January 20

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Vindicated

Whoever digs a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolls a stone it shall, it will return on him~Proverbs 26:27

In my youth, my Grandma frequently shared a variation of this saying with me. “Danielle if you’re gonna dig a ditch for someone to fall in, you’d better dig two. The first is for them and the second will be for you!”

I would chuckle when she’d say that, but I understood the point she was trying to make. Grandma was cautioning me against seeking revenge and teaching me the concept of unintended consequences.

Heeding my Grandma’s words of wisdom on the matter has not been easy. There were times I felt so hurt and wronged by people that tears clouded my vision, my blood raging hot. I recall a particular incident in 2011, when my desire for vengeance almost won out. I was on my way to a public meltdown. My dear friend Tiffni noticed the cracks and pulled me aside, speaking to me with a firm tenderness.

I know you’re upset, and you have every right to be. I have been where you are. But D…this is not the way. This is not who you are. The Lord sees and knows all. He sees and counts every tear you shed, and I am on your side as well. But take a moment to think about how you’re lashing out right now, and how you’ll feel when this is over. Don’t let revenge control you.

Though I was deep in my feelings, I had the presence of mind to know that Tiffni was right. I hit the pause button and reconsidered what I was doing. I needed to chill and get ahold of myself before my anger scorched everything. I won’t pretend that listening to her didn’t require immense emotional strength and discipline. Checking my sense of righteous indignation was hard…but possible.

Nearly seven years have passed since the day Tiffni lovingly pulled me back from the edge. The situation that caused such turmoil feels like a lifetime ago. And the individuals who orchestrated it, who sneered at me, who looked for ways to drive their knives deeper into my heart? They are now struggling with sorrows and misfortunes of their own, brought about by their character flaws. While aware of their woes, I do not delight in them. Nevertheless, I am glad that I had no part in bringing them about, that I didn’t seek to take matters into my own hands and now stand vindicated.

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