I want to be honest with you all: I’ve been really struggling lately. Really, truly hurting. Two of the people I held dearest to my heart recently shredded my trust in them. Two people who swore never to leave, did.
One of them made a decision that fed my family through a blender, cutting us so deeply and so badly, changing our way of life.
The other made a decision that broke my heart on another level, and I felt like I was suffocating from pain.
Their decisions were life altering for me and I didn’t know what to do. I was so hurt, and so angry because what they had done was so wrong and yet they weren’t even sorry.
Then, last Wednesday, I was casually browsing through Pinterest and this picture sucker punched me.
Click the image to be redirected to its source.
Now I know it’s really simple. Those words aren’t exactly halt-in-your-steps kind of words… but they did something to my heart.
They reminded me of the very basic foundation of my faith in Christ:
God extended grace to me before I ever expressed my need for it to Him. Before my very existence, He robed Himself in flesh and lay down His life in my stead. He had done nothing, I had done everything.
But He forgave me.
If God can do that, if He can die for me, then why can’t I simply let go of the anger and hurt and choose to forgive?
It reminds me of the passage in Ephesians that says:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (4:31-32)
God forgave me and it’s my honor to, in turn, forgive others.
This may seem like a small breakthrough. For whatever reason it was exactly what I needed to get my act together.
I spent a good deal of time in prayer after seeing that picture, declaring my forgiveness and asking God to wash away the hurt.
And it worked.
It’s like someone flipped a switch and suddenly I can see and breathe and relax again.
I feel so genuinely happy.
I feel free.
I feel confident in God’s love for me and my love for others is renewed.
Forgiveness is freedom.
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
-Jonathan Lockwood Huie