Had a rough Sunday. Emotionally and mentally. So, like the sturdy introvert I am, I’ve been processing. A lot. Which led me into repentance and forgiveness. Actually, unforgiveness led to the repentance, which is hauling me to forgiveness.
The whole crazy thing.
Digging into it, I remembered a fight with forgiveness I thought I’d nailed down. Years ago, an event took place and I took up what I thought was an offense against someone I love. Carried that offense for weeks, a couple of months, nursing it, feeding it. Really enjoying the feeling of RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION. (All caps on purpose.)
But physically I felt awful, headachy, half queasy most of the time. And oh, so very grouchy. Nothing satisfied, felt comfy. I was Wronged. And other people were Wronged. And I was Right to feel wronged.
The guilty party? Not a smidgen of awareness or remorse. How dare they! The party I thought of as wounded? Not a smidgen of awareness of being wronged. They didn’t feel slighted or hurt.
Not really sure how it started but I decided I Would Forgive. Magnanimously, because I am a Christian and Christians do that, regardless of the Assault.
Yeah, by now, all of you are yawning.
So, by faith, I went to my bedroom once a day, said Father, I forgive. For weeks. Inside me nothing. Well, except the crazy Righteous Indignation started looking silly. It got to the point where I just started talking to God about the whole thing. One sentence. I shut up. Next sentence. I shut up and listened.
After a few weeks, it became a conversation.
Then one day, everything happened. I actually forgave. Without conditions, or criteria, I forgave. The slogging load in my gut fell off, the room literally brightened and I felt Peace.
The only solid memory I have is that moment. Light, joy, goodness around me. The carpet under my feet, soft, air around me like a soft breeze in a meadow. I felt alive once more.
The rest of it, all my self-righteousness, it’s in a journal somewhere. Remember writing the words but the details, fuzzy.
So, because I’ve done this before, I can do it again. With a bit more gold in the treasure. The word Repent, in Hebrew is related to the word, Spring. It means to turn from that which is cold and dead, winter, to that which is warm and alive, spring. And I’ve learned to repent at every opportunity. A gift of life in the midst of my own stubborn coldness.
Repent for even listening to the desire to strike back, allowing the whisper of Self Righteousness to curl into my heart. I do make mistakes, often when I speak first, think later. So, take the correction and apply it. God is good with mistakes. He wants mature kids and that means I’ve got a lot to learn.
Forgive the intended stab, forgive the angry glare.
Know that I was hurt, rejected, criticized and judged in anger.
Because when I forgive, all those emotions are recognized and validated. They are real. And forgiveness allows me to drop the chains someone else wanted me to carry. I forgive because I am free to forgive. The same way I am free to repent. The hurt, rejection, criticism and anger spoken to me weren’t from me. So I don’t have to carry them.
The one who meant me to feel all that still carries all that. And it’s awful. I am so sorry for them. I wish all the hurts, rejections, criticism they experienced didn’t happen. But it did and I can’t change that. So I forgive.
God, in His infinite Love and Wisdom, said for me to give Him all that stuff. He does take it. He doesn’t deny any of the pain or sorrow, isolation, rejection, abandonment. He sacrificed Himself for me and forgave me before I ever drew an earthly breath.
Because of Him, I can do this. The wound is there, but it will heal. Scars are signs of battle survived.
Right now, light, joy, goodness. Peace/Shalom. I am whole, one more time.