She hurt me.
The thing is, I hadn’t thought about that hurt in forever.
I was young when it took place. She was young.
There’s lots of grace for what we do when our brains are still developing, right?
When she stood in front of me in person, however; the feelings came rushing back.
You hurt me.
I prayed that she didn’t know how I felt, because I wasn’t sure how I felt. The old emotion creeping back in surprised me.
You are not welcome in my heart.
I whispered that — not to her — but to the feelings that slipped in.
I know what unforgiveness can do. It wants nothing more than to keep us mired in the past. It wants us to react, to wear a chip on our shoulder, to walk around wounded. It keeps us from discovering who we are separate from the hurt of our past, or a person.
Years ago I promised myself that my children would grow up with a mama that laughs, that isn’t bound by old hurts, that they’d know that she loved Jesus and see Him in her.
I had dealt with hurt far greater and God healed me.
This is not who I am. This is not the path God has carved out for me.
Yet the feelings were real. I wasn’t just remembering the hurt, but there were new feelings: anger. I was angry as a mom. Angry as a grandma. Angry that mean girls exist and they leave a pretty significant mark.
The inner dialogue between me and the Holy Spirit was strong.
Suz, you were a girl. She was a girl.
But Lord, if I open my heart to her, she might hurt me again.
You are stronger than that.
Do you know what she did? Do you remember?
This all took place in a matter of seconds, but finally the truth settled.
She couldn’t hurt me again because we weren’t children anymore, but I could absolutely hurt her.
She stood in front of me, vulnerable. I wasn’t certain how life had treated her in the years that passed, but I had heard enough to know that she had went through some tough stuff.
How do we respond when God asks us to forgive?
Maybe someone hurt you a long time ago and you sense God asking you to take a turn toward forgiveness. He’s not asking you to be unwise, or open the door to abuse. He’s simply showing you a wounded place, and asking you to respond.
You don’t have to forgive if you don’t want to. Forgiving isn’t something that anyone can make us do. We can close that door. We can shut down the conversation. We can make them pay, or at least try to make them understand why they should pay.
We can hold that resentment close until the day we do.
But we can’t forget this, sweet friends. .
Unresolved unforgiveness stands in the way of our freedom.
Sometimes God leads us to those old feelings because He has that person on His heart, but He’s just as aware of the power of forgiveness in your life.
You matter, too.
He wants you to surrender them to Him. He wants to touch those old hurts. He’s reminding us of who we are.
We are women who laugh, who aren’t bound by old hurts, and who loves Jesus and are loved back incredibly.
Did the Holy Spirit just show you that wound? Is He asking you to surrender it today?
Let me pray with you as you do that.
Father, thank you for her listening heart. Thank you that You don’t want old wounds to take root, or splash out on those who she loves today. We hold up those old wounds. We don’t know exactly what that looks like, or what you desire to do, but we surrender to the process. Thank You for incredible mercy and healing power. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I’ve discovered that forgiving isn’t something we have to do or need to do, but that we get to do. That changed everything for me.
We aren’t alone as we heal. We aren’t alone as we discover who we were intended to be, separate from the past or the actions or words of another person.
I hope you’ll check out this resource, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness. In it, we’ll walk together to find the healing you’ve longed to find in that part of your heart. ~ Suzie