So today while posing a question in one of my favorite Facebook Groups, I stumbled over a truth that I had been ignoring. The truth being ” I had not forgiven my exboyfriend.” I mean I wrote a long extensive email to him; and we have engaged in countless text conversations that ended in me saying the words; but in my heart I had not forgiven him. I knew I had not forgiven him because the mention of his name irritated my core. I secretly desired his demised, and I found empowerment in holding on to the offense instead of letting it go. I mean I felt as if it was my right to hold on to the hurt, and I’m suppose to be a Christian (smile).
In my defense this man had me sold on the idea of marriage to him. He painted a beautiful picture of what it would be like ministering and sharing a life together. I bought everything he said, and six months later all that is left of us is broken promises, broken hearts, and a countless number of tears. I used to pride myself on not being the “Bitter Woman,” but the more I denied the hurt the more bitter I became towards him and all men. I was not and have not been interested in anything a man has had to say to me. All of them are now suspect and candidates for an eye roll and a smart comment. Well they were until tonight.
As I was going back and forth commenting with other women who were also obviously bitter or had forgiven their offender, a guy friend suggested I simply forgive him. Initially I was defensive, and I told him about the emails sent and the fact I had already told him I had. The guy didn’t press the issue, but of course I had to keep posting comments to defend myself. And right in the midst of typing, the Holy Spirit took over and I ended up typing this prayer instead of defending myself:
Father grant me the strength to forgive the person I was genuinely hurt by. Instead of holding on to the pain, Lord I release it. My heart cannot carry the weight of this offense any longer. I don’t want to be like my offender hurting people because I was hurt. This night I surrender the failure of that relationship, and I release him from every promise made that he failed to make happen. I have tried to fix my heart in my strength, and I am at the point were I can no longer manage. I surrender my heart to you, and I CHOOSE to forgive. In Jesus Name AMEN.
I kid you not, the sting left. The moment I released my right to be angry, upset, and bitter, the Holy Spirit soothed my heart with forgiveness. So my encouragement to everyone who has chosen to exercise their right to be angry, choose the privilege of Forgiveness instead. Sure we appear powerful when we are motivated by anger, but we become powerful when we choose to abide by the law of Love. Forgiveness is something we all need but often times it is the very thing we refuse someone who has offended us. My prayer is that you will do your heart the favor and RELEASE the offense. Your heart needs room to receive love, STOP allowing bitterness to hoard Love’s space.-Charity Israel