What is forgiveness? I’ve struggled with exactly what it means to forgive someone my entire life. If you forgive, does it take the pain away? Does it fix the problem, the thing that happened in the first place? Or does it leave me feeling empty and sad? And, how do I forgive when the wound is still there? What does it even look like to forgive?
This morning one of my devotions on YouVersion Bible App was on forgiveness. Jesus has done a lot of work on my heart as far as forgiveness over the years. I can tell you that is one of the greatest things my heart is grateful for and something that no one can take away from me. As I was reading my devotional I began to scan my heart and as always, it stopped on my birth family members first. There were a lot of things that happened in my childhood that never should happen to a child. I was more protective of my children’s hearts because of my childhood, but I was so damaged and it came out in the means of health for many years. Gratefully, Jesus has healed so many of the wounds I had from being raised in my household and He has done it all without anything changing in those relationships, even to this day. The relationships are sad even today, but I have forgiven because Christ first forgave me (Eph 4:32). Also, I don’t desire nearly as often to be invited back into their world, I believe I am starting to understand that not all family is meant to be physically around one another, it can cause more harm than good.
As I walked around the house doing my morning chores, God showed me a place of unforgiveness in my heart that I didn’t even realize was there. Wow, the damage this place has caused over the years has to be great though He hasn’t shown me fully, I love how Jesus is so gentle. The place I saw that was ugly happened a little over 10 years ago. Shortly before I nearly died. (I’m putting this event down as a place that may have contributed to that season.) My mother had just passed away six months prior and I was going as hard and as fast as I could possibly go to avoid the pain of the grief that I felt inside of me. But, I can say that I was not doing it well and my health was waning, fast. I didn’t know what to do with the pain and I was way too afraid to look at it. The cost for not stopping long enough to look at the sorrow in my heart and do some heart work was great! One evening I was, I’m assuming, sobbing over missing my mother again. Hubby was very dismissive to my feelings because his are buried deep and so he didn’t know what to do with me, I was crying, again. In that moment the enemy fed him a line that he repeated and the wounding is still here today. I truly know that this thought he repeated was not his, it was the perfect line to devastate my heart in that moment and he is simply not that clever. Over the years I have teased him about it and we have laughed but each time I say it, I see a look of guilt on his face and in some way, it made me feel better. Yes, I know it is bad that I would do that, but I didn’t realize it truly was a place where I had not forgiven him. Each time I repeated it, the enemy had grounds to continue more lies to me about who Hubby is and how he thinks.
Just yesterday this silly comment crept back into our communication. Certain dismissive or challenging things can lead me right back to that place. By the grace of God, today I choose to forgive Hubby and I say that I am as guilty of saying things that are insensitive and mean and and dismissive too, and I have done it to him. The enemy no longer has a place here, only the truth that Hubby loves me and always wants the best for me. He does not expect me to heal myself but he does ask me to forgive him when he makes mistakes and I choose forgiveness, over and over again.
I ask Daddy to give you a picture today of some place there is wound with unforgiveness and that He give you the eyes to see and ears to hear what He wants to do with it. Today I feel a huge weight off of my chest and I pray that God will give the same to you. God bless.
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
“and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12