One of life’s challenges that we encounter is forgiving ourselves and others. Many of us, carry the burden from childhood into adulthood. As we get older, the harder it becomes to forgive. Although we genuinely want to forgive, we don’t know exactly how. The moment we feel pain, our instinct is to hold back. Instantly, we decide not to forgive. Discomfort makes the forgiveness process so much harder. Forgiving requires remembering what someone did to us, setting them free, and letting the offesnse go. But how do you let go of something that hurts so bad? How do you let go of something that made you question your identity?
For me, forgiveness has led to tears, anger, sadness, rage, cuss words, and falling on my knees to cry out to God for help.
Throughout my life, I learned to forgive myself for the monster I once was. I learned to forgive my dad who wanted my mom to abort me. I learned to forgive my brother and sister for rejecting me. I learned to forgive those that sexually molested me. I learned to forgive my mom for not being present. I learned to forgive the men that abused my heart.
Forgiveness, is a hard process and I am still going through it. I call it a process because it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and diligence. I think to myself, “Why am I the one that has to pay for something someone did to me?” The part that hurts me the most is facing the ones who did me wrong. Although I forgive them, most times, I don’t receive an apology. Deep inside, we all desire an apology. Some debtors will never admit their debt. I am someone that loves justice. If someone hurts me, I want them to pay. I think this comes from being so hard on myself and lacking in grace. Even though I feel this way, God, reminds me of His Grace. He set His eyes upon me and did not let me go even when I sined. He chose to forgive me and die for me.
Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness. Even though humans sent him to the cross, He chose to love us, forgive us, and gifted us eternal life to not perish. I have forgiven so many people in my life, more times than I can count. But I still have a long way to go. As mentioned earlier, forgiveness is a process for me. However, with God’s help, I know I can forgive.
Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! Matthew 18:21-22
Who am I struggling to forgive?
Does forgiveness come easy for me?
How is not forgiving others affecting my life?
Do I believe in my heart that God has forgiven me?
How do you forgive:
You let go of holding a grudge, you let God into your pain, and your surrender the outcome to God.
Father, I invite you into my hurt and into the unspoken. I ask you to heal me and fill my heart with compassion for those that have wronged me. Thank you for forgiving me and help me accept your forgiveness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.