December 5, 2011: F is for Forgiveness

“And then there was that time when in love I started to fall, Worry said, “What if you get dumped? Doubt said, “Don’t give it your all.” (From New Best Fiend – A Little Book of Faith by Vera Jones)

He carried on an extended affair with a co-worker and had casually slept around with a few others. He lied to me repeatedly about everything. He purposely used psychological tactics to try to convince me that I was paranoid and over-sensitive. He verbally degraded me, emotionally derailed me, and physically exhausted me while also placing me at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Yet here he stood, his eyes pleading with mine, hitting me with the lowest of the low relational requests. He had the audacity to ask for Forgiveness! “Are you out of your mind or do you just think I am?” I screamed. I had given this man all of my heart and soul. What made him think I had anything left to even think about forgiving him let alone to actually do it?

For years of countless nights I wrestled with this tremendously unreasonable, dare say psychotic request to forgive someone who had hurt me so badly that I barely recognized myself anymore. Yet as defiant as I wanted to be in honoring his plea for forgiveness, I just could not escape the realization that I, too, had made mistakes. I, too, had hurt someone before. I, too, was human and therefore destined to sin and do things that were less than loving and pure. I, too, required forgiveness. How could I expect to ever receive it if I was unwilling to concede it? Oh I tried to justify with defenses of, “Yeah, but I never hurt anyone this badly.” But I could not deny that I was not perfect and even if I believed I hadn’t in the past, there surely may come a time in the future when I would indeed say or do something that may cause someone pain or harm, and I may be very sorry for it. So it was undeniable. I had to forgive just as I would pray to be forgiven. Fair is fair.

When you are deeply, emotionally scarred, forgiveness may seem an impossible task. Forgetting is out of the question. But faith is a greatly overlooked and powerful part of the forgiveness process. When you walk in faith, you sense that everything will work out for the good, even the deep and dark pain that has been inflicted by another. Faith also allows you to forgive yourself as you realize God still loves you despite your faults and shortcomings. You need only ask with a sincere heart to be forgiven and the healing process begins (even though I admit it sometimes takes a while to actually feel healed.) I have learned it is very difficult to reap the rewards of faith when you are holding tightly to the penalties of an unforgiving spirit. During your most vulnerable moments worry and doubt will try to convince you things will never get better and your pain will never end. But if you stop to listen closely, faith is whispering, “You are already healed. Just let go and believe better things, better people and better times are on their way into your life.” Will you listen and trust that whisper?

Faith is the key to the ignition that drives forgiveness. The man that hurt me deeply just didn’t deserve the loyal and true love I had to offer. Quite honestly, he had not learned to love and be loyal to himself. Why on earth would I expect him to give that which he did not have? Are you expecting someone to give something they don’t have? Do you lack faith that you are bigger than the pain someone caused you? Do you no longer believe your life will improve and therefore carry an unforgiving spirit? Maybe it’s time you find a New Best Friend named Faith. Believe better things, kinder people, happier times are ahead. Then start that engine of faith and drive forgiveness to your destination of peace and joy. That place does exist. I am proof. It took some time but today I live a life of complete forgiveness. I am both loving and lovable and happy
beyond measure. I’m beginning to fall in love again. Imagine that! Faith told me I could be, that I should be, and that I would be happy again. I’m so glad I listened! I wrote this because I know of so many people in pain and bondage because they don’t know how or they just don’t want to forgive. I’m tossing you the key of faith. Breakout! Be happy! Be faith-filled and free!



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