“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
Forgiveness. I thought I found it, felt like I meant it and he would accept it, God that is--everyone else is irrelevant. That's how it works anyway, or so I thought. You know you say it, it's said, it's done and on to the next moment in life. It's as if it's finished then it begins. Again. A cycle. A cycle that seems to repeat itself.
It isn't until the feelings toward the situation or circumstances start to resurface that you learn that you barely meant it. SAYING that we forgive someone is basically our way of avoiding a war with God, ourselves, or anyone who would ask how we might be feeling. You know those questions of, "are you over it?," "are you really happy?," or "are you sure you're good?"
We have all been there. You know what I'm talking about. We say we forgive someone and we all smile and nod yes. We shrug it off, not caring that we lied or that we treated our feelings like a game of hide and seek, as in we hide while they seek for us to share our true thoughts of pain or anger. Instead we smile while on the inside we are mad as all get out and bitter as 80% dark cocoa that everyone says is good for you but don't NOBODY want to eat.
We truly think that we can say,"I forgive (fill in the blank)," and in that instant all is well and healed but the truth is that is not forgiveness. That my friends in denial. Here's an important reminder: Forgiveness is not for them. It's for you. Forgiveness is giving yourself permission to feel but not to sulk. It's permission to visit but not unpack. It's the only key to the door of healing and not allowing the sickness eat you alive.
I believe many of us think that once we say we forgive, we are to get over it as easy as forming the sentence but honey that is not the case. That is a lie. That is how healing is blocked and forgiveness is not accomplished. Forgiveness is NOT easy and it is NOT without pain. It does include crying, questioning, screaming out loud sometimes and prayer, oohhhh sooooo much prayer; however, it does come with freedom.
There was a time I realized that I had falsely found what true forgiveness was but in a moment I learned what it truly meant to have. Big difference. I'll say it again. There was a time I falsely found forgiveness meaning I walked around SAYING but not living in forgiveness and there was the moment I learned what ACHIEVING forgiveness is. In this particular moment, forgiveness confronted me in a way less than pleasing but a panic attack did not come,tears of pain did not fill my eyes, I was in total peace and overcome with a feeling of freedom. It was not to say it was easy or that it didn't hurt but in that moment I was releasing instead of squeezing tighter.
It's in the ultimate forgiveness we find that although there was pain, there was much growth, much strength, and many lessons. Although there are times of lies, betrayal, heartbreak and anger we have to also remember there were moments that were honest, genuine, and joy filled. Forgiveness is like rain. Sometimes it's an inconvenience but afterwards there is always new growth. It does not mean accepting the behavior or granting future permission, it simply means breaking the chains that have bound you.
I pray that whatever you holding on to or whomever you're holding it against that God may enter your heart and allow you to face the chain that binds you. I pray you find the strength to let those chains slip free from your hands and vanish into the heavens. May God grant you ultimate peace as you take the step forward to find ultimate healing, walking with you every painful step, every tear filled moment, and moments of deafening silence until the ultimate healing enters your heart in your journey to forgiveness. Forgiveness starts with facing your pain and ends with releasing the grip of your own hands. It's possible. I believe in you! I love you! Sending you the biggest hugs to your neck and hand squeeze as I too pray for your freedom.
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