Forgiveness. The word makes me sweat.
I am an emotional person. I feel things deeply. I take things to heart. My heart gets bruised. And, it’s not just about me. I am madly in love with my husband and children. They are my world. When they hurt, I hurt. When bad things happen to them, it might as well be me! I am very emotive….so much estrogen. Just ask my family. (Think mother bear!)
The biggest lesson of my life came in October 2011. Desperate to end his nightmare, our child spilled his hurt and pain to my husband. We knew this person. We thought she was safe—she wanted to be a youth pastor and we were mentoring her towards that end. We thought we knew and understood her well.
Apparently, we didn’t.
The days that followed were full of rage, pain and complete shock. We navigated the legal system, detectives, and victim advocates in a haze of unbelief. Not unbelief of our child’s story. We never doubted him. Sitting in the detective’s office, trying to answer endless questions, we just couldn’t figure out how we had gotten to this point.
How could someone do this to one of our own and to our family?
I never dreamed, in all my days, I would be sitting
in a courtroom listening to all the graphic details of the abuse.
Betrayal of any kind is painful.
At this level, it was hard to breathe. We had done so much to better the life and future of this caregiver; providing opportunities for a future that would not have come anywhere else.
We did receive justice in the legal system. We are grateful. It started the healing process for our boy and for us. We felt heard and understood. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, male victims of female perpetrators many times don’t receive equal justice. But, we did. And that is nothing short of a miracle.
But, see, this is where it gets gritty.
As Christ Followers, we are taught to forgive.
For the longest time I wasn’t in any place to forgive. I needed time and space to process and heal.
And I honestly think God was okay with that. I learned something important.
Everybody moves at their own pace and the journey is cyclical—just like in the grieving process.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT EASY NOR CHEAP.
I have to say, there are some days I don’t feel as if I have forgiven very well. Most days, three years isn’t long enough to pay for the level of trauma, fear and pain he endured. And, if I am really honest (please allow me),
I can’t understand how God could forgive this, much less me.
I know this: If I surrender my deep betrayal and pain to God, and follow His lead, He will walk me through this difficult journey of forgiveness.
I am learning that forgiveness is a journey.
This past week was a perfect example of how much work I have left to do, but how far I have come! It was a milestone in our journey. He knows we are human. We are not perfect in this earthly skin.
I think forgiveness isn’t a one and done type of thing either.
It is a process—a lifelong journey that brings great peace. I imagine I will work the rest of my life to forgive fully and completely as I know Christ does. I know God knows my humanity.
He gives me strength and power to do what I can’t seem to do on my own.
As you can see, it makes the top 10 of the hardest lessons I will learn in life. And I’m still trying to figure it all out. It is a team effort with God leading the way. I’ll follow in His footsteps and I know all will be alright.
What about you? Do you have something that screams for forgiveness but you just don’t know how? Can you give yourself grace knowing God does when you are walking hand in hand….moving in His unhurried rhythms of grace?
My friend, I know it is hard. I hate the cliches.
But, God is jealous for you and is aware of your pain.
Sit and listen for His rhythm of grace.