There is Freedom in Forgiveness
One of my biggest pet peeves is the constant untangling of my necklaces and headphones. Moreso headphones because it’s something I do Every. Single. Time. I want to talk on my phone or listen to music. It’s an unending cycle of annoyances that take up much more time than necessary. This type of unending entanglement is what unforgiveness produces. Just like described in part 2 , unforgiveness can entrap us with its symptoms and prohibit us from moving forward. And while the thing or person we don’t forgive goes about their life, we remain in the midst of the recurring tangles of anger, resentment, hurt and brokenness. And these things might not unveil themselves in the same ways, but the baggage of unforgiveness can show up in different areas and relationships in our lives that have nothing to do with the thing or person that hurt us. It becomes routine and as our cultural norm reminds us once again: “I’ll forgive but won’t forget.”
However, I’m constantly reminded of the power of love. To love is the greatest commandment in the bible. To love without ceasing is what we’re called to do, and as aforementioned that does not mean we don’t have boundaries. It means that we do but we let go of the things that can stop us from fully loving. Love bears the unbearable, love transforms lives and situations, love overcomes all evil. And most importantly love provides freedom. 2 Corinthians states: “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”.
I know that God is love; He is the embodiment of it. This verse shows me that I cannot be enslaved and truly walk with God. If I’m holding on to unforgiveness in my heart then it is not fully and completely opened to the love that Christ can provide for me. I’m missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to break down my walls and allow Christ to enter my heart to show me what love truly looks like; to provide Christ the opportunity to heal the broken pieces. I’m missing out on the opportunity for freedom and the opportunity to share love with others because I know what pure love is.
A year ago, let’s be real actually, four months ago I wouldn’t be able to say that my dad and I could sit on the phone to share about our day with one another let alone that I’d hang up feeling happy. I wouldn’t be able to say that I spent an entire weekend with him where there was no yelling or tears or anger, but one of laughter and good conversation. And it’s not because of anything I’ve done but because I know how much God loves me and how much I was denying myself because I couldn’t let it go. When I truly released my hurt and anger it not only changed me and how I reacted to my father, but it changed how he in turn reacted to me. I began to think about how lost I would be if God treated me the same way I treated my dad because I don’t always live up to His standards. But instead of ignoring me, instead of despising me God continues to love me and helps me to evolve. It’s still a work in progress and has taken looooonnnnnnngggg years to get to this point, but I’ve dropped the heavy load and I can breathe deeper and run farther.
When we forgive, we are no longer victims. No longer defeated. No longer stagnant. We are healed and more powerful than ever. Just as it took Apple several trials before they released their newer wireless headphones, or how after we break bones or injure muscles it takes months of practice and therapy to fully recover, so too does the path of forgiveness. It’s not instant, but a process. One that provides ultimate freedom if we’re willing to step into it.