"unforgiveness is like waking up everyday, drinking poison. Hoping someone else will die." -unknown [Pastor Brian would probably know]
[you may want tissues for some of this]
Forgiveness is tough to talk about. Never mind where you draw the line... between "I forgive you" & [with heavy, dripping sarcasm] "oh, please do it to me again. Once just wasn't enough." [wow, I think I actually offended myself] I've had some interesting conversations about this after telling a few people about my past. I've also gone back & forth with it. You can't blame me, can you? I mean, he did some serious "stuff" to me. So how do you forgive someone like that? Honestly, I can't do it by myself. I'm not... big enough, strong enough, like Jesus enough... to pull this off.
I follow Jesus... I never said I was good at it.
In my story, there is much to forgive... & more than just one human [an abuser] to forgive at that. Turned out, forgiving myself takes a lot longer than forgiving him. Go figure. If you have been abused, you may not be at this stage yet. That's ok. Every story, every journey is different. Turns out God likes variety too. I have forgiven this man for all he took from me. We don't speak much. And, honestly, while my heart tries to forget... my body remembers. He was behind me in line for food once. He put his hands on my shoulders... & I almost killed him. It took every ounce of strength, to reign myself in from it. Some friends, well meaning though they are, want to kill him. For me.
Thing is, killing him ...doesn't erase what he did to me. Harder to swallow still, if you could erase what he did to me... Who would I be then? Renee Yohe is right: "you are not your story". However, your story is part of you. It is how you got to be this person. It is an explanation, yet it's not a definition. As I've said, I've forgiven him... & then been mad all over again, or hurt. As I write my story I relive much of it. Sometimes it comes close to re swallowing me whole.
"...you can surrender without a prayer, but never really pray...pray without surrender... you can fight, fight without ever winning, but never, ever win...win without a fight..." -Rush [from Resist, from the disc: Test for Echo]
"...used to be all I'd want, to learn...was wisdom, trust, & truth... but now all I really want, to learn, is forgiveness for you..." - Collective Soul [from Forgiveness, from the ironically titled disc: Disciplined Breakdown]
It's taken a long time to get to this point. Much of what is worth while is a struggle. A very long journey. That I don't want to be on some days. Yet... the best stories... are full of these gut wrenching moments. "all is lost" [or at the very least, misplaced] You have to keep going. Which is easier to say/type... than to live. I don't know if this post is... quite the way I'd hoped. I may revisit this over time.
I stumbled across a video that I thought did this topic so very well....
Forgiveness [a final journal entry]
to my abuser
I really don't know
what you were thinking.
Why you chose me
Like the video above
you eroded my trust
you made it hard
to trust anyone
you made love
like science fiction
you made me
hate being alive
you made me feel
like I was
not a person
I forgive you
a lot of people
what you have done
is not the end
may have ment
God will use
can do anything
he wants to
Well... I must go. get some sleep. hopefully, before this week is over, I'll breathe normally again.
May His grace
drip from your fingers.... [& perhaps love, mercy, & peace as well]