This blog post is a follow-up and continuation of last weeks “Quit Playing Games.” I recommend reading last weeks post before this one.
Welcome Back! Last week I talked about a situation where I was hurt and knew what I needed to do (forgive this person), but instead, I waited it out. Finally, when I did forgive this person, I felt a tremendous amount of tension leave my body. However, my heart didn’t heal in a day. In fact, over the next year, I would forgive this person and bring the situation to God countless times. It wasn’t one and done with my forgiveness. It was a continuous surrender.
It was frustrating, and I honestly hated that I couldn’t move on from the situation. I wanted to put it all behind me. However, God was working in me. He wasn’t finished with the situation and was not done transforming my heart.
I’m saying this to you because I’ve come to know that not all wounds heal in a day. If you’re feeling wronged or hurt by someone and the situation is more significant than “my roommate forgot to wash the dishes yet again,” it might take more time than you think to forgive this person fully. I’m here to tell you that is OK!
The earth wasn’t created in a day. Forgiveness sometimes takes more than one day.
Let me also say; I think God can heal any wound; whether it is at that exact moment or slowly over time. God is a pro when it comes to forgiveness and healing, but it doesn’t mean we are.
Forgiveness like any characteristic you want to develop, takes work, time, and intentionality.
What does the Bible say about forgiveness?
The bible has a lot to say about forgiveness. One of the most quoted verses comes from Matthew 18:21-22
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”
I think that some sometimes forgiveness is not a one and done situation, but seventy times seven. Our hearts can hold on to pain, but through Jesus, even the worst wounds can heal.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Luke 4:18 got me through some difficult times as Jesus fulfills and reads from Isaiah 61:1-2
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, so that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,”
“Katie, What does this mean for me? How can I forgive those who have wronged me in ways you can’t understand?”
Great questions! Let me repeat for the people in the back that there is no wound that Jesus can’t heal. He is a healer like no other. The only thing that is keeping you from healing is you. That sounds a little harsh.
If you feel stuck, if you feel like you can’t get past the betrayal, the pain, the grief. Stop.
Get on your knees and take it to the one who can do more than you. Humble yourself enough to realize, that you don’t have all the answers. Ask Him to intercede on your behalf.
Then, find yourself someone who can pray for you and who can check in with you. You are not going to start healing in loneliness, but you can begin in a community. Get out of the pity mentality and surround yourself with a population of people who will lift you up and hold you accountable. One of my favorite quotes from Lady In Waiting is that Self Pity is Inverted Pride.
If you feel the tension, you need to get it out. Write it out. Sing it out. Yell it out. Smash it out. Do something to commit yourself to a moment of cathartic relief physically.
After praying, seeking community, and having a release of tension the next step is big and sometimes comes in different forms. You may need to see this person. This step is necessary if you feel there is no other way to forgive. Texts messages or phone calls don’t have the same effect as a face to face conversation. Take steps to protect your heart and yourselves. Meet in a public space or have someone nearby. Don’t meet if this is putting yourself or your heart in danger.
Take the time, space, and opportunity to move on. The only thing keeping you in the desert is you. It is time to break free. You don’t need to be there. You don’t belong there. You have other work to do. So break out and break the cycle because on the other side is the promise land.