i felt the bitterness creeping in... things had not gone my way. in my mind i had been wronged, forgotten, shoved to the side, received the short end of the stick... yet again. what i thought was going to happen the way i wanted it to, did not. my hope was shattered falling all around me in little tiny pieces. at first the pain was all encompassing and suffocating. i couldn't breath, didn't want to move, didn't want to think, and didn't know what to think for that matter. it hurt and the pain went deep. it gashed open a wound that i thought had healed only to go even deeper this time around. the wound of rejection was not new to me, but this time it hurt far more than i ever remember in my life. i allowed that pain to paralyze me, question if God was truly hearing my prayers, if He cared, and my light shined a little dimmer in those days to follow...
they say time heals... and i have to think that's true. in the last few weeks i'm starting to feel again. feelings other than deep sadness or pain. feelings of restored hope and joy while i hear the Lord gently whisper in my ear "I am with you" as i begin picking up, one by one, those shattered pieces of hope that surround me.
He has eased my pain through the love and gentle care of family and friends. in those moments that i allow myself long enough to be still and push through the pain... in those moments of quiet and solitude with Him... i am overwhelmed by His presence.
i'm reminded today that through this pain there is growth, there is personal renewal, there is perseverance, and i'm a better woman for that. more "me" than i've ever felt before.
...but one thing was missing.
my heart was still holding bitterness. it would creep in at times and make me angry, but i did my best to stuff it away trying my best not to deal with it. trying to focus on what was right in front of me... all the goodness in my life... but the bitterness kept rearing it's ugly head, taunting me. and then a light turned on.
forgiveness was needed.
be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, as God in Christ forgave you
my heart was definitely not tender. some days it felt in knots made of sadness and anger, but God would not leave me that way... and oh conviction how wise and sweet you are. i had not forgiven. i was holding that grudge in my heart and it wasn't going to go anywhere until i dealt with it face to face. i wasn't punishing the other person, but punishing myself living day to day with the bitterness.
forgiveness called. i answered in my heart and took a step forward in mending and making things right. today is a new day and i walk forward in confidence that God knows what's best. today is a day full of hope and joy. hope for a future that will most definitely bring more pain, but i rest in knowing that my God will not leave me, nor forsake me. He is here and He loves me far more than i can fathom.
grace is amazing and far beyond my understanding, but for that mystery...
i am grateful.
"forgiveness unleashes joy. i brings peace. it washes the slate clean. it sets all the highest values of love in motion. in a sense, forgiveness is Christianity at its highest level."