Monday, January 15, 2018

People may bring storms in your life, but God brings the sunshine.

My grandma is a very sweet, caring, generous woman.  She loves to give.  Giving is what brings her joy.  She always gives us money for Christmas and birthdays.  These last few years, she has been very forgetful.  This Christmas, she forgot if she sent out birthday money, so she decided to send out birthday money to everyone, just to be sure she didn’t miss anyone.  So everyone got a double portion.
My extended family has a facebook group for all our family members.  I left the group this summer because my aunts picked on me and my sister.  My sister got into trouble with her ex and the cops and so they bashed her on this group.  When I started defending her and asked everyone to help her rather than judge her, then they started going after me.  So I left the group.  Then I found out that my grandma had gone to Portland to a special doctor because she had fallen down and couldn’t remember.  So my sister added me back to the group so that I could keep tabs on how my grandma was doing, since nobody called me to let me know about her.  Well, that was a big mistake.  Not even a week after I was added, I responded to my aunt’s request to everyone about the double portion of birthday money.  She said everyone needed to give back the money.  I was fine with that.  I was going to do that anyways.  But then she started saying that I also needed to give back our Christmas money.  I said I was going to visit grandma in a couple days to straighten it out, and she continued, saying “it needs to be fixed now,” as though I wasn’t going to give back the money.  I decided to stay off the family group for a while, and deleted all my comments, thinking that I must have said something that made her think I wasn’t giving back the money.
The day I gave back the money, I got back home and went on facebook to see that my aunt had plastered all over the family group that 1. I felt entitled to the money and was going to keep it, 2. I was going to give a big sob story to talk grandma into letting me keep the money, 3. I took advantage of grandma, 4.  My mom would be ashamed of me,  5.  I didn’t give back the money and felt good about it.  Many comments saying how low I was followed after this.  I literally felt like I had been hit in the gut.  I was shaking and my heart was pounding.  How could my family be so cruel?  Not only did my aunt make up things about what I DID, but also what I thought and what I felt.  She went into elaborate detail.  She painted a really ugly picture of me, even though it was completely false.  It made me realize that she cannot be trusted.  And the fact that everybody believed her and went along with posting ugly things about me, taught me that they cannot be trusted.  I was really hoping my cousins would stick up for me, but they didn’t.  If one of them was being attacked, I would stick up for them.
I immediately got on the phone with grandma to see if she was up so that I could run over to her house and give ALL my birthday AND Christmas money back, so that they didn’t have anything to accuse me of.  It made her cry that they were being so mean to me.  And of course the flood gates opened with more bad things to say about me, such as it was suspicious that I was giving her more money, as though I didn’t give her any to begin with, or I didn’t give her the full amount, and that I had made grandma cry.  So no matter what I did, they were going to paint an ugly picture of me.  It was hurtful that anyone would do this to me, but for my own family to do it to me, and after they promised my mom (when she was alive) that they would look out for me and my sisters after she died, it hurt even more.  Here’s the kicker….in the midst of all these attacks, my aunt posted that everyone could keep their double portion of birthday money, while my other aunt was checking to make sure I didn’t cash mine.
I decided that I needed to wash my hands of them…again.  This isn’t the first time I’ve been the target of an attack from them.  Several years ago my husband and I borrowed money from my grandma.  This is when my mom was still alive.  She told me all the horrible things they said about me.  Again, accusing me of taking advantage of grandma.  I don’t know how a loan could be taking advantage of her.  We paid it back, and I talked with my cousins who also borrowed from her.  Going back to my childhood, there are many times that I was blamed and accused of things that were not true, by my aunts.  I had gotten to the point that I quit defending myself because I knew they wouldn’t believe me.  There were times when I wanted to die.  I even thought about suicide.  This event brought up all these past memories.
After everything was over, and everyone knew that I had given back all the money, even my original birthday money, the only apology I got was with an excuse; for the reason of protecting grandma.  I don’t know how making up lies about me protects her.  If I had made a huge error and misjudged someone, causing them to give up all their money, I would feel so bad that I would send them money from my own pocket, just to make things right.  But that’s just me.
I left the family group, defriended my aunts, then blocked them.  I gave it to God and washed my hands of them.  I know that I can’t trust them and don’t need people in my life that treat me this way.  It’s not normal and it’s not right to spread viscous lies about others.  It’s certainly not what Jesus would do.  It really opened my eyes to the kind of people they are, and I don’t want to be any part of it.
Deep down, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if someone was looking out for me?”  Then within days, God showed me that HE is looking out for me. God truly blessed me in many ways.  That Monday, my boss called me and said I was getting a big raise (almost $2 an hour more).  Then while I was at Walmart, I happened to see some shoes on clearance that were just my size, but they weren’t labeled.  When I found out how much they were, I bought them all. I bought 3 pairs of shoes for less than the price of one.  Normally when shoes are on clearance, they never have my size.  So this was a blessing.  Then when I bought tickets for my two oldest daughters to visit me for the summer, instead of being $1000 like they normally are, they were $12 because I had enough frequent flier miles to use for both of them.  God blessed us so much and it really made me feel like this was His way of telling me that He is looking out for me, when nobody else did.  People may bring storms in your life, but God brings the sunshine.