To the Bitter Before the Sweet

I pride myself in not holding grudges.

I don’t think it’s anything necessarily spiritual so much as a personality type that dislikes confrontation and would rather just let things slide like water on a duck’s back.

My mistake is often equating “not holding grudges” with “forgiveness”.

And I do believe that when I think I’m a-OK in something  (in this case, forgiveness; in other cases, trust in God), God takes no time to show me two things:

  1. I’m really not good at that something.
  2. Even if I am “good at something”, it’s not to my credit.

He’s used Lyme. He’s used moving to No-Jobs-Ever-Ville, PA and No-Money-No-More, OH. He’s used infertility.

Now He’s using you.

A deep-feeling, passionate human being who, perhaps unknowingly, broke my heart and wrecked my soul on the beaches of “Disillusionment about the Church”.

I’m learning forgiveness is not simply “de-friending” you on social media and forgetting we ever met.

I’m learning forgiveness isn’t conjured up through biblical counseling with mentors or a feeling of camaraderie with others you may have hurt.

I’m learning forgiveness isn’t fast and easy and doesn’t always stir up sweet emotions or warm fuzzies.

I’m learning forgiveness doesn’t immediately follow my ability to “see both sides” or “understand where you’re coming from”.

Because I did de-friend you. With full acknowledgment of how childish it may sound, I couldn’t see you on my news feed without instant bitterness.

Because I have sought counsel, biblical counsel, which is something you refused to give me.

Because I tried to brush my hands off and claim it was all forgiven. Really, though, I just was tired of thinking about you. About our imagined relationship. About the whole thing.

Because I do see your side. Or I’ve tried to see your side. Have you tried to see mine?

All this has shown me how far I am from forgiving you.

And this bothers me.

As proud as I am of my parents for raising me as a skeptic, I’m not entirely proud of the ungracious turd I turned out to be. My natural reaction is to bring down the hammer, or to write you off completely.

But that’s not God. And that’s not me, not the me with Jesus.

I definitely don’t like the bitter floods that well up on the off-chance that I think about you. About the clear message you gave me when you never contacted me again.

There’s an unforgiving side of me that prickles at the hurt. It heats my soul, my heart like rug-burn. I want to call you, to email you, to tell you just how much it hurts.

And then there’s the new, saved, Jesus-owned side of me that just wants to forgive you and move on. To someday think of you and pray more willingly for you and your family.

I truly want this.

I’m on my way, but I haven’t arrived. The burn is too tender still. I can’t  see you as the believer I know Jesus graciously made you to be.

Pray for me, however unwillingly, because I, however unwillingly,  pray for you.

 

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