What Forgiveness Looks Like…

March 21, 2011

I thought forgiveness meant that I wouldn’t feel the hurt anymore.  I thought it meant the pain would be gone.  It thought that letting go meant that the negative feelings wouldn’t come back to haunt me, or that I wouldn’t feel that choking anger anymore.  I thought everything would get easier once I forgave.

 I begged God to help me let it go once-and-for-all.  I wanted the pain to be done, the memories to be purged, the anger to stop.

I thought there was something wrong with me because forgiving wasn’t working.  I didn’t know what forgiveness looked like.  I kept asking, praying and searching for it, but apparently I was just supposed to do it.  People would tell me, “well, you just have to forgive.”  I kept asking ‘what does forgiveness look like?”  Being very visual, I guess I needed someone to draw me a picture.

 I kept asking God to help me to let it go and to forgive.  When I would get upset again, or the bad feelings would claw at me I would think “well, I guess I never forgave like I thought I had.” 

 Thanks to Mark Gungor at Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI for his blog post entitled “What Is Forgiveness?”  I got the picture drawn for me at last.  It was the answer I had been looking for when I asked the question all this time.  The anger coming back didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  The sadness threatening me didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  Of course I was going to get mad all over again over new transgressions – it didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven – it just meant that I needed to forgive again.  Mark gave me the action plan toward forgiveness that I needed. 

Forgiveness is now an actionable plan for me.  It is a plan to give the pain to God every time it comes to me.  It is a plan to hand over every negative thought when it comes to me. 

 Forgiveness doesn’t always just divinely come over us one day

and the pain will be gone.

A lot of the time it takes more work.

I have to keep forgiving.  As many times a day as those hurtful transgressions come back into my mind they have to be given up to God.  And again.  And again.  And again.  

Just like God forgives me.  Again.  And again.  And again.

 

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3 Responses to “What Forgiveness Looks Like…”

  1. Megan Says:

    This is a phenomenal post! Forgiveness is such a difficult thing to muster up … sometimes it does take someone else’s perspective to pull it all together for ya… I think this post along with the link you included may just be the healing pieces of the puzzle I needed. THANK YOU! May your path be all the much more peaceful for you.

  2. Cheri Larson Says:

    Well said Diane! Forgiveness is a difficult thing, but I’ve found over the years that forgiveness is the only way for me to be whole. My forgiving another person allows me to finally “let go”. I agree it is a process we must keep working on, but when we do, we become free.


    • Thanks, Cheri. I’ve struggled for years with this, and I can’t believe how life-changing this realization has been. I know I had been told this, but I think this was just the AHA moment when it finally sunk in. Thank God!


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