Tag Archives: processing

Forgiveness ~ some thoughts

 

This week a blogger friend and author Tracie Stier-Johnson has released her book 31 Days of Forgiveness {through the eyes of grace}!! I am so excited for her and I am jumping in here at the end of the week to join many others in blogging about this book of hers.

 

 

Forgiveness is something I am wrestling with…again. I used to feel so raw about the subject that I couldn’t really handle listening to most Christians talk about it. But right now I’ve actually come to a place where I’m ok with listening to various takes on the subject. I think people are very brave to tackle this subject in a book, article, blog post, or even just a conversation with someone!

 

And yet, I don’t feel brave for writing this blog post! Far from it! I am scared to death and have put this off for weeks!!(Sorry for all the exclamation marks but it’s the best I can do at conveying just how freaked out I am!)

 

 

Forgiveness is messy. That’s what I’ve come to see.

 

You know that saying “Forgive and Forget”?

 

Yeah, not so easy.

 

We do not totally forget and the moment you say “I forgive you” it doesn’t mean the forgiving stops.

 

So then HOW do we forgive?

 

Yeah, that’s where it gets real messy for me and where I am wrestling.

 

 

I have no plans here to lay it out and give you the answer. I do however, want to share some thoughts as I begin reading 31 Days of Forgiveness.

 

In her book Tracie shares this verse from Luke 22:44

 

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

 

This verse stopped me in my tracks, especially when it comes to the subject of forgiveness.

 

It makes me think of just how much anguish Jesus went through before he went to the cross for us so that we might be forgiven.

 

I’m comforted to know that I am not crazy for struggling so much to forgive others. Even Jesus, who was the perfect God/Man was in so much anguish over it that he sweat drops of blood! I never understood how that could be, before I went through something where I was acutely hurt, but now I have an inkling. Nothing like what He went through of course, but it’s painful.

 

Jesus, being God, understood the WHY of what was to happen to him – he wanted to forgive and be a part of that (otherwise he would have not come to earth!) – and that was part of the struggle maybe? I don’t begin to understand all of what He must have been thinking especially being an All-Knowing God! But I do know as a human, struggling to forgive someone who has wronged me…There is a great struggle within me of wanting to be gracious and merciful. Wanting to not wish bad to happen to someone or the same pain and hardship on them…because I know what pain I am going through having been hurt! And am so incredibly thankful and relieved that God is merciful and gracious to me when I don’t deserve it.

 

AND at the same time I am struggling with the sinful nature that I still have to deal with here on earth. When hurt, I want the other party to know and understand the pain I feel. To pay for what they’ve done. And I want them to know just how disappointed, angry and upset I am. I want them to realize clearly the reality I live in now thanks to their choice to hurt me. It’s quite a wrestling match inside of me!

 

If Jesus experienced intense anguish and pain as he faced the cross and was/is perfect, without sin? It encourages me to know that

 

a) He undestands me and my struggles and

 

b) it’s not strange that there would be this wrestling going on within me over the hurt, emotions, and the struggle between my sin nature and me the New Creation (the REAL me).

 

It doesn’t excuse what was done. Nor does it excuse me from forgiving.

 

In fact, it shows me more and more just how amazing God’s love is for us. That He would send Jesus and that Jesus would take all our sin on himself and die for us. What love!

 

 ~~~~~

 

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter 4:8 {NLT}

 

God’s love isn’t cautious and has no restrictions. He doesn’t love us to get something from us. God has loved us before we were ever born . . . extravagantly.” ~ Tracie Stier-Johnson

 

~~~~~

If you go over to Tracie’s site : Tracie Stier-Johnson {believing in better} you can check out the giveaway she has going on and other important information about her book.


Change…

Sometimes it happens all at once.

Sometimes very slowly.

I question the “good” of it.

And then realize there’s a myriad of emotions that can occur at once.

At times I give myself a break in the process.

At times I try to hurry myself to get with it or conform to the new…faster already!

What does it show me?

I can be real, say what’s on my mind to someone safe.

I can be honest with myself and others.

And maybe, just maybe it will help this process when change must happen.

Maybe I’ll not find myself so worn out in the end?

And if I fight it, and if I don’t…

Isn’t there One still there with me in it either way?


Enough

So time flies on and all seems well. We sweat through the summer and are glad for windows to wash.

Time with family. Time with friends. Time learning to trust our Father more.

Drink iced tea and wish for rain.

And then as I turn onto our street one day, almost home, I comment to my husband that this street needs some work and I wonder when they’ll repave the whole thing. And as I finish driving the last block to our driveway my thoughts are flooding with this grief that I was not expecting.

Thoughts like “We will be here when this street gets remade.”

Why does that make me so so sad?

And I say it out loud and then realize. A whole continent away -south of the equator I had thought and said the same thing.

“We will be here when this street gets remade”

Only that street was all dirt, an obstacle course to navigate as we would drive our truck through the neighborhood.

I said it with joy and wonder at living long in a place we are not from, where they don’t even speak my language.

And the thoughts would go on as I’d think of my kids growing up there.

My third boy learned to ride his bike on those dirt streets, and he’d probably learn to drive the truck on the paved one later on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here I am on a hot July day driving down a different street wondering if we’ll be here when my boy learns to drive just as his oldest brother is learning now.

And while I am thankful to be here now and I truly look forward with wonder to where God will have us by this time next year. I wonder where else we might go or what else we might do; I also find that the grieving comes on when I least suspect it for those people and places we miss. For the dreams that had to die for the new ones to be born.For the lessons to be learned that I would never trade now for anything.

I realize that I acutely miss it all!

I struggle daily with how to move forward when I am keenly aware of the state of lives and circumstances in certain corners of this world.

What do I do with this information? God, I cannot make sense of it all!

And while I realize He does not need me here or there or ANYWHERE in order to love people and show them His love, I wonder just WHAT to do or WHAT to think or HOW to proceed.

And you are waiting for it aren’t you? The answer. The epiphany I had and the direction or “call” He gave.

The truth is I don’t know. All I do know is that I CAN lean hard on Him and know that He will never fail. He won’t mess up or get it wrong.

I can fall on Him with all my fear, my grief and my thoughts and let him have it. No need to hold it all together, figure it out, or try and know what He wants from me.

There is only to know that He is there and he is ENOUGH.

And out of this knowing -who knows what will come of that…
Five Minute Friday I’m linking up today with http://lisajobaker.com/ Check out her fabulous site!