I’ve always heard that we must forgive, and I know what the scripture says. After years of feeling guilty for not forgiving people in my heart though I desperately wanted to, I began to pray about this topic. What I realized is that we should have a forgiving heart, but we can’t help how we feel. When someone wounds us, it takes time to heal. God can handle the truth – He already knows our heart. This was one of the most freeing revelations to me. I’ve had situations in my life where I was so wounded that I didn’t think I would ever get past the pain. When you feel deep pain like that, you want the person that put you in that state to hurt too…not the most Godly thing to say out loud, but it is truth nonetheless. We are, after all, humans. At the end of the day, it’s what we do with that hurt and pain that matters. There have been several instances where I had to pray for years – I mean years – lots of them, for God to heal my pain and take away my bitter heart. I had to distance myself from the people that hurt me as they weren’t sorry for their actions and had no intention of trying to redeem the situation. Honestly, how do wounds heal when there is no redemption? That would be like expecting a cut to heal and close even though you never got the dirt and bacteria out of it…it just simply doesn’t happen. When people hurt you and don’t seem to care, only God can heal the wound. It will take however long it takes…it will happen in God’s timing. I can tell you that it truly was my heart not to be bitter, and I purposely put distance between myself and those that hurt me so that I wouldn’t act in an ungodly manner, and more so that I would have the time and space to heal in God’s timing. Honestly, it’s not a pleasant state to be in – bitterness only hurts you…not the person that did the hurting.
Forgiveness itself isn’t a choice. Your heart can’t just choose to forgive no matter what your head does. Your actions and your petitions to God are your choices. You intentionally choosing to persevere no matter how long it takes to heal is your choice.
Have freedom in knowing that God can handle your broken heart, and He will nurse it back to health in His timing with the love and compassion that only He can give. Guard against bitter actions by praying, praying again and praying some more.
Sometimes those relationships are redeemed though it just may be years later. Sometimes those relationships aren’t. The one thing that always stands true is that God WILL heal your heart with His loving touch in His perfect timing!