Nov 12, 2013

You Don't Deserve My Forgiveness...But I'm Giving It To You Anyway

It's been a really long time since I posted.  I've missed it.  Maybe that has something to do with why I've been having a difficult time handling certain situations that have come up in my life over the past couple of months.  Blogging is my therapy and I've been missing my appointments.

One word sums up the last 6 months of my life.  Drama.  Something I pride myself on steering well clear of.  I mean really, who has time for drama?  I guess there are some people who thrive on having drama in their lives.  I'm just not one of them.  I prefer mine on TV and in movies where it belongs.

So what's been going on?  I'm glad you asked!  Let's start with a man I'll refer to here as "CP".  He swooped in with talk of love and relationships, marriage and kids.  Once I bought into the idea, he backed off.  He felt we should take things slowly, no need to rush into a commitment with titles and expectations.  At the same time, he thought he could put me on hold while he spent time with female friends because they're "just friends"!  I'm sure they were but really, who has time for that?  I decided we were better off as friends.  Like Ne-Yo said, I just don't get down like that.

Soon after that happened, my ex JI re-entered the picture.  OK, I admit I contacted him.  But only because it was his birthday!  A happy birthday text turned into "let me buy you a birthday drink" and next thing I know we're talking about getting back together.  How did that happen??  I have no idea.  But alas, the happy reunion was short-lived.  He stopped communicating with me.  No calls, no texts...no response when I called or text him...he just shut down on me.  I eventually got somewhat of an explanation from him but by that time I was past caring.  I will always love him...always...but I cannot continue to make him a priority in my life when I am merely an option...no, an afterthought in his.  I'm worth more than that.

As if all of that wasn't enough, in the midst of JI's disappearing act, one of my closest friends decided she didn't want to be my friend anymore.  Let's call her CJ.  We have been friends for several years.  We shared everything with each other.  We hung out all of the time.  She was very caring towards my kids and would do anything she could for them, even without me asking.  A few months ago I started to notice something changing.  She didn't text as much as she used to.  Then I realized we hadn't hung out in a while.  She was stand-offish whenever I tried to speak to her.  I called her to try to find out what the problem was more than once and never really got an answer.  Finally, she told me she felt I hadn't supported her when she was going through a difficult period in her life and rather than talk to me about it she chose to distance herself from me instead.  When I suggested that maybe talking about it with me would have been the better route for her to take considering how long we'd been friends, she told me the length of time we had been friends was irrelevant.  The fact I wasn't there for her was all that mattered.  I felt I'd supported her to the best of my ability at the time.  I asked her what I could have done differently, and she couldn't give me an answer.  That was the way she felt and that was the end of it.

So here I stand without three people I once considered very important to me.  CP and I remain friends but we are nowhere near as close as we used to be.  JI just needs to be alone right now.  He admitted it and I respect that.  I hate I had to find that out the hard way, but maybe that's what I needed.  And as for CJ?  Let her tell it, everything is great!  But we both know the truth.  We barely speak to each other unless there are mutual friends close by and anyone who knows me knows I cannot switch on and off like that.  Either I'm cool with you or I'm not.  There's no grey area over here.

So where do I go from here?  Again, I'm glad you asked!  Tonight I just happened to stumble across a video posted by Bianca Olthoff.  Watch it here, I promise it will bless you.  I had never heard of her before tonight but I will be following her blog from now.  She talks about forgiveness, the difficulty of offering it to someone who has hurt you, and the release we experience when we forgive others whether we feel they deserve it or not.

What does it really mean to forgive?  One definition says it is "to cease to feel resentment against" a person who has wronged you.  But what if the person has not apologized, or they feel they have done nothing wrong?  In those situations, feeling resentment is all I want to do!  And I feel justified in doing so because they did me so wrong!

I have forgiven CP and JI because they have both apologized to me for hurting me.  Even though I was hurt by what they did, it was easier to forgive them and move on because they acknowledged the hurt they had caused.  But to be honest, the thought of forgiving CJ never even crossed my mind!  I mean, why would I need to forgive her?  She has never apologized, or even acknowledged the hurt I feel she has caused me.  She doesn't deserve my forgiveness, does she?

Ms. Bianca changed that mindset real quick.  CJ doesn't have to deserve my forgiveness.  I still have to give it to her because that is what I am called to do.  Matthew 6:14-15 says "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."  Lord knows I need my sins to be forgiven!  Thing is, they were already covered before I even knew I was doing wrong.  So obviously, an apology is not required to show someone forgiveness.  If God didn't need an apology, I certainly don't.

Starting today I will let go of any resentment I feel towards all 3, but especially CJ.  I can feel the burden of the situation changing my mood and my behavior and it bothers me that I have allowed it to affect me to that extent.  It takes a lot of energy to resent someone.  I choose now to redirect that energy into something more productive.  God is still doing a work in my life and all of these things are preparing me for whatever is to come.  I don't want to be stuck in the rut of resentment when I should be experiencing freedom and using my experiences to empower others, which is the whole reason why I started my blog in the first place.  I may have lost focus for a while but I'm back now!

Have you ever had to forgive someone you felt didn't deserve your forgiveness?  How were you able to move past the hurt?  Leave a comment with your experiences if you feel led to.  You never know how it might help someone else.
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2 comments:

  1. Great perspective! I went through a rough patch with someone who was like a sister. Out the blue, she stopped talking to me. It was extremely difficult, but God revealed many things. He taught me about seasons, true friendship, love, wisdom, forgiveness, etc... His refining fire burns off impurities to make us the sparkling jewels He's made us to be. Keep shining!

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