if you can't sing a forgiveness song come down and join our band and we'll cut you like a sword and sing a forgiveness song (mewithoutYou)
sometimes, forgiveness hurts more than the wrong done to us.
it makes sense, doesn't it? i mean, resentment is always so much easier. harboring hate and avoiding conversations makes more sense than wading through the awkward touch of vulnerability and bearing open our wounds. especially if we're speaking to those who wounded us.
so i realized something about myself today - or rather, about my heart.
i'm afraid to forgive because i'm afraid of that cut - the slicing open of my feelings - where my wounded guts are pulsing for all to see. i'm afraid to speak the truth - that i was hurt in the first place - and i'm afraid to say it's forgiven because damnit it HURT and why do i always have to be the one who confesses? why can't i just cling to my heart for a little while longer? why can't i lick my wounds and hide for a spell?
it's kind of a nasty realization.
to forgive means giving up control. i no longer can control how this person makes me feel, because i'm admitting grace and allowing second chances. the hurt, the anger, the disappointment and the confusion mean nothing anymore in light of my admission. what's done is done - it's in the past. at least, that's how i've been taught to believe. never speak another word about this - right?
and as hard as this whole thing is for me to grasp, here's another thing i've learned about forgiveness: it's a process.
in no way is there a manual or a time line for forgiveness.
i don't want to sit in the muck of resentment forever. i don't need to harbor bitterness or hatred for these wounds i carry.
and i'm pretty sure my heart-guts are splattered all over this blog.
but i'd be lying if i said i was ready.
confession: for the first time in quite awhile i'm okay with where i'm at in my journey.
even in the mess and unforgiveness and woundedness.
i know Christ forgave me. i know i'm wiped clean.
it's just going to take me a little while to see the same is true for a few other people.
and this is the radical thing about His grace: He loves me in the middle of this fear. while i wait it out, while i go between hiding in the corner and finding my voice and even occasionally allowing someone to speak up for me, He holds my hand.
because He knows i'm worth it. through His holding me, through His molding my heart to more of His grace and love and belonging - i'm beginning to see i'm worth it too.
and i'd rather wait it out and wade through the process candidly and authentically than spit out resented words with manipulated feeling.
another thing i've realized? He brings people along side me to help me through the process.
more than ever before, i'm realizing forgiveness takes a community. we're all so interconnected, redemption isn't a singular occurrence. what my wounds are, you feel. what you resent, i carry. and through this process of messy living, somehow we're all reconciled to His mercy and grace. somehow the past becomes just a murky shadow compared to the glory of the story He's placed us.
and eventually, before we even realize it, the cut of forgiveness is healed.