Forgiveness. Today, God has placed forgiveness on my heart.
Last night I witnessed hearts that grieved for others, feeling their pain to the core as if it were their own, and I saw hearts being freed; a deep sigh of breath, lungs full of fresh air.
There was a bravery that filled the room and our hearts that left us speechless and grateful. Sometimes our stories make us feel hopeless, angry, and full of hate. We not only hate the circumstances that happened to us, but those that caused the pain, and sometimes the God that "allowed" it. (<--- not a true statement but a thought that crosses a lot of minds.)
We cling to these happenings because we'd feel lifeless or without purpose if we decided to let go. "I fought that fight for what? There's no way I'm letting go now!" Or maybe just proving the point that I'm right and they're wrong is all we want. Or maybe, just maybe, you're having a hard time forgiving yourself because forgiving actually means you're giving yourself grace and why would you deserve that after what you've done? Right?
But not forgiving is a deep dark hole that sucks the life out of you. It builds a fog over your heart that leaves you feeling angry, aggravated, stuck, and repeating the same negative thoughts.
It leaves you bitter.
It takes the good out of the situation and a lesson left unlearned. It keeps you isolated and left with regret, eventually.
A heart that can't forgive is a heart that God didn't want for you.
I know I'm speaking to the choir here because I've fought myself many times on whether or not I've truly let go or if I've just stuffed it deep, scared that one day it'll all come back to the surface.
But that's okay. Not a single one of us are perfect. We can aim for the mark and fall short, but we don't have to stay there. Try and try again.
I listened to stories last night that made me angry. I wanted to crawl into their story, go back in time and fight. I wanted justice for these people. I didn't want to forgive but God showed up. He lent his hand down and covered my heart with peace and anger shifted, grace appeared.
You know you've forgiven when you go from angry to sad.
Think of the situation you're dealing with this very moment. Maybe you're fighting with a sibling, refusing to be around someone, hugging someone that betrayed you and your heart feels like it's taking everything to pretend you're okay, ignoring someone because it's taking everything not to scream at them because the betrayal was just too much to handle, or maybe you're avoiding mirrors because the person who meets you there is the one that let you down the most and you just can't face them, maybe you've received the sorry that your heart needed to hear but you just can't let it go.
Now think of God. Think of the way he sees us and how he forgives so quickly. God doesn't hate us, he hates the sin. The sin keeps us from him. It creates a roadway full of passing cars and you feel like you're stuck in a frogger game, jumping side to side, as the sin comes in to attack and you're unable to reach the other side. Unable to reach him.
Do you want to know why he forgives so quickly? Because he loves. He loves you. He won't let [anything] come between you and him. He's so hurt by the sin because the one thing, you, that he loves so much was kept from him. So he quickly forgives because all he wants is you back.
Maybe we have a hard time forgiving so quickly because of that same reason. Maybe we love so, so much that we are hurt so, so much. That the one who you thought would never do such a thing, did, and it's more than your heart can bare. Or maybe you're afraid of loving that hard because a love so strong just couldn't be possible in a life you've lived. You've been betrayed so you'll be betrayed again so you stop allowing yourself to love.
Whatever the case, He doesn't want us living with hearts that don't let go.
Free your heart today. Hate the thing that has happened to you, but love, forgive, be free, and be sad.
Change your anger to sadness and allow grace to shift in your heart.
Make that phone call to say the hello you've been longing for so long. Take that trip. Write that text and go for coffee. Start over. Breathe in the fresh air.
Look in that mirror.
Today, let's sit with forgiveness. Let's remember that forgiving doesn't mean what happened was right, but it means you can live the full life that was intended for you, and forgiving means you'll be closer to him. If he can forgive us time after time, then you can do this too. I encourage you. Be brave. Be free.
"I forgive you." - Jenna