Just to preface this post. I fought writing about this for a really long time... even as I type this, I don't want to post this, but who am I to argue with God? The funny thing about "running" from something, God will always find a way to get your attention. Hopefully, it won't be something as drastic as being swallowed by a big fish like Jonah was. For me, it usually takes the form of several different things such as: the message at church, something heard on the radio, or an email from a friend. It becomes a constant bombardment which I can't ignore, until I finally say, "OK! God, I'll write about it!"
I've been learning about forgiveness and been dealing with the aftermath of an argument with a friend. These sort of things are surreal. You think, can this really be happening? Then before you know or even realize it, months have passed. Who's to blame? At this point, does it really matter? I feel as though I'm mourning once was. It's strange, really. It's almost like I look at the world with different eyes. I 'm not sure how to explain it. Have you ever had an argument with a friend, which turned into months of silence? Or you stopped talking to them completely? At some point, regardless of how I feel, I knew I needed to forgive and really let go. (Though, letting go is never easy.)
What does forgiveness mean to you? I did some research and the best definition I found is: "to forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment". To dig a little deeper, I looked up resentment too: "Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance". Pretty stout, huh? To forgive without harboring resentment is key. Often times, I think, "OK, I've forgiven so-and-so." But have I really? To forgive them, means I must not fester nor have a 'victims' mentality. I fester far too often. Things in my life become sores, which get infected and then, pus starts to ooze. (Sorry, that might have been a little too graphic for some.) Though, it gives a great mental picture/analogy for what really occurs..... When we allow unforgiveness in our lives, it's like we're giving the Devil free reign for that area! How foolish of us.
I always thought I was pretty good at forgiving others. But alas, it's just one more thing which needs to be sharpened/refined in my life. I'm an emotional girl. I admit it. I carry hurt around with me like Pilgrim carried his burdens. It's amazing how these events can cause a catalyst for the rest of my life. Let me explain. You see, I've been made fun of my entire life... people are so mean! This has caused me to be the way that I am today. Low self-esteem. Self-conscious. Poor self-image. (Dang it! I hate being vulnerable like this!!) Why have I allow these things to hurt me like I have? I can't answer that. All I know is, a few years ago, I was prophesized over. I don't know what you think or believe about this, but all I know is that God showed up that night. I won't go into all the details here, but this one thing is relevant. God told me that I'd, "draw the pain from my past". My first thought was, "But God, I don't know how to draw." (My thought. I said nothing out loud.) To which He replied through His messenger, "I know you don't know how to draw, but people will see Me through you." He went on to say many other things but this conversation has stuck with me all these years. To think that the Creator of the Universe would step out of Heaven and use this Messenger to breath His life into me. Wow.
I've been thinking about and praying what "the pain from my past" is and I think I'm to figure out a way to be healed through art. That may sound crazy. But I know other kids feel like I did (and do) when they are being made fun of. I would love the chance to share Him with others through my own personal experiences. I have no idea what this will look like yet. I still don't know how to draw. But perhaps, I just need to express it in another form.
Ok, I share all of that to give you some background. I need to forgive others. Really "forgive and forget". Not forgive and then pick the burden back up again. Like Joel Osteen said in my first post "Seek Love", "Choosing forgiveness doesn't excuse the other person's behavior. It simply releases the debt they owe you so that God can release the debt you owe Him. Forgiveness opens the door so that you can be free! Choose today to let go of the past and look towards the future. Seek love by choosing forgiveness." Wow, freedom. How often do we truly allow God to fight our battles? "If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8)"