Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where To Start? Part 5

After I left my first position as a M-O-M (funny) I have to say that I was pretty much devastated. I think I just mostly stayed in bed for about a month. And it was at this point that I learned forgiveness. To say that I had to forgive is implying that I was wronged but without being wronged there is no need for forgiveness, I don't think I'm teetering to say that much.

I remember clearly one afternoon I decided to take Amanda to the mall in a neighboring city (the two closest malls to us were each about 45 minutes away so I always went to the nicest one) and I heard a radio preacher talking about forgiveness. I don't remember exactly who he was but I remember that he said there were no "buts" you just have to forgive. At this point I was very hurt and bitter and was full of anger about the situation. My mind was constantly in a whirl about specific things that happened. So I just made a decision to forgive. I didn't want to forgive. I didn't think anybody deserved my forgiveness but I couldn't bear the thought of *people* coming between my relationship with the Lord. So anytime a thought came into my mind about things that happened I just said "I forgive them". I didn't know what else to do. I hadn't ever seen an outline of "this is how you forgive people" so I just figured it out myself. So I went from thinking about things every second of every day to thinking about it every five minutes. I continued to just say in my mind "I forgive them". Then I'd think about it every ten minutes and the next week I'd think about it every 15 minutes and then every hour and then twice a day and then once a day, once a week, once a month to rarely ever thinking about it again. I don't remember exactly what happened there now. I mean, if I really sat here and thought about it I could drag those memories back but I quit doing that because I knew if I did and got angry again then I'd have to forgive them again and I just wanted to be done with it.

I think that there is a misconception about forgiveness which is that forgiveness is about the injuring party. But it isn't really. Forgiveness is about the person injured and their emotional, physical and spiritual well being. Forgiveness is so that the injured person will be whole. Unforgiveness, when allowed free reign of a person, causes you to interpret every action by every person in the light of being hurt. You can never be whole, never be free of the pain that was caused until you forgive. In my case I decided that as long as I didn't forgive I was letting the offenders in my life control me. And I'm speaking of people with which you've determined that there is no hope of having a relationship with. Forgiveness isn't about setting yourself up for the firing squad again. The thought that you have to forgive and then set yourself back up in an emotionally or physically dangerous situation is not correct. You can forgive someone and move on without ever having a relationship with them again. Forgiveness doesn't mean you put blinders on and not see someone for who they are. Forgiveness is freedom.


Tracy Mock said...

AMEN to forgiveness meaning freedom! Its hard to first walk in it but once you do its the best feeling in the world knowing that you are not tied to that grudge or hurt or pain any longer! You inspire me Amy! (shhhhh- I've never told you this.... but you always have) I watched you from far off and wanted to deal with all of my pain in Godly Grace as you did. Just when you thought no one is watching, I was hee-hee. (sneaky huh)

Mary said...

Forgiveness is such a gift. It can be so difficult but you are so right when you say that not forgiving allows "people" to get between ourselves and God. How can we let small people be such big obstacles?