"I want to talk about staying in a leaving culture," said the woman on the screen up front. And as I sat in my seat, I said a silent "amen." Finally, someone got it. Finally, someone wasn't telling me to move on. See the thing is, I recently had a friend who hurt me. She said and did some painful things, and I felt more than a little betrayed. Some of the people I talked to about my feelings told me that I should without a doubt move on and leave her in the past. Let her pay for her mistakes by never being in my life again. But deep down, I knew that wasn't right. So I stayed. I kept communication open. And she hurt me again. And again. Most of the people around me didn't even have to say anything for me to know that they thought I should just leave. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a tempting option. But if your pet dog is injured, you don't just let it suffer, even if it snaps at you in its pain.
Of course, not everyone's situation is like mine, but I guess that's how I see it. No one's really that cruel without experiencing some sort of pain. And I'm not one to add to the pain by abandoning them. Maybe you think I'm crazy. Maybe you're more naive and think I'm a saint. I can tell you that I'm neither. But I have lived my life knowing and loving a God who forgives and cherishes me no matter what I do. I know I'm not perfect. I've made mistakes and hurt Him. The beautiful thing is, He has never abandoned me. Not even for a moment. So as an imperfect person who has been shown the greatest Love to ever exist, how can I not show at least a little love to the people around me? Yes, it can be painful. No, it's not easy. But no one ever said doing the right thing was easy. So I'll stay. I'll remain through the storms and battles and hurtful words because that's the kind of love and forgiveness that conquers fear, pain, and anger. Sometimes the bravest thing to do is just stay.