Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

The hum of the washing machine as it whirls in the background. Listening to my top 25 playlist on my iPhone. There it is again. That song. Forgiveness by Matthew West.

This song is like the anthem of my life that just won’t go away. Even now I sit here on my soft green chair with pneumonia it plays and I type.

I know that God has forgiven everything that I’ve done and everything that I will do. That concept is hard to wrap a mind around but I grab onto it like a life raft.

I’ve forgiven others for things I never thought possible.

Yet here I sit pondering the concept of self forgiveness. It sounds like a bunch of psychobabble bunk but I take pause. This might be the missing link to this journey of grace I’ve been on.

I give grace to others: my family, my friends and my kids but I am less likely to give it to myself. Why is that? I think it’s because deep down I think that I don’t deserve it. Sure I know what the Bible says and trusted people say but still I reserve this concept of forgiveness for others, leaving me devoid of this freedom.

But what if:
I could lay down my condemnation of my failures, of my sin, and allow myself to forgive myself?

To:
Fully accept that forgiveness that God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth for.

Perhaps:
I could finally fly.

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It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake. Been a long time since a painful memory from my failed marriage has kept me up.

Listening to my go to song, “Forgiveness”, by Matthew West on repeat song on my iPhone. Knowing that I need to let it go as holding onto this buried hurt will do nothing but cripple me at this point.

Yet here I am, giving power to a past hurt that serves to do nothing but injure my hurt. Torn between the concepts of hurt and forgiveness yet knowing the second is the only path I can take.

My soul is hurt and it’s hard to even pray but I know the Holy Spirit is making my hurt known to the Father. It’s hard to forgive. I’ve written about this many times, over the years.

Torn between needing to experience the pain that comes from healing and the desire to want to let it go. Like many years ago when I knew that I needed to forgive my ex spouse I prayed for years for the desire to want to forgive him. God worked in my heart that time and since to forgive this one who hurt my heart so.

Wishing hurt away does nothing productive. I’ve learned from experience that it is necessary to truly feel the hurt before I can experience the gratitude to God when He frees me from the hurt. I’ve learned it is allowable to feel the hurt as long as I don’t get stuck in it. Or try to bury the hurt without turning to my Heavenly Father and asking Him to free me.

The concept of forgiveness has nothing to do in my case with reconciliation between the two parties. It is about forgiving someone who has never once asked for forgiveness. It is about laying down the hurt at the throne of God and realizing that God sent His son to die for not only me but for my ex spouse. Knowing that Jesus’ spilled blood was for everyone. None of us deserved for Him take our sins, to take the penalty of our sins. Yet He did. And on the cross He forgave those who put Him to death. What a picture of forgiveness.

Lord, give me the desire to want to forgive this particular hurt tonight. I know that I can only give forgiveness if You change my heart Lord. Change my heart, Lord.

The right words at the right time. This week I had to step out into the stairwell at work to call my dad. I was upset and frustrated and worried. A lack of timely communication about my daughter had me feeling hurt and worried.

As my dad often does, he talked me through the rough situation, offering insight into me and the other party involved that was wise and timely.

After we discussed my reaction to being hurt, again, my dad said these words which wrote on the very surface of my heart:

He can’t hurt you anymore.

And with that, something healed in my heart and head. You see, I HEARD it and believed it. No, I won’t live a life without hurt or loss. How I react to it is what is important.

I’m done. No more power is being given over.

He can’t hurt me anymore.

Two years ago I celebrated my birthday from a hospital bed. After being treated in the hospital for depression I became violently ill and was rushed from that hospital to the ER of the nearby Medical Center. I remember sitting talking to my doc and the hospital director then nothing. I think that I passed out.

Rushed up the hill to the other hospital to the ER and ICU. Out of consciousness for days as my kidneys almost failed. I believe my health was in serious danger. Don’t remember the first 6 days of being in the hospital at all. Apparently in my semi consciousness I kept asking my mom to bring me the green apples from across the room. Um. Right. I also told the nurse when she came in one night that I was busy hacking something on the computer. If I recall I told her my ex husband and I were actually the authors of the Dr. Seuss dictionary.

Finally came to, fortunate that the kidney problem wasn’t permanent. And I began to heal. Checked out of the hospital after 20 days only to find out a couple of days later I contracted MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph infection) from the hospital that I had for three months.

This was 3/4 of the way through being out of work that entire year and about a month after almost being homeless.

The pain from MRSA was worse than any pain I’d had from anything else is ever had including two csections, shingles and a host of other fun things.

Two years ago I was too weak to walk a block, go grocery shopping without a cart or care for myself. We bought me a pair of tennis shoes and I began to make healthy choices and things progressed.

What a journey just these past two years alone has been! God has continued to change me in countless ways. He allowed me to forgive what I felt was unforgivable. God has helped me health physically, mentally and spiritually from my past.

Today I celebrate being alive. When I was in that hospital bed so sick I realized that I desperately wanted to live. God has granted me more time and I’m so grateful.

Today is about reflection on God’s goodness. I’m thankful for my home away from home, my church, and all the wonderful people who have poured love into me.

Two weeks from tomorrow at this time I will be in my new apartment. This might not seem to be a big deal but it’s huge! It’s a fresh new start to the wonderful chapter of my story that I’m discovering each day.

As I delight in God’s goodness tonight I encourage you to think of something tonight you are thankful for.

Happy birthday to me. Thank you, God, for the gift of life and that you care for me then, now and forever. You alone are good.

When you deal with someone who is emotionally abusive, it’s like they say “hey, let’s play Russian roulette” but then proceeds to hand you a fully loaded gun.

Their desire is to hurt, to kill – in my case it was not physically kill – but the intent was and is to hurt me deeply, over and over again. His intent is to kill my spirit.

It does not compute in my mind, it never will. I understand it and have studied and lived through abuse but I will never fully “get” it. It is indescribable and well, nuts.

When a manipulating, controlling abuser gets you frustrated he has won. I let a situation and person frustrate me tonight and I responded in frustration and let him know I was angry. Although I felt vindicated for about 1/10th of a second, I also knew that I had lost. By reacting to him I fed his madness.

So I develop a plan to avoid this situation with him by planning and out smarting him.

This is my reality. Dealing with it stinks but it just IS. He probably won’t ever change and I know this but I can learn to outwit and outsmart him.

Tonight I lay here listening to worship music because I am not going to let my hurt or anger take on a life of its own. You see, if I do that then the Enemy and this person wins.

Laying here trying to wrap my head around some things that have happened in my world lately. If you have lived through any type of abuse, such as emotional abuse, when I talk about times when things happen that literally slingshot you back to another time and place you will understand.

It can be some unkind of hateful thing from someone you care about and all the sudden you are struggling to keep from disassociating. Your mind and body want to flee the situation. You desperately wish you could just scream or just not talk for about a week or both!

A parent who abuses emotionally whether it is to his or her spouse will inevitably teach these “skills” to his or her children whether the kids know it is happening or not. Often the kids don’t know it is happening. Their world gets slowly turned upside down until they are no longer who they once were. What is normal to them is warped but it’s happened to them so slowly they don’t even know it. I know. It happened to me as an adult.

I have been free from these feelings for a couple of years until just recently when I started writing about abuse openly. This time around I know what’s happening to the parties involved and can prepare myself better. It’s still hard though. I want to scream and lay it all out for my kids but they are not ready yet.

My heart hurts as I struggle to stay present, to keep my mind from temporarily going on vacation. I am tempted to check out mentally (stick my head in the sand) but I will not. You see if the abuser gets you to that point they have won. And I’m not defeated. My God is bigger than any of my adversaries. And ultimately He will sit in judgement and that frees me from doing that.

Words have power. We all have heard that. We have probably all felt good at the accolades from another and felt bad from the hurtful words of another.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

What a dumb, dumb phrase some of us were taught and used as children!

Emotional abuse. Many hear that and immediately think, well it can’t be THAT serious. Verbal abuse can be yelling but it’s so much more than that. Emotional abuse is hard to put into words and I’ve lived through it.

For me emotional abuse was like being held down in cold water only to be let up once in a while to breathe. Quick breath then whoosh, back into the water that threatened to drown me.

Even though I am out of my marriage I still to this day cannot fathom how someone who professed to love me forever could do and say the things he did. It still doesn’t compute even though I quite well versed in abuse. Hundreds of hours of counseling later and I have come to this revelation.

I may never fully understand it. Some people get lost in the hurt and I did too for a while, a long while. One poignant email is seared in my mind. The person wrote telling me that essentially he was a race car, speeding along and that I was a klunker. I’ll admit I’m no Ferrari but neither was he. That is so beside the point.

I wish that I could unread that email. It was years ago. I’ve forgiven him many times (not because he asked but because I needed to, for me).

Forgiveness is a process. And it’s often something that requires ongoing forgiveness if that person is still in the outskirts of your life. 70×7.

Words have the power to build up and destroy. Words can rally an army to victory and words can cause a person to give up on life. Pick your words carefully and speak to others as you hope they’d speak to you.

I will not forget but I choose to forgive.