7. In The Crosswalk
As my husband summed it up, what the doctor did was really no different than if one of our children were in a crosswalk (expectation of safety, like I had when entrusting myself to a medical professional), were hit by a car, the uninsured driver expressed "feeling bad" at the scene of the accident, but then fled his responsibilities and left the country. I feel like, if I were to meet the doctor face-to-face today, I would likely crumble (unless the typical inability to express any emotion were to kick in and I would simply act like a robot, as I would guess my emotional incontinence (PBA) would likely play a big part in my outward reaction now too!), for I still can't even talk with my husband about him or the event without totally loosing control of my emotions. My entire family's lives are so upended by his actions. Things that aren't directly stroke related, like our kitchen floor or van repairs/replacement, or college saving, don't happen because the funds we would have used to care for those things are already way more than spoken for, medically now. I still get angry at times and so very, very frustrated! The emotional (and physical) baggage of our new reality has been, and continues to be, so terribly, indescribably weighty!
But I would also want my doctor to know that, regardless of what I express on the outside, in my heart I truly believe that I forgive him. (I guess there is no way to REALLY know without facing him, like the story Corie Ten Boon told about how she felt forgiveness in her heart until the day she once again came into direct contact with one of her guards at the concentration camp where she had been imprisoned and watched her sister die, then had to reevaluate forgiveness all over again.) God has forgiven me more than I could ever repay.
Thoughts Since Original Post:
I said before, "When I was uninsured and hit and ran from him in that crosswalk, He loved me anyway!" That was taking the analogy of an accidental car-involved collision. The better example would be Jesus in a crosswalk and me intentionally targeting him, ramming Him, then running off, a hit and run driver resulting in fatality! That's who I was to Jesus when He loved me enough to lay down His physical life in exchange for me getting to know the joy of His adoration, fellowship, love, for all eternity!
Lisa, from Rest Ministries, asked me to answer this: "You have chosen to forgive, but that doesn't mean the feelings follow the choice. How would you encourage someone to recognize what forgiveness means even when you don't yet feel it?"
How very true! Maybe you have heard the marriage advice that "love is a decision" rather than always romantic emotions and actions. A feeling is easy to fall "in" and "out" of. A decision grounds you during the times the emotions don't follow. Typically the emotions do tend to follow again (in waves and level of feeling that rise and wane cyclically) when you grit your teeth through the hard times long enough. This is what I believe will prove true with forgiveness as well.
I think forgiveness means I have asked God to examine my heart, to show me anything He needs to clean up there, and when I have done what work He shows me, to accept the fact that I've done all I can and can/should not try to carry the guilt and responsibility of the other person's actions any longer! It isn't condoning the other person's action, it is making the decision that, God helping me, I'm not going to be eaten alive by their choices any longer. It is about looking at what's been done to me and saying, no matter how terrible and heinous and destructive and ruinous their intent or actions may have been to my finite time on this earth, I really can't except the gilt of wishing them an ETERINTY in hell, separation for God! It doesn't mean I have to become their best buddy or even hope to live next door (here or in Heaven), it just means that Christ has forgiven me so much that I want my attitudes to reflect a measure of that same grace to the person who has wronged me.
If you would like to read more of my story, please select from Basics and Why I've Not Shared Before and Story Details, Medical Expectations, Manipulation Mechanics, Goals, Legal, or My Victory Declaration. Thank you for walking a little piece of this journey with me.