The swirl of painful words splattered my heart. The hurt moved from my heart to my head where I replayed the argument often. I thought of a multitude of different endings. I would have said this, and I would say that. When she said “x”, I would change it and say this. Like a hamster on the wheel, my brain went around and around about the argument, but it got me nowhere.
As I traveled the miles on that wheel, leaving forgiveness in the dust, the hurt blossomed into anger.
After licking our wounds and refusing to speak to one another, we parted ways.
Sadly, there was no holiday celebration together that year, only hurt feelings and anger as our main entree.
And I didn’t want to forgive. After all, I had been the one hurt, or so I thought.
So I stewed for a while.
This wasn’t usual territory for either of us, and because of our marital bond, he was forced to slip-slide through the anger with me. He wasn’t pleased.
I didn’t want to forgive.
Love says do it because Jesus did.
Forgiveness says it sets us free.
The Word says offering forgiveness shows our understanding of how much we’ve been forgiven.
And when we understand much and have been forgiven much, like the woman who poured perfume on Jesus, we love much.
I started thinking about Jesus more than the negative replays. I chose to recall what the Word specifically said about forgiving and that there would be joy beyond the hurt.
My husband took the kids away for a few hours one day while I worshiped and prayed, specifically for the Thanksgiving debacle. It was an intentional time of seeking the Lord and offering myself. The replay button was stopped and the “take my life and do what You want with it, Lord” audio was in place. I had finally set my will aside, and had taken up the Lord’s. I began praying for my wounded family member and myself. I asked the Lord to show me how to forgive and move beyond the hurt. I specifically said, “I forgive…”
As I prayed, the Lord opened my eyes to my own offenses in the situation. It wasn’t one-sided as I had thought. I asked the Lord for forgiveness, then I decided to:
Just like Jesus.
Just like love.
Is it time for you? Are you angry? Are you ready to offer forgiveness?
Yours may be a situation like mine where forgiveness allows you to draw close to another person once again, or it may be like Jamie’s from last week’s posts. Forgiveness set her free, but it didn’t mean she had to draw close to her abuser again.
Either way, with forgiveness the hurt and anger will subside and glory to God will arise. Be encouraged to consider and give the gift this Christmas season, my friend.