Such a small word, a simple word – but also..a hard word, one full of chaos and tears and heartache. Chances are, everyone has someone they need to forgive. The word itself is mentioned in the bible roughly 116 times, depending on the translation. At the heart of it, is something so consuming, so raw. It takes so much for us to forgive people, but why? Forgiveness is an amazing, freeing moment that will bring peace in a way you never expected.
I spent most of last fall angry and sad with the relationship I was in. It wasn’t a good place, or a healthy place. I put on a happy face, and went about everyday because I was in love. Love fixes everything right? I resented so many things and situations that occurred. I wondered how our relationship was ever going to survive this “mess” we were in. The cancelled dates, the missed plans, the time apart. We were drowning, and I was drowning in so much anger. We went our separate ways and that anger stayed. How could he do this to me, what in the hell did I ever do? I did nothing but fight for him, for our relationship, I was amazing to him. He and the kids were my life, hands down, I planned my life around them all. Then suddenly, it was gone and that anger remained.
We started attending Shandon Baptist in December. Shortly after first visit, the pastor did a sermon on forgiveness. And I swear to you, God basically smacked me upside the head and yelled “SEE?!?!? This is what you need”. That God, such a kidder. I wasn’t ready for it. I can’t forgive him, I’m too mad. Then another sermon came that touched on forgiveness, and again – God smacked me upside the head. I finally said, “Ok, Ok God, I get it.”
I prayed about it, I cried about it, and then I forgave. Most importantly, I let that person know “I forgive you”. My final act of loving him was forgiving him and letting him go. I didn’t do it because I felt the behavior was right or ok. I did it for me. I cannot move on with this life, and then go into a new relationship holding onto that anger. That night after I told him, I slept like a rock for the first time in months. That anger, resentment and sadness wasn’t weighing me down anymore. It was gone and I was free.
Such a powerful thing, literally one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.