Growing up, my mother always taught me that when you forgive someone, there shouldn’t be a ‘but’ after it. For example: “I forgive that person, but I will never talk to them again.” I never understood what was wrong with the “but,” however; I recently began to understand why. What my mother was getting at was the use of “but” after saying you forgive, often times shows that there is still a form of animosity, or ill feeling towards the person. Once you forgive, you forgive. There shouldn’t be a clause that you have to outwardly say, because deep down it can mean you truly have not forgiven. Don’t get me wrong, true forgiveness can occur with you maybe having to separate yourself from someone or something or whatever the situation may be, and that can be due to mental, physical, and most importantly spiritual well-being. Always be led by the Holy Spirit.
Remember how I shared that I recently started a relationship? Two weeks ago, that all changed. He realized that he saw me as just a friend. My heart sank when I heard those words. In that moment, I tried to understand, connect the dots, and reason as to why this was happening. When I couldn’t do any of those; I cried. The next few days were full of hurt, anger, and confusion. I called my friends and family to vent, and while their words were encouraging, I knew whom I had to reach out to—God. I’m not sure if He understood what I was even saying, because my prayers involved no words, but just tears (if you’ve been in that situation, just know that tears are a language only God can understand). I called him a few days later for clarification, but deep down I knew that there wasn’t much that could’ve been changed. Things didn’t change. He wanted to be friends and I told him that was not going to be possible, nor was it something I was going to try to do because it was going to be too hard. After that conversation, a week went by and I was miserable. I knew I had every right to be upset and mad, which is understandable because I was hurting. But, what I realized is that I was miserable because I began to realize that he was right. While I didn’t understand why everything happened the way it did, deep down I knew things weren’t going how I would have wanted. When I realized this, I knew that I was truly hurt because I actually missed my friend.
Many thoughts came to my mind at that point:
“If I tell him I understand, and that I want to be friends, he won’t feel bad for hurting me.”
“If I call him and say I want to be friends again, I look desperate.”
“If I want to be friends, I’m just asking to get hurt again.”
“I wouldn’t be a genuine friend because I would think things could get better, and we would date again.”
“I would get jealous when he started dating again.”
“I am foolish.”
The list actually goes on, but these were some of the things I thought about. It was scary. Then, I thought about what true forgiveness looks like. It looks like someone loving you past all of your flaws, sin, and mistakes. It loves even when it hurts. The best example I can give is, Jesus Christ. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7.
God has a way of convicting us to do the right thing. Earlier this week I was in bible study and came across a section in my study bible about how Christians should respond while suffering. It said “we need to commit ourselves to doing what is right when we face suffering. Our difficulties can always provide an excuse for sinning, but when difficulties come our way, we must live exemplary Christian lives, characterized by love for others.” This convicted me. Forgiving him was not just the right thing to do, but was an example of the love of God that lives within me. Not only that, but forgiving was going to make me feel better. All those thoughts in my head were all very valid, but were all things I told myself in order to not forgive. These were essentially lies. Forgiveness is not only for the other person, but mostly for you.
So what happened? I called him, after not speaking for about a week, and I explained that I still wanted to be friends, and explained that I understood that what happened had to happen. I felt a huge weight just come off of my shoulders. It was refreshing to see me go past my pride, my insecurities, and hurt to make that phone call. That is something I did not think I would do. I was hesitant about his response, but it was pleasant. He was glad that I came to that decision and he felt a lot better as well.
God has good things planned for us. He says it in his word. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. Even though all that happened was very hard for me, and still is, I know that this is part of the good things He has planned. You’re probably thinking, how is that even possible? Well look at this way, sometimes our story has heartbreak, loss, success, and triumph, but every single one of those situations are all part of God’s plan for your life. Each situation is a learning experience for you to grow and be prepared for the next chapter in life. The good things God has planned for us, doesn’t always come nicely wrapped with a bow on top, but they are still gifts to be treasured. Learn from each of them, and don’t only count the good moments.
Forgiveness is hard, trust me, I know. But, when you truly are able to love someone in spite of the hurt they caused, it is absolutely beautiful. You begin to see how the incredible God who lives inside of you has transformed your heart, and is causing you to be more like Christ. If struggling to forgive someone, talk to God and read His word. Doing that has an overwhelming yet peaceful way of convicting you lol. I really hope this blog encourages you. If you have questions, comments, or thoughts, please do not hesitate to share. As always, Be His Masterpiece.
*Continue to pray for me, as I pray for you all.