Type then delete. Type then delete. I’ve started this post and started it again unsure about sharing these thoughts for Life Unmasked. These thoughts about forgiving and the struggle it can be. Especially when you want to forgive, but the hurt keeps creeping up. Perhaps this is part of what it means to work out our faith. Surely I’m not alone in this.
Most days I move through life never thinking of it. Then I hear someone gush about how amazing the person who hurt me is and I want to be childish and say “Really? She’s that great? Let me tell you what she said to me.”
But I don’t. I bite my tongue not wanting to make mutual friends take sides. Not wanting to hurt her like she has me. Not wanting others to think I’m childish or to think less of me.
I don’t share how she told me she would rather not be my friend even though she says I did nothing to offend or hurt her. I don’t share how she judged me telling me I should be doing such and such even though she had not had a conversation with me in months and had no idea what was going on in my life. I hold the words I’d like to spill out when she asks to not be judged even though she judged me.
Very few things break my trust or loyalty to a friend. Even when a season of life or circumstances or misunderstandings diminish the bonds of a friendship, my loyalty and trust still remain.
I want her to know it’s her loss because I’m an amazing friend to have. Loyal to a fault, trustworthy, encouraging and serving. Yes, it’s her loss.
Then I berate myself for holding on to the hurt and turn to God asking Him to show me how to forgive once again all the while praying for reconciliation because I still like this person. She’s funny and encouraging and authentic. Part of me believes she had good intentions, but is it so wrong to want a simple apology and acknowledgement of the hurt she caused?
So I pray. Because we’re not supposed to be this way. We’re not supposed to be bitter and unforgiving. I’ve seen how it only hurts the one holding on to the offense and not the one who offended. I know this in my head, but a battle in my heart remains. I know I’m not perfect either. I know I’ve judged and hurt others.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
So I give it to Him daily. “Lord show me how to forgive.” I listen as He says “show grace.” I obey although my heart has yet to submit. I leave encouraging words trying to show grace.
This is all I can do. When obedience is all I can muster I know healing and submission will follow.
Have you struggled to forgive someone who has hurt you?