Some of you may wonder why I'm using the terms process or journey. The fact is that some hurts are deeper than others. If someone just forgets to call you when they said they would or neglects to say hi to you, that's a very small slight, something that most people can easily forgive and forget in a few moments time. Other hurts are things that rock your world, or cause long term ramifications. Those things aren't usually forgiven overnight and you go through a process of steps to total forgiveness.
The person I'm forgiving has caused consequences that I have to live with each day, at least for right now. I wish I could change that, but I don't have the power to aside from prayer and fasting (which I'm doing). I don't know when the consequences will be gone, when I will stop bearing the day to day difficulties inflicted by this person. I did figure out in recent days that I can't afford to go on without forgiving because the unforgiveness itself was beginning to affect every area of my life. Unforgiveness has a way of doing that. It stealthily does it's work without you even realizing it for a few weeks or even months until something or someone finally wakes you up to the fact that you've become bitter.
Dr. Karen Piderman of the Mayo Clinic says this: "If you're unforgiving, you may pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life may become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. You may become depressed or anxious. You may feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you're at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You may lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others."
I found all of that to be true in my case. I was paying the price personally in my body, and mind. My life had become so wrapped up in the wrongs (which is easy to do when you wake up everyday paying the price for the wrongs) it was difficult to enjoy anything present - because they were still affecting my present! I didn't see a way out. I felt trapped. I justified my lack of pursuing forgiveness based upon the continued consequences. I've had a wake up call and decided I couldn't afford to wait until the consequences were over to begin the forgiveness journey.
I wish it were instantaneous and not a journey.
I wish it didn't hurt this much.
I wish I was going through this process without feeling the pain of current consequences of their actions.
I wish I wasn't in pain. Forgiveness would be a piece of cake without pain.
I wish they would apologize, but they haven't, and probably never will.
I wish something supernatural would happen to take away the remaining consequences of their actions.
I wish there were total closure of all the mess they created, not just for me, for everyone. I'm just one person and my offender is definitely an equal opportunity offender. My heart aches for the others who have been hurt more than it aches for me on many days.
I wish all of these things...
But I don't always get what I wish for. And neither do you.
The thing all of the above wishes have in common is that I have no control over any of them.
When we don't get what we wish for we can wallow, or we can obey. The only alternative is disobedience and more pain! I figured out a few weeks ago that all I was doing was heaping pain upon more pain. It was a vicious cycle, perpetuated by me. A cycle where no one was winning and I was losing my very health over it.
The one person I can control on this journey is me. So I'm obeying God and moving toward total health and wellness of my entire being. I invite you to join me if you are having a similar struggle. There is comfort for me on many days just knowing I'm not alone. A lot of us didn't get what we wished for, still aren't getting it - and might not ever. That's a harsh reality but we can do something about it by making a decision that as far as it depends on us, we're going to do the right thing. If you're on this journey with me today, I wish that from Seattle to Singapore I could wrap my arms around all of you who read my blog. I can't do it physically but please consider this a virtual hug from me to you. (((((((hug))))))))