"He that the Son hath set free, he is free, indeed! No more chains of slavery! Truth has triumphed, with liberty. He that the Son hath set free, he is free, indeed."
I've had that song stuck in my head for over a week now. It's based off of John 8:36. God gave me a true blessing last Sunday night; I followed a commandment, and He followed His promise.
About 2 1/2 years ago, a girl whom I considered as one of my best friends and a confidante, stopped speaking to me. It also happened to be the night that my brother and now sister-in-law announced their engagement. I had known that this girl had had a crush on my brother when they were younger, but she was dating someone else, and had been for almost 2 years, so I assumed she was over it. Well, apparently not.
She began totally ignoring me, and did whatever she could to avoid me, for example: when the usher would pass out hymnals, instead of handing them to me to pass the rest of the way down the pew, she would drop them on the pew in front of us. Looking back, it seems so small, but it was a bunch of little things like that that kept adding up. She was giving my mother the same treatment, and so my mother asked what was wrong. She never could give a straight answer, and then kept on ignoring us, and began running us down to others (Thank the Lord for all of those that stuck by us during that time).
I went through a lot during that Spring, medically, and emotionally. I ended up having a breakdown; I wouldn't eat, couldn't sleep, and just cried for 3 days. A lot of it stemmed from this girl's behavior. I didn't know what I had done to cause it, and I felt like I was on my way to hell, because I felt that if I was doing right, this wouldn't be happening. My mom took me to our assistant pastor and his wife, and they helped me realize that I couldn't control other people's feelings, and just because they felt animosity toward me, didn't mean that something was wrong with me, but possibly with that other person. As long as I prayed about it, and acted like a Christian toward her, I was fine. That wonderful lady gave me a book, and I learned a lot about peace during the next few weeks, and actually that trial inspired me to look for peace always, and to help others find peace. That's when I discovered John 14: 27.
She got engaged to the guy she was dating on the same day as my brother's wedding. She married him a year and a half ago, and moved to a different state, which was a big relief for me. When she would come to visit, however, I felt like I couldn't even go on the same side of the church as her, and if she was at a church function, she would go out of her way to be chilly and cold. I would always ask how she was, and usually was ignored or given a terse "Fine."
Last Sunday night was a turning point. She was in town, and we were having some awesome church. I went up to the front, behind where she was praying with several of our mutual friends. I felt like I couldn't join them. I remembered God's Words about praying for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44), and so I started doing just that. Not long after I began praying for her, the girl came up and grabbed me, and hugged me. We both cried, and I felt a huge, heavy burden, that I had been carrying for so long that I hadn't realized it was that enormous, lift from my shoulders.
I was free. Free, indeed.