Not long ago, I wrote this post about a super ouchie, hurtful situation we had endured as a family. That was nearly five months ago. In that time the dust has settled, the anger has retreated and what I'm left with is hurt. Hurt and sadness.
My mind has been spinning lately with where to go next. What do you do with the hurt? How do you cope with the sadness?
My first thought it to just put it in a little, pretty jar and place it on a shelf. File it away and just forget about it. Honestly, that's what I've tried to do thus far and it just hasn't worked.
Every circumstance God allows in our lives gives us the opportunity to make a choice...will we allow it to grow us and become better, or will we allow it to make us bitter?
Even though I'm hurt, and some days sad, I don't want to allow that to take root in my heart. Not long ago I walked through a hard valley in life where nearly every drop of joy drained from me. Those days were hard and long. Days when tears flowed easily and I've felt like throwing my hands in the air and just being done. Days where I was withdrawn, building walls around myself and just wanting to stay inside my safe little home.
I can't return there. And with that, I'm on the road to healing my heart.
I'm going to be honest, I'm not a good forgiver. If there is one thing I'm good at, it's holding a grudge. Actually, I might even be considered a professional grudge holder. Forgiveness, no matter who it is directed to, is something that just doesn't come easily to me. Add in someone hurting my children as well and it's doubly as hard.
How do you forgive the one who caused such pain. And created those hurt, deep, searing wounds.
What does Jesus say about holding a grudge? He commands us to overlook sins and forgive those who hurt us. He doesn't ask us to do that, the Lord commands us to do that.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
But somewhere buried in our subconscious, we think the rules don’t apply to us. The pain we know doesn't fit the requirements of forgiveness.
And then we become resentful, angry, unforgiving and cold.
I am beginning with one simple statement...this is my opportunity to show them Jesus through me. To be kind and tenderhearted, expecting nothing in return.
This one is hard for me. Whether I want to admit it or not, this girl can be so proud! That certainly isn't an endearing quality. God’s Word has much to say about pride.
When we love our relationships, we should have no room for pride and arrogance to creep in. Regardless of who is to blame, when we are really serious about reconciling a relationship, we put aside our pride and sometimes that means being the first one to take the step towards restoration.
Forgiveness doesn't always equal relationship
Sometimes relationships flat-line and some are just toxic. I honestly just don’t know how to take a single step forward in a relationship that has dead-ended. Ones where there is no earthly way of moving forward. Where I just don’t know which way to go.
All I do know is this, we are to love one another.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
I have to believe that forgiveness and love doesn't mean we're required to have a relationship.
Love doesn't mean we walk back in. It doesn't mean we forget. It doesn't mean it didn't happen and we aren't thankful that the journey brought us out.
It means we continue to love, even from a distance. We choose the best for them, for us, for this time. We refuse bitterness. We refuse anger. We refuse to keep allowing our heart to stir. We become aware of our pain and we seek and find healing.
When you don’t know how to move forward, choose love. When there seems to be no earthly way of moving on, choose love.