Some things are easier to shake than others.
There is sadness I feel when I hear of a precious sister or brother going through a personal hell at a local church (or when I hear that any friend is going through a soul scrubbing time in their life).
I’ve written about how grace should be the place where our conversations start, where they rest, where they wait, and where they hope. It’s easier talked about than lived. I humbly asked to be trained in grace.
In the training, we learn, that knowing, giving, and receiving grace doesn’t always evaporate sadness or feelings of loss.
Psalm 1 says that there are joys. There are joys for those who delight in the law of the Lord, for those who meditate on it day and night. The Hebrew word “meditate” as it’s used in Psalm one is hagah which means to make a low muttering sound or growl. The Psalter describes that there are joys when we are going over God’s words in a quiet murmur. There are joys for those who find themselves whispering truth into the cracks of the day. Maybe this is the way? Because those who do this are like trees planted along riverbanks, bearing lush fruit every season. (v.3)
Does that mean that there are times when we aren’t bearing fruit? It makes sense that we may go through seasons, just like a tree, where we lie dormant. Waiting. Receiving nutrients to be able to burst forth in fruitfulness and life. In those places, the LORD watches over them and protects them.
Friend, I hate that you’re going through it. I wish things didn’t land as they did. And everything in me wants to hold a grudge for you. While I probably shouldn’t hold that grudge I’ll hold your burden. Maybe we’ll find a place in the corner of the room where you can set it down and just be you for awhile. Later, when you’re ready, you’ll not want to hold a grudge either.
When you’re ready. You’ll give it. And you’ll be free. Forgiveness is our freedom.
Be comforted knowing that God is pulling you in a little closer this season. Things may seem dead. But they are not dead. Because you’re planted along a riverbank and there will be another season where fruit will thrive.
Everything is going to be ok.
Tough acts of forgiveness will be possible for you.
“No one can prove that God does or doesn’t exist, but tough acts of forgiveness are pretty convincing for me.” – Anne Lammot
It may not be our strong suit (it isn’t mine). We might rather be “forgiveness deniers” when hurts are so deep that we become certain that nothing can heal them. But a Annie is right and a “lack of forgiveness is like leprosy of the insides, and left untreated, it can take out tissue, equilibrium, soul, sense of self.”
You are loved and you’ll be able to love.
- You’ll forgive your friend/ leader/ pastor/ board / person leading your pain, for having such terrible self esteem, for not valuing your voice or leadership, for being so fearful and two-sided in conversations, for his/her shut-downness and inability to see how your heart was hurting.
- You forgive yourself, for letting the anger someone or some people have caused to steal your soul, to make you bitter, to give you dreams about being a Starbucks barista.
- You move a little closer into the arms of Jesus and believe, even in sadness, that there are joys. So many joys.
- You’ll know what to do next.
- You’ll find friends who let you “let it go” and keep loving you anyway.
- You’ll remember how to speak with confidence and courage.
- You’ll know that your great power isn’t from yourself, but from God. That you are but a fragile clay jar able to reveal the image of God shining in you. (2 Cor. 4:7)
- You’ll buy “No, Woman, No Cry” on iTunes, sing it loud in your car by yourself, and cry your eyes out anyway. Because deep down, you really know, that everything is going to be OK.
Tough acts of forgiveness may not have been on your list today. But maybe they should be?
It doesn’t mean you have to set up lunch with the person or people who have caused you pain.
It simply means that you’re releasing the grudge and accepting the hope that things will one day be okay.