Forgive me folks, but I need to get some thoughts out of my head. A couple Sundays ago our pastor Bobby spoke on Forgiveness as part of his series on the 12 Steps to Recovery. It was a difficult message for me to absorb. As soon as I hear the word forgiveness, I feel myself tense up and mentally cross my arms in front of me as some sort of self-preservation. We're all familiar with the terms "Forgive and Forget" and at times this can be quite easy to do over misunderstandings or petty circumstances. But what do you do when you're faced with those circumstances that have way crossed-over the line? You know the ones I'm talking about? The ones that destroy your trust in others, break your heart, disrupt your dreams and leave a pit in your stomach? We can't run from them and as much as we would like, our subconscious won't ever let it go.
We sat and listened to this women in our congregation share about how she made a list of all the people she knew she had hurt and went to them individually or wrote letters depending on how God led her at the time and asked for forgiveness. And let me tell you, this woman has been through A LOT. There wasn't a dry eye in the room when listening to her story. And far as forgiving others, she had this little box, her "God Box" and she would write down the things that she needed to forgive and put it in this box, sometimes more than once. This brought her healing and joy that she hadn't experienced in years. She encouraged us all to make a list, write out the ones we've hurt or have been hurt by and ask God how to approach it. The list alone scares me, for some reason I think that I'll be reopening wounds that I've long since tried to bury. But I need even these things and these people to stop lingering in the corners of my mind and haunting my dreams at night.
So I'm going to start my own "God Box" and as things come up that I know are holding me back or rotting away in my gut, I'm going to write them out and give them to him, no matter how many times I have to do it. I might have to get a big box :-)
I need to truly forgive, and I'm not even sure where to start. Its really not as easy as it sounds when the wounds can run so deep.