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I'm a mother of two beautiful girls. I think Sarcasm is a spiritual gift, even Jesus was sarcastic. I have no patience for people who are not real. I'm a Christian, but I hate how so many Christians have made that a bad word. My goal is to be a strong woman who loves God and encourages other women to do the same. I love upcycling and building things from repurposed items and reclaimed wood. We as women don't always see ourselves for the amazing women we are. It took me a lot of pain and hard work to find out who I am and what I am passionate about. I want other women to find their passions and not let others hold them back. Maybe some of my posts and projects that I will post will encourage other women to be who God wants them to be.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Real Forgiveness, More Than Words

I just watched a very edited version of a time in my life I had rather forget. The Oprah Winfrey Network has a show called Unfaithful that did a story about my marriage and the unfaithfulness that happened in it at one time. They manipulated it and changed some things around making it only about half true.

You may ask why we did the show in the first place if we wanted to forget it. Well I ask myself that and wonder sometimes myself and then I am reminded that God wanted us to tell our story. Our story is one of forgiveness after something terrible. So many people hear about infidelity and say they would never forgive someone that cheated on them, but until you have been there you just really can't say.

Was it easy to forgive? Heck no! But it was the right thing to do. God tells us that He will not forgive us if we can't forgive others. Not forgiving is like saying you are better than God because if you think about all the things God has forgiven us for how dare we say we ca't forgive. See the thing about forgiveness is that it isn't for the person being forgiving. It is for the forgiver.

When you hold onto a hurt you give power to satan to make us miserable. Having had to forgive some people who have hurt me really bad I know it is not easy to forgive and that there are a million things I had rather do than to forgive some of these people, but in the end I have to forgive them. I don't want to be that angry person that holds onto the hurt and the pain.
For a lot of years I held onto the pain that was inflicted upon me by some people who treated me really horrible. The things they did or said to me literally changed who I am as a person, but after years of letting that anger eat me alive I had to let it go. Holding onto all that anger and hurt made me someone I hated. It caused my depression to get worse and it made me hurt other people. I was hurting others and changing them just like I was changed and I did not want that to be my legacy.

I wish I could say that I don't still have my days where the hurt flares its ugly head. I do. Someone will say or do something that will stir up a memory or a friend will make a negative comment about someone and it is easy to jump on that band wagon, but over the last few months God has shown me that my words are just as damaging as an affair or any of the other things that I have had to forgive from my past. I have said things I am not proud of, things that were not even true just to try and get rid of my own hurt, but it just made the pain worse. See, in God's eyes all sins are equal. Usually when I rant about that, it is because I see people judging me or someone I love for something that to the world looks big, but in God's eyes is no different than being disrespectful to someone. But tonight I am saying that as a reminder that my sins are no smaller than anyone else's they are just different.

I would hope that as you go about your life that you learn to really forgive. Think about how you want people to forgive you for what you have done. Do you want them to just say they forgive you or do you really want them to forgive you? If you really want forgiveness then you have to forgive fully. That means not bringing up the things that they did in anyway to hurt them. It means not assuming that they are going to do it again. It also means really letting it go. I would hope that the hurtful things that I have said to people would really be let go so it is my responsibility to really let go of the hurt that has been done to me. I don't think anyone ever really wants you to remember the terrible things they have done. I know I don't. While I have had a hard time letting go, sometimes, of things that have been done to me, I also have a hard time forgetting the good things too. Maybe that's why I have forgiven the people who have hurt me, because I do remember the good and I do try to cling to that instead of the bad. I don't look at people and see the bad things they have done. I just don't. I may think about the hurt from time to time, but with God's help I have learned to look for the good in people too.

In a world with so much pain and suffering, we should all look for the good in people. Very few people really set out to be mean, hurtful people. There is good in pretty much everyone. At least that is how I see it. Yeah, there are selfish people who put themselves first and don't necessarily think about the consequences of their choices, but overall people don't want to hurt you. We all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are and being forgiven is a part of that.

So I challenge you. Really forgive someone today. Stop looking back at what they did in the past and look for the good they are doing today. You might be surprised when you stop looking for the bad just how much good you find.

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