Forgiveness

It’s not easy to forgive someone. It’s honestly pretty difficult. I think I’ve spend a good portion of my life upset or holding a grudge over people and I wasn’t even aware of it. I’ve told myself that I’ve forgiven them, but…. I don’t think I have.

I’ve gone to counseling. I’ve talked about all of the things that I’m hurt over or angry over until I can’t anymore. I’ve prayed for peace. I’ve ranted to friends. I’ve done everything that you could possibly do when you are angry or upset and still I’m the same.

I’m a person who hates conflict. Hates it. I’m afraid of it, in a sense. I grew up with a mother who screamed and threw things at me, so I learned to be quiet. I also learned how to cry. She wouldn’t stop until I started crying. So I cry whenever someone raises their voice at me. (my poor husband when we got in to our first big fight and I crumbled like a house of cards) My brother was very violent, so I avoided him at all costs with conflict. So for 16 years, I was quiet and kept everything pent up. I didn’t let people know what I was really thinking. I always wore a smile on my face, even if I wanted to yell or cry or fall apart. I didn’t let myself because that would create conflict. And from all that, I’ve learned that I’m terrible with expressing my emotions. For the first two years of my relationship with my husband, while we were still dating, I would clam up every time there was conflict. He was patient and knew why I would do that, but it was frustrating for him. It was frustrating for me. I wanted to talk. I had things I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get my mouth to open. I would sit there shaking and silent. I had to learn how to speak and find my voice.

I haven’t forgiven my family for doing that to me. I’ve told myself that I have. That they have been through a lot and they are allowed to be upset, that they could treat me that way because I was the ‘strong one’. That if I didn’t allow myself to be their emotional, sometimes literal, punching bag, that everything would fall apart. I had my friends at school, who I loved, and my nannies. But because of how all of that has affected me as an adult…. I’m mad at them. And I don’t want to be.

Since finding God four years ago, I’ve struggled with letting God take my stresses and burdens. I spent 21 years dealing with all of this on my own. Making mistake after mistake. I’m mad at my family, but I’m also mad at myself. I didn’t understand how God could forgive me, especially when I couldn’t forgive myself. 4 years ago, my life was ripped apart. I had an engagement taken away. I was kicked out of where I was living and had to move back in with my mother. A majority of my friends picked a side… and it wasn’t mine. I felt so alone and angry. But God wasn’t done with me. He was just starting. He brought a person from my past back in to my life, who introduced me to one of my very best friends and the man who is now my husband, which led to me meeting everyone else who is now in my life and is very important to me. These people didn’t rush me or push me, but invited me to meet God. And not the God I grew up with. I grew up being told God hated me. I was a slut in God’s eyes and unwanted. But this God… This God loves me. This God wants me. This God wanted nothing more then to sit with me, place a hand on me and let me know that everything was ok. That I was forgiven.

He wanted me to know that no matter what I had done, no matter what I will do, I was forgiven. He wants me to learn to forgive and love as He does. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6: 14-15) But God knows it’s a learning process. It’s hard to learn to forgive. It’s not going to happen overnight.

The reason I’m writing this is because last night I was up most of the night racking my brain. Thinking of the conflict that is in my life. Conflict keeps me awake at night, one more reason why I hate it. I become very anxious when I know there is conflict between me and someone else and I want to fix it. But I need to realize that it’s not always up to me to fix it. Sometimes things can’t be fixed. Sometimes you just need to let it go and forgive. With moments where I have chosen forgiveness over holding a grudge, I’m much more at peace. It is much less stressful to forgive then to be angry. It takes less energy too. But I also want to lead by example for my daughter. I want her to be able to know Gods love and forgiveness and what better way for her to see it then through me and her father. I need to live a better life, walking with Christ, so that I can help my daughter live a life with Christ.

I just…. need to learn how to do that.

This is a song I’ve been singing to my daughter since before she was born. I sing it almost every day to her now.

A Mother’s Prayer
by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hope while you are young
This is my prayer for you

Hold my hand, I’ll teach you the way to go
Through the joys, through the years
The journey of these years
May you trust Him till the end
May you trust Him in the end

This world is not as it should be
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that’s beautiful and true
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart
This is my prayer for you

Hold my hand, I’ll teach you the way to go
Through the joys, through the tears
The journey of these years
He is with us till the end
He is faithful till the end

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise and lead your feet
On a journey of your own
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through
This is my prayer for you

Take His hand and go where He calls you to
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart
This will be my prayer for you

Father hear my ceaseless prayer
Oh keep her in your care

 

Wish me luck, guys!

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2 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Ruth,
    I’ve loved reading your blog. I’m not a mother, (yet?) but there are so many things that you share that are meaningful. Blogging may not be enough to take away the restlessness and the desire to find your passions. I think a hard life, a hard childhood, takes up so much of the emotional resources we have that it can be hard to discover later in in life how to dream and play and explore. I am just now doing that work, trying to understand those things myself. When I read your posts I see your bravery, your heart, your faith, and your vulnerable authenticity. You are doing so many things right and well, even if not always perfectly. So as you look for how you keep busy, how you add value not just to your new family (which is obviously a worthy and overwhelming task in itself), please know you add value simply be being who you are, and being open along the journey.

    Love you much
    -E

    Like

  2. vanessawolfe91

    Dearest friend,

    Thank you for sharing this post in particular. Before I respond, I want to say I agree with Esther about your bravery. I want to be more vulnerable in my writing rather than talk about random things. I want to get there eventually.

    The part that stood out to me was where you said, “But I need to realize that it’s not always up to me to fix it. Sometimes things can’t be fixed. Sometimes you just need to let it go and forgive.”

    I’ve been hurting over some things over the past few years. Some of which we may have talked about. My lack of ability to “let go” is what has left me in my depression rut. As of late though I’ve been lighter and happier as I focus on the future, stay positive, and bury myself in creative projects. Sometimes the hurt I have is the first thought that comes to my mind when I wake up in the morning even if I wasn’t thinking about it all.

    Some things I can forgive more quickly, but some things feel like sharp objects in my chest and I can’t get it out. I think I’m so used to relying on myself to do things and I think forgiveness is just one of those things that only God can truly help us with. Anyway, reading this post took me one step further in the forgiveness journey and I think I may have actually talked to God. I even took a little Parkway drive (your thing).

    I feel like the call to forgive is one of the hardest things God asks of us in the Bible. Because every day we will deal with pain, hurt, and offense. And everyday we must love and let go and run toward God for perfect love. When we get hurt, someone did not act in love like they were supposed to but that person or thing isn’t God and cannot love us wholly like God can. Thank you for that reminder. Also, the fact that you want to be better at this for your daughter is so amazing! Do you have any idea how rare it for a mom to want better for their daughter rather than holding grudges? I definitely do not want to be like my mom who passed her bitterness and grudges onto me.

    You are beautiful inside and out.

    – Ness

    Liked by 1 person

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