Frick. Flubber. Frabjous day. Fractions. Forgetfulness.
There’s a lot of “f” words that make me shudder, but none other than the hardest concept of all:
Seven times seventy. I was raised being told that we needed to forgive others seven times seventy times. That forgiveness was the right thing to do. So when my sister took my hairbrush without asking, I had to forgive her. Or when my brother ate the food I explicitly told him not to, I had to forgive him. Even when they weren’t sorry.
But the older I got, the more I realized that forgiveness is much more than stolen items and the lack of food. There’s much worse pain than that.
My parents divorced my seventh grade year, and that was hard. I was bitter. Confused and hurt. I wrote poetry darker than the night sky and drifted to a very low place.
My sophomore year of high school, I met a boy, and he suddenly became the most important things in my life–and he had no idea. I fell for him hard, and he cut me off and pushed me away, not once, not twice, but three times. And each time I let him back in, I was sure that he was better, that he wouldn’t do it again. But he did.
A girl that I had been friends with since kindergarten didn’t trust me alone with her boyfriend… and denied it when I confronted her.
The past eight years have been trial after trial, and the amount of baggage that I carry is enough to pin anyone to the ground.
But that’s where forgiveness comes in.
These people that hurt us, whether intentionally or unintentionally, they don’t deserve that kind of power over us. And we can carry all the bitterness and anger that we want, but in the end, that doesn’t help the situation. At all.
Think of a rose. The longer we hold on to it, the more pain it causes. The thorns only dig deeper, and we are only inflicting harm upon ourselves. But when we decide to loosen our grip, the pain fades.
And it’s hard. We like the rose. We like to be mad. We don’t want to let go, there is safety in the anger. It’s familiar. But we need to let go, for our own sakes. It may take a long time to dig out the thorns, but the relief that you’ll feel makes it so worth it.
The Lord wants to take the pain from you.
It’s time we let Him.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. Sometimes it feels like you’re giving the person clearance to hurt you again. But you’re instead allowing your heart to heal, and allowing yourself to grow.
Love yourself enough to forgive.