You live and you learn. You think that you’ve let things go and moved on. Sure, there are still memories, still a little sting of hurt. But then you shake it off and remember that the lesson you learned was totally worth what you went through. You say you’re ready to let go. You tell God that if He would just take away the person, the situation, the object, you’d be completely fine with it and you could even move on even more than you could now.
…but maybe you really aren’t ready to let go. Maybe you’re still holding onto that hope of the “maybe.” Just maybe things will get better, maybe it was all a misunderstanding, maybe that person will wonder about you and come to realize how much hurt they caused you. Maybe they’ll apologize. Maybe things will be better than they were. Maybe.
Your parents, friends, and mentors tell you the obvious. Heck, you know the obvious. But you still want to keep that hope. Or maybe you’re just angry and you won’t let go because you want revenge. You want justice to be served. You want the person who hurt you to hurt as much as or even worse than they hurt you. You want them to pay.
…but there’s something called FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness isn’t hateful. It doesn’t seek revenge. It doesn’t make stomachs drop or hearts race when pieces of your past come walking right past you. It doesn’t make you forget that a person is still a person, regardless of what they’ve done to you.
Forgiveness doesn’t require burning bridges, but it doesn’t mean running straight back into the path of the dangerous. It doesn’t mean entrusting people and things as much as you did before or even trusting them anymore at all. It doesn’t put hope in yourself, or in other people or things or situations.
Forgiveness is FREEDOM. It’s LETTING GO.
Despite knowing how much Jesus has forgiven me and knowing that He sacrificed Himself for me, I daily struggle with forgiving people. I feel as if I am somehow better than others, that I haven’t sinned as great as someone else. I deceive myself into thinking that I’m not as rebellious, angry, jealous, or deceitful…
But I am. I am a rebel. I get very angry and jealous. And I do deceive. What gives me the right to point fingers at people and place all the blame on them and ask God that justice be served to them because they hurt me; they deceived me; they lied and abandoned me? I think they don’t deserve grace. They deserve judgment.
And yet…I don’t deserve grace. I deserve judgment.
Bria, knowing the struggle I’ve been going through, said to me, “I want you to get to a point where you can see this person or remember the situation and not get angry, but acknowledge that, yes, you do have a past with this person, but that person is still a person, despite all of those things. It doesn’t mean you have to be close friends with that person, but you need to let go. Release. Forgive.”
So, last night was definitely very humbling for me. I prayed that God would change my heart and that He would give me a spirit of forgiveness, for I know that I am unworthy of forgiveness. I prayed that I would stop thinking of sins as big or small, but as sins in general. And I prayed that I would be able to remember my mistakes and not be bitter, angry, or seek revenge. But that I would see it as a time where God redeemed me and stayed by me throughout it all. I asked that He would continually give me peace about my past and show me grace.
I do regret my mistakes. I tell my friends that if I could go back in time and stop me from making the mistakes I did, I would. But I can’t. What’s done is done.
But I’m not going to let my mistakes define me and hold me back from living the life that God has planned for me. Despite my mistakes and sins, He still has a perfect plan for my life. And so, I am running to His arms, excited and waiting to see what He will do in my life next.
FORGIVENESS is obviously a huge lesson I’ve learned through my past mistakes. But I’ve also learned 2 other lessons…
TRUST those who truly care for you. During my situation, I completely shut out God, my family, and my friends, the people who care about me the most.
I never sought God for counsel. I honestly didn’t care if God were a part of this part of my life or not. I didn’t really want my parents or my friends to know; I only told them situations that happened after the fact. I knew that what they had to say about the situation would be things I didn’t want to hear. So I avoided talking to them about it as it was all happening. And that was stupid on my part.
How could I not want my Savior and Redeemer to be a part of my life? He is the One Who has given me my life! I owe it all to Him! I am His servant, His child. He deserves all that I have to offer, which isn’t much. But I give all I am to Him, anyway.
My parents and friends were so patient with me. They’ve been there for me when I’ve cried, complained, and been angry about my mistakes. They’ve hugged me and comforted me. And I’ve been so blessed by them. God has placed amazing people in my life to lift me up when I’m down. And I thank Him for that.
“Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). I’ve been so hurt. Deceived and abandoned. Yes, part of it was my fault, but I feel like it really could have been handled differently, even after everything fell apart. But all-in-all, I have learned that my heart is precious and valuable, and I have to guard it with all I can. This doesn’t mean that I don’t open up to people or that I become a hermit and that I never tell my feelings to anyone. But it does mean that I have to be cautious. I can’t throw my emotions and time and effort into just anyone. It takes time to build relationships and to get to know people for who they really are. It also takes time to realize if you really do care for that person and if they really care about you.
Also, I know that I am completely incapable of guarding my heart. God is the only One who can give me the wisdom and guidance to do that. And so, starting last night and continuing for the rest of my life, I will daily surrender my heart and my life to Him. For He is truly the only One who knows how to take care of it and repair it when it’s damaged.
My mistakes are in my past. They are a part of me now. They don’t make my life story any more or less exciting or boring. They are to remind me of the lessons I learned and how I should hold to those lessons forever.
God has been so gracious towards me. He has given me clarity, peace, comfort and closure through this entire situation I’ve been through. Through my friends and family, He has shown me these lessons of forgiveness, trust, and guarding. I couldn’t have done any of this without Him or without them.
I ask that you continually pray for me as I remember these lessons and daily surrender to God. Now may seem really easy, but I know that later, my feelings of anger and hurt will return and that it will get harder as I continue to trust God.
Thank you all so much for reading. I hope that the lessons I’ve learned will touch your heart and maybe even cause you to re-evaluate your life. What/who do you place your hope in? Are you holding onto anger, jealousy, hate, revenge? Do you know the people who truly care for you, and are you willing to trust them and hear what they have to say about your situations and circumstances?
And the big question: Are you trusting God to continually give you wisdom to guard your heart?
Have a great week! Praying for all of you!
*~.Mishy.~* (^^) ❤