I was able to give my husband forgiveness freely. This gave me a small sense of pride. First and foremost, he was my husband and I knew intellectually that we would never be able to move forward unless I was able to forgive the past. By the grace of God, this sense of release was easy for my heart. My ability to forgive wasn’t because I was an incredibly selfless person with a pure and giving nature, the forgiveness came from Christ alone. He was able to soften my vanity so I could do what was required to try to save my marriage. I had been warned that forgiveness would be difficult, but was necessary. However, for me, forgiveness became as natural and as needed as breathing.
We are called to forgive others. We are called to forgive everyone. Everyone. It hurts and it’s hard and the act of forgiveness may not lead you to personal happiness. You may still end up alone and afraid and sad at the end of the day. We aren’t promised a winning lottery ticket once we achieve forgiveness, but we’re still called to humble ourselves, open ourselves, and let the forgiveness flow.
When my marriage ended, I knew the only way I would heal completely was to once again, forgive. So I did. I made it my mini mission to win at forgiveness, but I still felt terrible every day. I could barely get myself out of bed. All I wanted to do was sleep until the deep pit of hurt inside me scabbed over. I would stare at myself in the mirror and all I felt was a crisp form of hate. I hated everything about myself. I was useless. A complete failure. The wife who was easy to leave. Easy to leave. This has become the truth I keep telling myself. “Don’t get too close, Kat. You’re easy to leave.”
I have begun to re-create my new reality where the truths I tell myself on a daily basis are fact. God must be so ashamed of me. Marriage is a gift from God and I gave up. I couldn’t see it through. I was weak. My husband would do anything in the world to get away from me. I had fallen short on my wifely callings. I had not lived up to his expectations. Now, here I am, throwing kindness at others, while trying to keep myself as shielded as possible. If I am kind, that is good. Maybe I will be harder to leave.
What a hypocrite. Pretending to be a believer who follows all the rules, but not following them all the way through. Sometimes forgiveness isn’t about forgiving those who have wronged you, it’s about learning how to forgive yourself. Letting go of your shortcomings and accepting that God loves you. I think perfecting your own forgiveness is harder than you’d think, because the reality is that you have to live with yourself every day. You can’t get away from you. Learning to look at yourself in the mirror and actually like what you see is a momentous achievement. Being able to stop kicking yourself over your previous missteps takes courage. Owning what you put out into the world on a daily basis as beautiful is just plain difficult.
We make is so much more complicated than necessary. The Bible tells us that once we go to God and ask for his forgiveness, then it is done. All is forgiven. We are clean. Time to move forward. God doesn’t hang onto the attributes that weigh us down. As Christians, the big thing we are all into is that Christ died for our sins. If we truly own the scripture, then we have to believe that once we ask for that forgiveness, it is given. It has been given. It will always be given.
To deny this universal truth, is to deny God’s greatest gift to us. So give it up to God. He doesn’t think you are easy to leave. He has never left. Welcome the new day. Keep moving forward. Start to heal. Learn to own the all-embracing fact: You’re forgiven and it’s over.
Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemtion through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”