John 20:19-23 - On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld."
Dear God, I wish I could feel Your peace more. But it aggravates me that Tom acted like a heartless jerk. It aggravates me that he knew that what that church was doing with regard to me was wrong yet allowed to happen and then joined in. It aggravates me that he basically lied about being my friend and caring so much for me and wanting what was best. It aggravates me that he became a bully and an abuser in that one moment when grace was most needed. It aggravates me that he and that church are unwilling to resolve the conflict. It aggravates me that Tom, in that one action and decision, failed to evidence the marks of a true Christian. It aggravates me that because of his own hard-hearted, ungracious act of unforgiveness and abuse that I had to file a complaint about what he did wrong. Seek peace and aim for restoration. That is what You tell us to do if we are Christians. God, as You know, the weather here has been wild, so the presbytery had to move its meeting. I got told that it was great that I wanted to seek resolution though no matter what. That's all I ever wanted to do. But to have resolution, both sides have to be willing to come together and redraw the lines. And to put it simply, Tom has refused because I am pretty sure he got bullied and the church has refused because they still want me to sign that document that I already said is no longer even valid just based on the one fact that they violated their own terms. Not to mention that what their document is is outright discrimination. Not restorative. Not full of the grace they talk so much about at that church. It evidences the abuse I was put through by two-thirds of the care team. It evidences the abuse that Tom was informed of but allowed to happen anyway. It subjects me to continued abuse. And Tom knew and knows it is wrong. He even wrote that. Twice. It saddens me. A lot. And in that I do not feel peace. I feel unrest. I feel anger. God, Tom and these men are not able to withhold forgiveness like the disciples. They can try, but I know You forgive me because I know You know why things happened and You know that it was simply an autistic meltdown caused by a lot of emotional stress, a lot of which was caused by Tom himself. But God, I did ask them for forgiveness and to evidence forgiveness and they have failed. I asked Tom to evidence forgiveness and readiness to be forgiven, but he has failed. He is unrepentant and therefore unforgivable. For a person cannot receive forgiveness unless they repent and ask for it. Oh dear God, how much I long for Your peace. Unresolved conflict, unrest because my mom has lost her job and sadly has done nothing toward making necessary phone calls to get another one, and now another wait regarding the disability matters. It is hard to feel at peace in the middle of all of that going on! So here I am giving You what is on my heart and mind. Please give me some peace today. In Jesus' Name, Amen!