Forgiveness: Day 1.

Is there someone who you struggle to come to terms with?  Someone that you struggle to forgive?  Someone that has repeatedly hurt you, your family or someone important to you?

I have a person like that in my life.  She has left a  path of destruction throughout the course of Kev and my marriage.  We have struggled through some tough stuff in regards to her and the choices that she made early on in our marriage. The destruction was so bad, that seeing her somewhere made me physically ill;  shakes, nausea and a stomach ache that lingers for hours after any interaction.

Recently, she has come back into our lives  as a backseat spectator.  Not involved in our day-to-day life, but around enough that I see her frequently.  I do NOT like this.  It has caused many uncomfortable situations for me, and many meltdowns in the safety of my home and some strained relationships in the process.

Here is the “funny” thing………..I’ve known for a long time, that I need to take the steps to forgive the heartache she caused our family.  I need to forgive her, for myself.  But like I mentioned before, I didn’t need to do it, when I didn’t see her. I didn’t think about her, or the hatred (yes, I said hatred) that I hold in my heart for her.  But God in his not so subtle way has continued to place her in situations where I will run into her…..Sunday Morning’s at church, Thursday mornings at Ladies Bible Study, and no on Tuesday nights when I go to a Study group…..

I have come to terms with the fact that I will see her weekly on Sunday and Thursday, but last night when I walked into the meeting room and got my things in order, I glanced behind me and saw her sitting at the table directly behind me.  My heart sunk.

Ok God, Really?  I know that you want me to deal with my anger and bitterness and forgive her……….but I thought if I ignored you long enough, you’d get sick of pestering me…..no such luck.  The thing is, is that I LOVE funny ironic stories like the one that I am living, if it were someone else’s life I would be giggling about the “coincidences.”  It’s not as funny in my life! 🙂

So, after my study group, I met a friend for coffee, this friend is WISE………..She probably poops wisdom nuggets she’s that awesome!  (when and if she reads this, she is going to be really annoyed with my verbage! bwahahaha)  Anyhow, I was telling her about the events of the evening, and in my calm, demure and quiet spirit I recounted all the reasons why I shouldn’t have to forgive this person.

She wouldn’t rise to my rants, and laid it bare for me,

“Jess, you know that as someone who follows Christ, you’re called to forgive her right?

{Long Pause as I stare her down}

“Yes, I know that, but she’s not a nice person, and I don’t want to forgive her, because she’s not a nice person, and I don’t want to forgive her.”

{Friend rolls eyes and grins}

“Uh, I don’t think it works that way,  You know that you forgiving her, isn’t FOR her, it’s FOR you.  When you forgive her, it frees your heart from the bitterness it holds.  You can move forward.  Forgiving her doesn’t mean that the things she did to you and Kevin are OK, they’ll never be ok.  But it means that you can move forward, and be the person that God created you to be.”

{I am bawling and snotting everywhere}

“I know, and I want to forgive her.  I don’t want her to have that kind of power in my life.

{Friend looks smug and knows she won the argument <—only kidding}

“Good, I’ll be praying.”

So here we go, Day 1 of the forgiveness project.  Sounds like this is what my heart will work on for February.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seven times seventy times.  Matt 18:20-22

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14

 

 

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Comments

  1. Uuummm..good thing you met the friend you did for coffee. I am totally not mature enough to handle it! 🙂

  2. Barb Coyle says:

    Thanks Jess!
    There is also someone in my life very much like yours whom I need to forgive. Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe I will have the courage to do the same:)

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