My husband Dan shared a great message about forgiveness this past Sunday. We know we are to forgive those who have wounded us (see my post on Bullet Wounds), but sometimes the “how” eludes us. I thought I would share what I’ve been going through over the last week to show my own journey into forgiveness.
I won’t go into the details, but a person in our lives has hurt us deeply, so much that when we received the letter from her lawyer, I was in shock and very angry. It is one thing to know there is evil in the world, but sometimes I want to believe there is still integrity and fairness in people since that is how I operate. When you come face to face with reality, it’s a hard blow.
Over the next couple of days, I could hardly breathe. It was like there was such a heaviness sitting on my chest, such a gaping hole, that I could hardly function. Every time I thought of the situation, I wanted to fight back. And we could, our case is much stronger than hers.
But then God reminded me of the parable of the servant who was forgiven a debt of millions of dollars, but then that servant turned around and went after another servant who owed him a measly amount. God showed me with everything He’s forgiven me, $1,400 isn’t much to forgive. I couldn’t shake that image from my mind.
Last night, I woke up feeling wounded, hurt, and angry again. Does that mean I hadn’t forgiven her? I don’t believe so. Real wounds take time. You can forgive, but there is still hurt as the wound heals. You know what you do with the hurt? You take it to God. Every minute. Every hour.
I prayed over and over again last night, even telling God I’m not strong enough to forgive such hurtfulness, that I needed His strength to do it. It took almost two hours of wrestling and crying. There were moments when I wondered if I was being weak since we were choosing not to fight. But then God reminded me the weapons she was using: intimidation and lawyers, were not the weapons for me to use. He also showed me another battle going on: the one for her soul. She is trapped by greed and the things of this world. So instead of hating her, I needed to pray for her.
I’m still hurting this morning. And I probably will hurt for a while. As someone who is a fair and just person, to experience such injustice committed toward my family is painful. But as Easter approaches, I remember the one I follow. At the end, Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If Jesus could forgive those who committed such atrocities toward Him, then I can forgive the hurt committed toward me.
Not alone, but with His help.