Forgiveness is Hard Because the Hurt Mattered
Forgiveness matters. It took me a really long time to understand what forgiveness actually was. I was under the misunderstanding that forgiveness meant that you were giving someone PERMISSION to do whatever that person did to you.
That is not correct.
What Forgiveness Actually Means
According to Webster’s Dictionary, forgiveness means “to grant forgiveness.” “To Grant” that is extending the forgiveness to someone. This doesn’t mean you have to let them back in your life. Also, this doesn’t mean that you have to trust them. What it means is that you no longer depen on them to right the wrong. You are releasing them from owning you.
That is a powerful statement. I am actively releasing them from owning me! When I harbor those feelings of resentment, anger, hate, disdain, irritation, etc I am allowing them to own me. They own my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, and my reactions. I am indebted to them.
Honestly, half the time most people do not even realize they did anything. On the other hand, sometimes they do remember and they try to avoid at all costs having a run-in. Earlier this year, I took the bull by the balls.
What Did I Do With Those Balls?
I cut those suckers OFF. My mental health is not great. I am big enough to admit that. There are things occuring in my life that I cannot control. Then, there are things that I can control. Yet, Christ says we are not in control. He is and Ineed to yield to Him because He fights my battles, I just need to be silent (Exodus 14:14).
Being silent is not one of my strong suits. Yet, I have been very silent over the last year. I have sat back and taken the words, actions, abuse, and dirty looks. Those things have been met with silence. Also, depression, uncertainty, fear, and so many other things.
I Digress, Back to the Balls
There are several people that has avoided me like the plague. I mean, they have literally dropped off the face of the planet. These people will not return calls, emails, texts, fb messages, nothing. I thought I had done/said something to hurt them. The thought of that tears at my soul because I try to be very mindful of my words. Your tongue is a double-edged sword according to Jesus.
I decided to give it one last ditch effort and send one more message. Then, I was going to let it go. I was not going to let the uncertainty cause physical ramifications on my body, soul, and mind anymore. Forgiveness is what I asked for because I just felt like I needed to do that.
To My Surprise
These ladies answered me back. We had great conversations. I asked questions, they answered. They asked questions, I answered. This all happened like the 40+ year old people we are (hello FB middle school, I see you.)
One lady misinterpreted a conversation that was had almost 3 years ago. She apologized and acknowledged my hurt at her disappearing during a very difficult season in my life. I apologized for not being clear in what I said. Guess what?
We forgave each other. Have we really sat down, face to face, to talk? No. Co-vid and all. I hope to soon. Will our friendship be the same as it was? I don’t know. Time will tell. I would love to see that happen, but I have to acknowledge my hurt because it did (and does) matter. I just can’t live there.
The Other Lady
Well, she did respond and it went well. I had done nothing wrong and she explained herself and her choices. She asked for forgiveness and I happily granted it. Again, I expressed my hurt to her. Yet, I chose not to sit in it because she seemed so sincere.
Sadly, I was wrong. Again, she has gone to the nth degree to believe something about me. I’m not sure what it is this time. Honestly, as I was talking to my husband today, I want to say I don’t care. It’s not like I see this person everyday.
Then again, I do care and I want to know why. I opened up, again, as I did with the other lady and I tried to believe, extend forgiveness, and trust her. This time, I will choose to forgive her but she will never be close to me again. She no longer owns me.
The Last Lady
Wow. This one is a doozy. Out of the blue, she “friended” me on Facebook. I was appalled. This lady I knew but I didn’t personally know. Weird, I know. Completely offended and fired off a stern message.
We exchanged several messages. I expressed in great detail my complete disdain for her because of circumstances that she (and another member of my family) created. She danced around it and she did apologize.
I sat in it for a very long time. A very very long time. In fact, I told her I may never forgive her and I will certainly never forget what she did. She was told to never contact me or my family again. Livid isn’t even a word to do my feelings justice.
It was my last straw today. The straw that broke the camel’s back. “Friend #2” again unfriended me and blocked me. Honestly, have not spoken to her since that one day. As I was talking to Bart, he told me to just delete FB. It is “from the devil.”
He is right. Last time I tried to do this, I redownloaded it. It is an obsession, even if you don’t realize it. I took the time to respond to messages that had been sitting in my messages spot. Then, I reread some messages that were important to feel those feelings again.
I got to that woman.
As I was reading our messages, I didn’t feel the heat of anger or hate. Honestly, I felt pity. What a sad life this woman has led. She has been tied to this “what if” thought in her brain for over 50 years.
My hurt did matter. She altered my life and the lives of those I love. This woman owned me. She controlled my emotions and dictated how I felt. Today, I simply wrote “I forgive you.” She answered me back quickly. I deleted all the messages.
Today, as I hit the button to end my relationship with FB and this “friend”and other woman, I felt empowered. Validated. At peace. Today, no one owns me but Christ. I was purchased for a price.
Today, I am free.