March 2020. Almost two years since I’ve written.
A lot has happened in those two years: things I am proud of, things I am not proud of, new friendships, and old friendships fading away.
But that’s not the point of this post.
The point is to share a raw message about forgiveness: how hard it can be, how humbling it can be, yet how refreshing it is.
Two weekends ago I was sitting in church for the first time in months.
I had convinced myself that God didn’t need to be my priority at this time. Work needed to be my priority, going out with friends needed to be my priority, traveling needed to be my priority — and while these are all good things to invest time in they are not “the thing” or “the person” that I should have first and foremost been investing my time in.
Because of this, for the past month or so I very tangibly felt the emptiness in my heart that I knew could only be filled by God and God alone. I knew something needed to change, but how. How was I suppose to go back and sit in front of the God who literally died for me – broken, human, imperfect me — and let him love me just as I am.
Nonetheless I walked into church, scared of facing reality. There were only about five people scattered amongst the pews. I breathed in the silence and let the wave of emotions hit me. I had the most humbling confession and in these few moments experienced a love that knows no limits, that sees past every imperfection, that truly makes all things new. A love that left me absolutely speechless.
But that’s just the beginning. Letting God into the brokenness, the imperfections, the sin is the easiest part of forgiveness (for me at least) because I know and believe in the depths of my heart that His love is unwavering perfection.
But then you have to walk out of church and step into the real world. The world that isn’t always perfect and kind. The world where you know you haven’t been the most loving, caring friend. The world where you have hurt other people and made far too many mistakes.
You have to take a deep breath and hope that they too can forgive you. And guess what? The best part is they almost always do.
See, we live in a world where we are told to take our struggles, our problems, our fears, our hurts and simply brush them under the rug pretending they aren’t there. We have this mentality that we just need to “suck it up”, to ” move on”, to “forget about it”. So then we grown numb to our own struggles, reaching the point that we don’t even see them as a struggle or problem. We just accept them as normal parts of our lives. Until someone looks you straight in the face saying “you know it doesn’t have to be like this”.
Life can be like someone who needs glasses but doesn’t know because their vision got slowly worse. It is so progressive that her or she didn’t notice it until new glasses was put on for the first time and the world look completely different, completely new.
That is what forgiveness does. It allows us to see the world in a new light.
Friends, I guess what I am saying is face your reality — whatever that may be. Take your hurt, your mistakes, your shortcomings and lay them out there. That will look different for all of us. But whatever it may look like — do it.
Allow yourself to see the world in a new light. I promise it will be worth it.