What does forgiveness look like when there is no apology?
Is forgiveness even possible in these situations?
We must do the work of forgiveness to create something different, something better, to pass on to our children and grandchildren. After all, we are writing our future generations’ history as we live it today. –Dr. Jill Hubbard
The work of forgiveness can be hard.
To forgive is to, “take the person off your hook and put them on God’s hook.”
Some of us know the biblical answer to forgiveness and yet, we wrestling with how it will actually play out in our own lives and relationships.
For me I have been struggling with the idea of forgiving people who have not owned up to their junk. And I know it is NOT my job to get them to ask for forgiveness or repent… my only job is to keep my side of the street clean so, how do I do this without accepting their negative and hurtful behavior?
Surrendering the fight to God can be difficult for those of us whom have been working through wounds and painful memories of the past.
The knots in my stomach can no longer be a daily part of my life. The fears of being unlovable need to be vanquished. Declaring my worth and lovability was just the first steps to forgiving. As I sit here and think about the holiday seasons and embarking on a new year I can not help but, wondering if I am missing something in the bigger picture of life.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Romans 12:17-19 The Message
As I keep landing back on Romans 12 I have come to a place of understanding. It is not my job to make anyone apologize. Yes, set boundaries. Yes, do not allow negativity into our home. Yes, show love and grace. And finally yes, kindly tell someone how they have made you feel and not in order to change the behavior but, instead to set a boundary of what you will and will not accept in the relationship.
I have not always done these things correctly and I am certain I will continue to stumble my way through forgiveness, grace and boundaries however; I also know following the path of healing has brought me to a place free from condemnation, comparison and hurtful behavior.
I began to press into the topic of forgiveness hoping I would end the year with a better understanding instead; I have found myself at a crossroads wondering what my part is in forgiving, setting boundaries and being a safe person for the people in my life.
And this topic is way tougher than I imagined!!
My heart wants to forgive the harsh words and manipulation but, the wounds are still fresh on my mind.
My heart wants to be connected again but, not in the same destructive patterns as before.
The hardest part for me is the pretending everything is alright. This pattern has been apart of my life for far too long.
These words still ring in my head; what happens in this house stays in this house and no one needs to know our business.
This distorted view of self led me down the path of play games, lying and pretending I was better than I actually was… hiding any pain or strife deep inside began to rot my heart away.
Embracing my brokenness outwardly.
These things have given way to healing and I am certain some judgment, too but pretending is way harder than facing the truth.
This one life we have been given is more about the condition of our hearts than our outward appearance.
How we treat people matter.
How we make people feel matters.
And these things matter more than the size of our jeans.
The condition of our hearts is the true reflection of self.
I see now who really cares and who really loves me unconditionally. But, falling flat on my face struggling with anxiety and depression coupled with weight gain from numbing will do this to a person.
We have to care about people.
We have to ask the hard questions and be willing to hear their truth.
We have to make an effort and NOT run from pain or the hard parts of relationships.
I, too have failed in relationships and have my own amends to make. But, I will NOT pretend to be okay with being treated badly and I will NOT stand by and giggle softly to make people feel alright with their own wrong doings. I will stand up for myself. I will STOP the negativity. I will be a better person because this is the only way to live my truth.
Embrace it or not…this is me!
And most importantly LOVED!!