Getting ready for a showdown

It was a quiet week while my husbands ex-wife was in jail.  There were no frantic calls or texts from her asking to borrow money.  There was no pleading to run to the grocery store for her.  There were no hateful, angry text messages from her. It was quiet.  It was blissful.  It was short-lived.
This morning I got a robo-call from Vinelink letting me know that she had been released from jail.  My heart sank.  The quiet had come to an end.  I knew it was just a matter of time before I heard from her, and that matter of time was all too short.  Less than a half-hour after the Vinelink robo-call my phone rang.  It was her.  I ignored it.  Then she texted me 5 times.  I have yet to read them.  I have no urge to read them.  I already know what they’ll say.
I know that eventually I will have to talk to her.  I also know that eventually I will have to forgive her.  If I don’t forgive her then I am no better than my father’s family that still to this day hasn’t forgiven him for the things he did.  I have condemned my father’s family for their behavior, and would be a hypocrite if I followed in their unforgiving footsteps.
Right now I am too raw though.  The hurt and disappointment is still too fresh.  If I were to talk to her right now then I know what would happen.  I would stroke her child-like ego, remind her that we are family (in a weird, twisted, Jerry-Springer-way), and everything would go back to the way it was before she went to jail a week ago.  Nothing would have changed.
But things need to change.  Things must change.  If nothing changes then I will continue to be her enabler.  If nothing changes then she won’t learn from her mistakes.  If nothing changes then everything remains exactly as it was.
I was talking to a friend at church yesterday about this whole situation and told him that I am really struggling with my anger over all of this.  He looked at me and his words landing like a ton of bricks in my lap.  “Carrie, who is your anger really only affecting?”  Me.  By remaining angry at her then I am still allowing her to control my life and my feelings.
I’ve been treating her temper and mental instability with kid gloves for so long that the prospect of taking those gloves off is terrifying.  But nothing will change unless I am willing and ready to make the change.  And the change starts with me.  God brought her to this situation, and thus brought me to this situation, for a reason.  It’s not a time for me to back down.  Metaphorically speaking she is the Goliath to my David.
One day at a time . . .
One prayer at a time . . .
One trusting step with God at a time will get me through this and bring me out stronger on the other side.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Until next time . . .

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