Hearts are being polluted with pain, destroying our spirits, suffocating our true selves. It’s happening everywhere, in all relationships: bitterness, fear, distrust and anger. Why? Because there is sin.
Thoughts, words, actions and deeds going unclaimed in relationships. Someone said or did it because an emotion fueled it. Someone received it internally and had an emotional reaction. People have been effected and changed, but nobody talks about it or heals from it. These sins are never seeing the light of forgiveness; therefore not only are they are being used against us again and again, but they are causing us to store hate in our hearts. By holding onto these memories and feelings we are giving this negativity a place to dwell in our bodies. They don’t belong here anymore, nor do I want to house them any longer.
What does forgiveness entail? Just verbal communication? “Hey dude, I’m sorry”? I think it’s so much more than that. It can seem so hard to apologize to someone when our ego gets in the way. Being wrong stinks. FEELING like your wrong stinks, even if your not. Forgiveness comes from a place deep in your heart. The place you store your core beliefs and your values. When I can take the time to search the deep places of my heart, the ego is removed. When ego is removed I can see the true value of my relationships. If I come to an agreement that I value this relationship more than my ego, I can truly forgive. This does not change the past, but it does change the future. It means that moving forward, I no longer hold this situation/memory over an others head, and I no longer beat myself up inside about it either. I have forgiven, learned, healed, let go, grown and moved on. Sounds lovely right?
But is it enough to just forgive what has been done to us in our own hearts? What if we never receive that verbal apology we were hoping for? What if the behavior doesn’t change? Who is dealing with our enemies and those who have wronged us? Is justice being served?
All of these questions and troubles can be cause for a anxious and worried heart and so quickly it seems like we are back at square one. Don’t give up, there is hope!
THE JESUS PIECE:
Lets just get back to basics as to why we are forgiving anyways. Its not for them, its not for us, its not because of who we are, it is because of what Jesus has done. He conquered ALL OF THIS, one time, once all for all. Key words, “for all”. Meaning that justice had been served, wrongdoers have been dealt with, once and for all. Do we believe this to be true? Do we believe that his mercies are made new every morning? Is this to be true for all people? Or has ego kicked in and this is only true for me?
WWJD? Cliche… I know, but a great question in itself. What would he do? We know he’s a good guy, a fair guy. We know that he says “My child, your sins are forgiven”, and that he is referring to all his children. If we know this deep in our hearts, then we learn to act this out. As we become more like him, we learn WHY we are forgiving, and it becomes a more pertinent behavior in our lives.
On another note, we won’t always understand an others actions or words, and we don’t have to. The worst thing you can do is hold them to their errors. We must trust that our good Father is working in them for the better, and so we forgive them and encourage them to transform. As Jesus said, “forgive them for they know not what they do”. We are all broken souls just working hard for positive change and should not be defined by our mistakes. If we believe this for ourselves, we must believe it for all.
I will end this Jesus Piece with a brilliantly true C.S. Lewis quote. “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in others because Christ has forgiven the inexcusable in us”.
What does applying this all to my real life look like? Currently it looks like a big mess, like my dog scribbled with crayons on a sheet of loose leaf paper. Too vivid?
That’s life. It looks like my husband and I isolating and distancing from loved ones. When, for lack of better words, shit hit the fan, we felt anger, frustration, fear, distrust, bitterness. All of those emotions mentioned earlier in this post. It felt a lot like hatred building up inside our hearts, far from the feelings we have always known for these people.
Now I don’t recommend this for all people, but, we had to step back from these relationships, take them to the Lord, and trust that he has the best possible outcome planned. In the meantime, we needed to work on healing our own hearts. In doing so, some of the feelings that surfaced were around the fact that we both had some deep rooted beliefs that we had been living in our parents shadows. This left us feeling very co-dependent, smothered, voiceless, and unable to express our true selves. It also caused us to believe that our accomplishments are not great enough, and that our mistakes have defined us as a person.
Our actions and behaviors were reflective of how we were feeling inside. Thus the cycle of sin and unforgiveness was wreaking havoc on our relationships. We took this to the Father here is what we learned:
- Jesus lived a strong and independent life from his earthly parents, and also had a very steady and consistent relationship with his heavenly Father. Jesus was able to access his Father at any time and release his burdens on Him. The Father was proud of Jesus from day one. Before he had accomplished anything great, he accepted and acknowledged that he was pleased with his son just as he was. Jesus teaches us to talk to our Father and tell Him of our sins, repent, and go freely, that if we pray for forgiveness we will receive it.
- This means that…. Myself and my husband each live a strong and independent life from our earthly parents, yet have complete access at anytime to the loving, steady, guidance and wisdom of our heavenly Father. We are not meant, nor do we need to, carry around anxious, worried hearts. Our Father actually wants to make all of that from us so that we can remain in peace. He loves us that much !! Our Father is PROUD of us. Proud of me, right now, this very moment; in my pj’s, un-brushed hair and teeth, overloaded on caffeine, not working a conventional job. Struggles, messes, bumps and bruises, He accepts me as is. There is no test we have to pass, no tasks to accomplish. He knows that we are going to make mistakes, and so when we do we know that we can pray to our good Father and he will listen. He will know our hearts true intent and desires and he wants to give them to us.
In our hearts through this healing process we were able to recognize the lies that the enemy had us believing in this situation, understand what is true of Jesus and our good Father, and apply those truths to our hearts.
How are we doing today? A part of our healing journey meant that by applying those truths to our hearts, we also acted that out. We have grown a new confidence in ourselves. The strength to express our individuality, to open up about our worries and fears, to welcome community into our lives and most of all to love ourselves for where we are this very moment, mess and all.
We will continue to make mistakes because we are not perfect. Thankfully we have our good Father who we can consistently go back to to ask forgiveness. We are still not able to engage in these particular relationships at the moment, but that’s okay; we hold strong in faith knowing our Father has his hand in this, and is working everything out for good. We are living in peace and so it is well with our souls.
UPDATE: I am still sober guys!!! Being away alllllll summer and not being able to consistently connect the the avenues of grace available to me really played with my heart and my mind. Now that fall is here and we are (somewhat) back to a normal routine I am feeling so much better! Thank you Jesus! How are you guys doing?!?!?! Let me know 🙂