15 May 2012



When we were little kids, most of us were told at one time or another to say we were sorry, give each other a hug, and go play. Then, we were expected to run across the playground together, hand in hand, ready to play red rover or climb to the top of the jungle gym like nothing ever happened.

You mess up; you say you're sorry, and everything is fixed.


If only it were that easy.

Is it even possible to forgive and forget? Maybe my memory is longer than yours, but I suspect you don't forget any easier than I do. When people wound your heart, you remember.

For a long time. 

Maybe forever. 

Forgiveness doesn't require you to forget.

There is so much pressure in this whole forgiveness thing because so many people have it wrong. Forgiveness is for you, not them. That's truth. You forgive because it releases you from being destroyed inside. Unforgiveness will fester inside you until you are bitter and cold and barely recognize yourself. I've watched this happen to people. There is someone in my life that I would love to have known before she lived with decades of unforgiveness in her heart. I see glimpses of a pretty remarkable person. I'd like to know that person, but, short of God doing a miracle in her heart, I don't know that I ever will.

The playground model doesn't work for me. The Bible says, "Guard your heart," for a reason. I'm not harboring unforgiveness, but I am also not stupidly pretending like things are the way they were. I'm not brushing anything under the rug as if it never happened. I can't do that. It isn't just my heart that was wounded. It was the hearts of my husband and children. Guarding my heart is important, but guarding their hearts is even bigger on my scale. Reconciling doesn't always mean that you go back to the way things were. It isn't always possible. Sure, have a relationship with that person again, but some wounds are too deep to be completely forgotten. Trust isn't something you should throw around. It is earned over years and lost in a split second. It takes wisdom and discernment to know whether or not someone should be trusted again. Right now, my heart says no.

I pray for the people who have wounded my family, and I sincerely hope they come to the understanding that what they have done has caused such a great rift that I believe only God can heal it, although this may be more about lessons learned than it is about healing relationships. I don't expect things to ever be the same. The longer you allow things to continue, the less likely you are to ever have what was once there, no matter how close you once were, no matter how closely related you are. If a person allows their own pride to dictate silence, they are actually screaming, "You aren't important  to me!!!"

Silence speaks louder than any words ever could.

Once you've known how unimportant you are for so long, you learn to live without the person.

Because you have to.

Because that's the only way to get past that hurt.

Because that's the only way you can survive.

I'm asking you, my readers, to pray for me and my family right now. We are all in various stages of forgiveness and reconciliation. Pray that we all are able to forgive completely and let go.

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