I’m being honest, here. I don’t want to forgive what has happened. I’m told over and over by my loved ones that I’m justified in my hurt. Why should I forgive?
During a recent church service I was on my knees before the Lord. It was only Him and me in that moment. Nothing else existed. The music faded away, the people were not relevant, I was in the presence of my Savior. I was in tears, not a pretty cry either, but an ugly break down that happens when God gets a hold of my heart. I felt like we were on the page (God and I) we were talking about the future and what my ministry would look like. I was happy but at the same time I grieved. I worried I wouldn’t be able to do what He was asking me to do. I know that crawling through those muddy ravines and clawing my way out of those dark days will comfort another who is currently in those moments and can’t see the horizon but the pain still feels like a knife at moments. (I can tell you that if you keep going it will get better. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but next week or next month will be so much better because you conquered today. Keep going, warrior.)
Yet, in my moment of tears I was reminded that I can’t move forward without forgiveness. This is a big thing for me. Like I said, I don’t want to forgive. My injured heart is a comfort. It’s a reminder not to let anyone too close. It keeps me warm when I feel the tides of grief overwhelm me. Yet, I’m being told that if I want to serve Him, TRULY serve Him, then I must forgive.
The last three years have been ugly, my friends. Not like a normal divorce kind of ugly. My divorce was attached to a civil lawsuit. It was monstrously ugly. I can only say, that with it came the confirmation of things I suspected, but also a hurt that is rooted in the injustice of what has happened. In my warped state of mind, to forgive meant that I was ready to move on.
Can we honestly say we ever forget the sting of betrayal? The raw moment when we discover the truth? I believe I confused the two for a long time. How can I be ready to forgive if I still cry over the pain?
So, on my knees in the dark sanctuary, I sobbed. I asked God how I was suppose to do it. I was lost in the moment of what He was requiring and what I felt capable of doing. It didn’t feel possible. Didn’t He understand that I was trying? The tears washed away my make-up and anything that was keeping the true me hidden. I felt exposed. Okay, I relent. I can’t do this on my own. I don’t want to do this, but in this act of obedience I ask that you help me forgive them. I felt a prick of hope but it wasn’t enough. He wants total obedience. I sat in that dark moment and listed every man and the reason I had to forgive them. Yes, there were more tears. Yes, I acted in obedience. Did I feel free? No. Honestly, I just felt depleted. I had nothing else to give. I was exhausted.
The next day, I prayed my prayer of obedience again. I listed each man and what I felt needed forgiveness. Did I feel free? No, but I had peace that it was the right thing to do. For me it is a matter of being in the will of God. Knowing that I’m in His will is what drove me to the prayer of forgiveness. I’m trusting that my obedience will lead to a change in my heart and with that comes new possibilities. For now, I walk with the Lord and trust that is enough.