect your family & do what's right for them. Personally, I see nothing wrong with forgiving & keeping a distance. I will pray for you & your family! HUGS!!

Diane said...

Hi Kimberley,

Ahh, free choice. One of the many glorious gifts God gives us...somehow, I get so confused by "free choice" :)

Me? I'm thankful for a continual fogiving God, who honestly has to deal with LOTS of really hurtful people,and some of these people don't even realize they are hurtful...and yet, He accepts us for who we are and still wants to have a relationship with us!!!

Good thoughts today,
Diane

Laura Nipper said...

So sorry to read about the situation with your family. I can so relate and have actually cut contact with a person in my family for over two years before I had any relationship with them again. I know that God wants us to forever, but getting hurt over and and over again in not productive to anyone. Praying for you my friend.

Kimber said...

Do you want peace in your life or do you want drama? Forgive and then protect your heart and kill them with kindness. It works for me.

Kim

April said...

I have heard Kay Smith (Chuck Smith's wife...he is the founder of Calvary Chapels) talk about this very thing a few times. I will make this what I have taken from her and I think forgiving is very healthy and good, but you need to separate from them. It gets to the point where they are not changing and you need to protect your family.

We also have a dear family friend who has been doing church counseling for years, and because of this very issue with my husbands parents we have been told to walk away from the relationship and pray for them. It really isn't that hard because they never contact us anyway.

I will be praying for you Kimberley and my heart hurts for the pain that has been caused. Big Hug!

K1 said...

YES, IT IS OKAY!!!!

I am living this. For so long I didn't because of the false belief that by forgiving you had to stay put or you really hadn't forgiven. That is such wrong thinking. You MUST protect your self and your family from toxic, harmful people. Forgive them, but don't expose yourself to them. It is hard at first, but when you feel so much better because you are out from under the pressure of uncertainty and waiting for the next attack, you will realize that it was the right thing to do!