I have let people down. I have hurt too many people that I care about. I am tired of cringing when I answer my phone to a number I haven't seen in awhile I am tired of praying it's not a hateful e-mail when I open my inbox. I am tired of hoping people don't see me in case they're mad at me too. I'm tired of looking at my Facebook profile to see that more people have deleted me. I'm tired of seeing hurt in everyone's eyes. I'm tired of the disappointed voices and the pointed promises of prayer. I'm just tired.
I'm only human. I'm only doing what I can to honor God the best I can. I'm just doing what I feel called to do. I'm just going where I feel God is leading me. I'm just doing my best.
Most of the reactions I've gotten have been of hurt and disappointment, a few of anger, overwhelmingly confusion, but today I realized the one thing that many of these people are all feeling, but not expressing, the one emotion that cuts me to the quick. The one conversation that made all of the others seem pleasant. Betrayal.
Someone expressed a new thought to me today, a thought of betrayal. It was like a swift kick to the gut knocking all the wind right out of me. "Amanda, I trusted you. You were the most faith filled person I knew. I thought you loved God, but now you don't. How could you lie to me like that?" This person sought me out for spiritual advice and counsel, they listened to me, they trusted me, and now they feel betrayed, and I feel like I've betrayed them. I know in my heart I haven't. I still believe everything I believed at the time I gave that counsel. I am still a Christian. I still love God above all else. But, the fact that they feel like I have is enough to make me feel it too. I feel like the worst person ever.
I know that this is just another case of not understanding the Catholic faith, but this is so much more personal. Every person I have let down is someone I deeply care about. Hearing this person express feelings of betrayal to me brought it all into perspective. They aren't the only one that feels that way, but the only one brave enough to tell me to my face.
I am completely heart broken by all the people I have let down. That's the last thing I would ever want to do. My intent has never been to hurt anyone. But, I have. I have hurt a lot of people. I am so, so sorry. Know that it pains me greatly to know that I have hurt you, and that you feel I have betrayed you, I have never intended to do so.
I do still love God.
I am still a Christian, as all Catholics are.
I still read my Bible, as the Catholic Church is based in scripture. Go to Mass just once, it's so beautifully steeped in scripture, it's just amazing. Also, easy to pick up on if you're familiar with your Bible. You'll immediately recognize where so much of it comes from, it's just the most beautiful celebration.
I still pray to God.
I still believe in the Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I still believe Jesus Christ is God in flesh, born of a virgin, He was crucified, died, buried, and rose again, all for me and my sins.
I am still a daughter of the One True King.
I still believe the Bible is the true, inspired word of God.
I still believe. I am still me. I still love you. I still pray for you. I hope and pray that you'll forgive me. I pray that you'll look further into Catholicism and not just settle for hearsay, but discover the Truth for yourself.
I'm sorry I've hurt you. I'm sorry I've let you down. I am truly and deeply sorry. It kills me to know how you feel. I pray that one day you'll be able to forgive me, to be able to trust me again. If and when that day comes, know that I forgive you, I love you, and I am not going anywhere, my arms are open, waiting and ready. You are still a beloved and dear friend.
Know that I'm hurting over the loss of you, too.