Looking back I was so lucky. Hatred can eat your soul and it is so hard to get rid of. It gives you nightmares and makes you feel sick. The constant anger, frustration and sheer bewilderment that some people can call themselves followers of Christ and then behave like best buddies with the other guy. I could not forgive and it was made worse in the run up to our wedding because those who wanted to hurt me upped the ante-telling my husband to be to ditch me.
After our wedding I never saw them again-and for this I am so grateful to God.
It gave me the space I needed to begin the long process of learning to forgive them and find some healing.
Let me reiterate something here-forgiveness for something very serious, that has wounded deeply, takes a long time and often has to be re-repeated. I haven't had nightmares for years, but occasionally things still happen that reignite the whole thing and I have to go back to finding that forgiveness again.
Meanwhile my dh and I were attending two churches. One week we went to the Catholic church and the following week we attended the Baptist church he had found. He was actually United Reformed with Presbyterian roots but the Baptist church suited him at this moment.
The Baptist church had no minister when we joined. He had resigned after being caught in adultery and his wife was divorcing him. The church was friendly enough, but a lot of people were quite hurt. At first I was made welcome.
Soon after we married I fell pregnant.
I think it was this that woke me up to my 'comfortable Christianity' and I thought I needed to make sure I was doing things right. I went to see one of the priests at my parish. I explained that we were attending both churches-his one week and mine the next and would bring the children up in both faiths. Was there a problem with this?
Not at all, he told me cheerfully. In fact his sisters were all married to protestants and doing exactly the same thing. It was a good thing to do.
Meanwhile a couple arrived at the Baptist church to be our ministers. They were lovely, truly holy people and set about trying to mend the church and bring us all back together with Christ. It was to prove a battle for them.
So my son was born and we had him baptised in the Catholic church with the minister attending and doing a reading and then he was dedicated at the Baptist church with Father attending.
I held my son in my arms and knew I was going to have to teach him about Jesus and all that He said and did and what He wanted us to do....and I still was not all that sure what that was.