Negative Nancy, that’s what my friends used to call me for a while. Up until about a year ago. Naw, more like 8 months ago. I was a pessimist. Because of all the things I went through over the past couple of years led me to have a hard-hearted spirit. I always look at bad things that could happen or dwelled on the bad things that have happened and blamed them for present disappointments. Sometimes I wonder how the close friends I do have put up with my dim presence for so long. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer.

This past Sunday there was an alter call for those still struggling with forgiveness; not necessarily forgiveness of other people (I’ll touch on that later), but forgiveness of yourself. We get so caught up in past happenings that it hinders us from healing and coming into the person God purposed for us to be.

Take me for example. I didn’t have a totally hectic past, but there are a handful of things I’ve done that I am not proud of. Even to this day, the thought of some things cause discomfort.

(1) My PLANNED Pregnancy: I’ve become more open about it now when I tell this story because I’ve come to terms with it. At the same time, when I repeat it back to myself, I just feel dumb. The looks I get when I tell people Addy was purposely made just adds to my “dumb” feelings. My daughter will be 3 this year, so when will I ever come to FULL terms with the fact that at the age of 19, I selfishly decided to bring a child into this world knowing I didn’t have much to provide for her let alone myself? I trust that God knew what he was doing. And forgiveness has gotten a lot easier but I’m not 100% there yet.

(2) Sexual Immorality: SIGH…I said the goal was to be transparent so here goes nothing. In high school, I would always pride myself on being a virgin (until I lost it of course). It was very seldom that girls my age, even my closest friends were still virgins and I was proud of that. Even when I did lose my virginity, I would make myself feel better by justifying that I was only with ONE person so it wasn’t THAT bad. I don’t want to delve too much into this because I will have a whole post later in the future about my decision for celibacy. Previous decisions I’ve made dwelled in my mind for a very long time, even to this day.

Forgiveness for other people who have wronged me is a whole different story, but just as hard as forgiving myself.

(1) Addy’s Father: This is probably by far the only person that took an abundance of strength to forgive..like physical strength. A lot went on within our relationship (too much that doesn’t need to be repeated) but caused much hatred, hurt, and resentment inside of me. I carried it for a long time and it was the origin of an array of crazy emotions. One day I’m depressed and the next day I’m fine. A lot of times I would even “fake forgive” him. You know, when you say you forgive somebody because you are so prideful thinking you’re over something but as soon as something happens that brings knowledge to that same situation, you get mad all over again. That would happen to me a lot that made me aware that I was no where near forgiveness with him. Thankfully, God has delivered me from that and I can honestly say I forgive him.

(2) My Parents: I’ll keep this brief because this is still very touchy and personal to me. I don’t want to give off the impression that I had a horrible childhood or anything. My parents provided me with all of my needs; my brothers and I. We never needed for anything. Just seeing my parents as I got older and how arguments would increase. It made me resent marriage and everything it stood for. I didn’t want that kind of marriage. It wasn’t any abuse, verbal or physical, or anything like that. Just the dynamic wasn’t there. Like two people used to each other. It made me turn away from the concept of a strong family foundation. Still working on forgiveness from that.

I could go on and on about minor run ins with people who have hurt me and vice versa, but the point I am trying to get across is that forgiveness is necessary. It has the power to eat you alive, if you let it. Think about it this way….all the times we knowingly and voluntarily defy God’s will by fulfilling our own selfish desires. Over and over and over again. But yet, he still gives us another chance. So if a man so powerful who loves us so much continues to wash away our sins and give us a new day to :live for him, who are we to hold grudges and unforgiveness over those who have wronged us?

As far as struggling with forgiveness, you will know when you have forgiven someone. Think of it this way. Remember when you were a child and you did something that your parents told you not too? You knew once you got caught, and you did, you would be in for the whooping of your life. And you did get it. You feared what would happen once your parents found out. Now that you are older, you and your parents can sit back and laugh at something that caused you fear as a child and disappointment as a parent. With time and prayer EVERYTHING heals. If you choose to do it on your own, not only are you telling God that you don’t trust him, you will be in spindle of indecisiveness and confusion over your own feelings. Forgiveness unlocks the door to your own happiness. If he can forgive, for he is the highest of all high, who are we not to.

 


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