She said something hurtful. Feeling vulnerable at that point in my life I took it to heart. I let it fester like a neglected wound. I let the pain sit, have a home in my heart.
It felt silly. Words that were not meant to hurt. Words that if others heard would not seem offensive. My pride kept me from going to God with it. I couldn’t tell Him of the hurt I carried. The hurt I couldn’t let go of.
Days turned to weeks. Weeks to months and then into years. My heart did not change. I continued to carry pain. Instead of dealing I chose to avoid, ignore.
She, my friend, was no longer a part of my life. I chose to avoid, ignore her rather than deal with the sin in my heart. I chose avoidance over forgiveness.
As the years went by. As I asked God to search my heart and reveal my sins I saw my wrong. And we all know two wrongs don’t make a right.
I needed to let go of the burden of hurt. I needed to see my friend, my sister in Christ through the eyes of Jesus. Harboring hurt, avoiding the awkwardness was not helping anyone.
The world teaches us to avoid and ignore not forgive. Jesus teaches us to forgive not avoid.
My stubbornness was keeping me from a beautiful friendship. In the letting go of pride, in the letting go of the burden I carried I found forgiveness. I found peace and a fresh love for my friend.
Forgiveness freed me. Freed me from the prison of unnecessary hurt and pride. Freed us to have a relationship, fellowship again.
I am grateful to my loving, patient Father. I am undeserving of His kindness. Yet He freely gives to me, to you.
Will you choose forgiveness? Will you let the hardness crack?
If there is a situation in your life that needs forgiveness I pray you seek it. I pray you seek forgiveness over avoidance.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ESV
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him,“I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. ESV
Mark 11:25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. NLT
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. ESV