My heart welled up and then the tears exploded.
I didn’t quite realize it was happening until it was already consuming me.
I had been carrying something heavy in my heart for quite some time and God was finally showing up and telling me it was time, all or nothing, no more little pieces, no more stepping forward only to run back, no more saying I would forgive only to snatch it back.
It was time.
This song came on the radio the other day while I was driving, and that is when it happened.
He met me right where I was, and spoke to me through someone else’s words. Through words I heard over and over for weeks and months, but words that my heart wasn’t ready for until that day, in that car, at that stoplight.
I have never struggled with forgiveness. I rarely even remember why I am upset or angry the next day if something happens. But I guess that is because I have never really been hurt, like deep down to my core hurt.
But it happened, and I was. I was hurt in a way that I couldn’t imagine by just a few careless words.
I’m sure you all would love the story, because really, who doesn’t love a good detailed account of something that happened like that, right!? I know I do, its just human nature. But that’s not why I am writing this. I am writing this out to say I forgive you.
Forgiveness is weird.
Like I said, I haven’t ever really had to do it in my grown up life. And I honestly for awhile didn’t even think that I was hurt. I pushed aside the emotion and just walked through the day. It wasn’t until little bits and pieces of bitterness started bubbling up to the surface. That’s what happens friends. When you walk around without releasing something it turns ugly. You think you can forget it, but until you give it up to him it walks around with you, nagging at you, making you feel heavy and ugly.
Forgiveness isn’t something that we can do on our own. Our human nature loves a good fight. Our human nature loves to bring back the anger and throw it at the cause. Our own self is just as ugly as the person who hurt you. But with him it is possible, with him we can forgive someone even if they don’t ask for it, with him we can do all things.
Because he did it all for us. He gave up himself for a fallen world. For a world that loved him and then rejected him, embraced him and then hated him, praised him and then hurled insults at him. He gave up himself for a world that continues to reject him even after the miracle of grace has already been poured out over us.
So who am I to hold onto my pride and my anger and my bitterness? Who am I to require an apology to forgive? Who am I to think that those words hurled at me are more hurtful than the sins I continue to hurl at him?
Who am I?
I am someone who needs his help. Someone who couldn’t forgive on her own. Someone who once again needed him to show up.
And he so graciously did.
In the car, on the perfect summer day, with the song I have listened to a million times, at the stoplight I sit at daily, with my kids right in the back seat.
He met me right where I was. Right when I needed him.
And I forgave.
Because he first and always forgives me.