• forgiveness

    The First Step in Forgiveness

    Three years. That’s how long I let the poison stay.⠀⠀

    I once heard unforgiveness is like poison. We drink it, hoping the other person suffers.⠀⠀

    After I left an abusive relationship, I didn’t want to forgive. I feared forgiving the years of complicated hurt would give God the go-ahead to send me back. So instead I held on tight.⠀⠀

    The abuse broke me down, but the unforgiveness locked in the pain. It wrapped around the memories, hardening them in a bitter seal. It encased my heart in in a self-protective layer that kept me from connection. The poison blurred my vision and I saw the world through the lens of victimhood. It pulsed through my veins, with anger bubbling just below the surface.⠀⠀

    The decision to forgive had to start with a renewed trust in God. I trusted Him with small things, but this felt too important to let go. I needed to believe He could protect me and wouldn’t send me back unless it was safe. ⠀⠀

    When I surrendered to this deeper trust, He pulled out the poison. He drew the pain from my body and mind. He removed the scales so I could see clearly again. He showed me I could trust, as He relentlessly pursued me and softened my heart. ⠀⠀

    When He removed the poison, I was finally free. But I needed to surrender to Him fully. The antidote to my unforgiveness was trust. That’s when the work began.

  • forgiveness

    Walking out Forgiveness

    If forgiveness is hard for you, you’re not alone. I just did a quick google search for “how to forgive” and pulled up 276,000,000 results. Oof. ⠀

    I am right there with Lewis. I love the idea of forgiveness, in theory. ⠀

    I am right there with Peter who asked Jesus, “How many times do I have to forgive? Is there a limit?” (No Peter, the limit does not exist). ⠀

    And I am right there with you. ⠀

    I’m with you in the gut wrenching pain as you try to navigate how to forgive the fresh hurt.⠀

    I’m with you as you clench your fists around your desire for justice, fearful that forgiving means letting them off the hook.⠀

    I’m with you as you hold your breath and wait for the apology to begin forgiving. ⠀

    I’m with you as you shield your eyes in shame, afraid to pray. What if He is tired of forgiving me over and over again, you wonder.⠀

    And I am with you with that broken record of your past mistakes playing on a loop in your mind. ⠀

    We’re called to keep forgiving. But this is hard work. ⠀

    I don’t have better answers than the millions of others who talk about this subject. But I know a God who pours His grace over my wrongs every day. He forgives me seventy times seven thousand. And this month I want to point you towards His truth and His heart as we walk together through this forgiveness work.

    _____

    What questions do you have about forgiveness?