Sunday, March 11, 2007

And so, the journey begins

This morning as I was getting ready, I remembered a quote I'd heard a while back from Dr. Phil. (Yes...I'm quoting Dr. Phil, feel free to stop reading now...)

He was talking about greiving the death of a loved one and he said, "The amount of time that you spend grieving doesn't equal the amount of love that you had for this person." (I probably shouldn't have put that in quotes because it probably isn't exactly, word-for-word what he said, but you get the picture.) The woman he was talking to thought that if she started feeling joy and happiness too soon, everyone around her would assume that she didn't love her husband very much, or that his death didn't affect her very deeply.

This morning, those words became real to me, but for a very different reason. Here's how the quote translated to me: "The amount of time it takes you to forgive does not equal the depth of your hurt."

For months (and I do mean months) I have harbored this hurt. I have nursed it and fed it and held on to it for dear life. For months I have been hoping that someone will notice the agony I am in and say, "Wow, someone must have done her WRONG!", and feel really sorry for me. And, I'm sorry to admit, I even hoped in some small way that noticing this agony would prompt them to hold a grudge right along with me.

I have struggled with the passage in Matthew 5:43-48 on almost a daily basis for literally months. It is just beyond my comprehension that it is as easy as "loving your enemies" and "praying for those who persecute you". I have been telling myself that as long as I'm "working on it" I can take years to get to the point of praying for my enemies because my hurt is just THAT DEEP. I certainly didn't want God's healing, because I believed if the hurt went away, people would assume I was OK with what happened. I wanted to hold on to my hurt and show the world that I WAS NOT OK with what happened more than I wanted to be happy...more than I wanted to be free from the bitterness...more than I wanted to please God.

Thank God that I have such wonderfully way-more-mature-than-that friends. Never once have I been encouraged to hang on to my hurt or continue feeding it one more day. Instead, they have loved on me, and prayed for me, and given me grace as I wind my way down this road.

Thank you Father for speaking to me today. By your grace, I will not harbor that hurt another day. It has happened and nothing can change it. It is in the past and I will leave it there. With your strength, I will not let Satan continue to rob me of joy by reminding me that I am suppposed to feel hurt. I will allow your mercy to heal my hurt and welcome the freedom that comes with forgiveness.

7 comments:

Larissa said...

That was really good, and boy how I can identify!!! Forgiveness is tough, and I know exactly what you mean by not wanting the others who have hurt you to see you happy. In fact I'm sure that I try to act as miserable as possible in front of him, b/c I can't let him know that I am okay! But I've also figured out that the other people many times don't give it a second thought what they have done and how it is affecting you. I know "he" sure doesn't in my case. On Oprah a few weeks ago (Dr. Phil-Oprah) some one said that true forgivness is when you can thank that person or people for what they did to you, because of who you are now, and the blessings that the heartache gave you. That's pretty tough, and to me that is huge to be at that point. I truly hope and I truly believe one day I will be at that point someday, but I know it will only be because I made the decision to and God got me to that place. People are so ignorant sometimes, and hurtful. I am so thankful that for those who have been wronged God is a redeeming God! He doesn't forget about us, and He knows the depth of that hurt. Have you read Beth Moore's book, "Get Out of That Pit"? I totally recommend it. It changed my complete thought process on struggling, and there are so many biblical examples in there of things you can relate to.
"Beloved, let this sink in deeply: if God allowed you to be thrown in a pit, you weren't picked on; you were picked out. God entrusted that suffering to you because He has faith in you. Live up to it. All the way up." Beth Moore (My fav quote from the book)

I will be praying for you! You are doing the right thing and will benefit from the action you take.

A D said...

I can relate to this issue but w/regards to my ex-husband, who I won't thank for the way he treated me but he did teach me to stand up for myself and gave me a good example of what I didn't want in a husband.
2ndly, the other is forgiving my dad for the disolution (sp) of his relationship with me and my sister to give us up so he could keep his relationship with his wife uncluttered. That is just pretty much the jist. My sister and I are horrible daughters and we should do everything they say and want but are 2nd place to her children and grandchildren. I have even apologized for any hurt feelings on more than one occasion. My father only lives 45 miles away, is in Lubbock at least once a wk and he has not called or visited me in the last 4 yrs but our relationship has been this way for over 10 yrs. We see him at Christmas and pretend our relationship isn't tarnished. I have had to pray for what I needed to do to relinquish any guilt or grudge that I might have, forgive them, pray for them and move on. You cannot change people you can only change yourself and be an example of love. It is hard but it is what we are told to do. I used to be bitter and feel sorry for myself daily but the Lord has blessed me with a husband who adores me and 2 beautiful children who I can show true unconditional parental love to and make sure they never experience that unloved feeling from me.
Thank you for trusting God and letting Him love you and bring people into your life who love you and pray for you everyday.
I love you - God bless!

Larissa said...

Ya know I've been thinking more, and I am really in the same place as you as far as feeling hurt. Yes, in different ways, but I am really working on that whole forgiveness thing, and so far I have been blessed, b/c of the choice to begin forgiving. To me it's a process, and it's a process I will continually work on I think, but you are exactly right...it doesn't excuse any one's behavior, but exactly frees you.

sj said...

I'm sorry you've been hurt. You're right...it's so hard to forgive and I know what you mean about feeling like forgiving makes it seem like what happened is ok.

I second the recommendation of Beth's book, it's really good. Also, go here:

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Living_Proof_with_Beth_Moore/archives.asp

and listen to the broadcasts for Feb 19, 26, and Mar 5...she's talking about forgiveness and talks specifically about that feeling of forgiveness making what happened seem ok. She talks about why we dont want to forgive and how it's bad advice to tell someone who is hurt to just forget what happened and go on.

sj said...

It didnt print the link right...it should be:

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/
Living_Proof_with_Beth_Moore/
archives.asp

but all put together with no spaces.

Larissa said...

I made a reference to your blog on my blog...let me know if that's not okay.

It's so funny to me. I only know you from here and there and through people, and now I am finding myself learning all these things from you! It's funny how God works!

Lisa said...

I hate that you have had to feel any of that but so glad to know you are handing it all over to Him. Praying for healing for you.

On a lighter note, where are the new house pics????????????