Forgive me, Father.

February 28, 2012 § 3 Comments

I must confess- I have never been a good forgiver.

At least, not a very quick forgiver, anyway.

Now, I’m not talking about the little things.  I’m talking about the big hurts…the ones where you end up a tangle of raw emotion and all-consuming-ness.

Starting at a young age, I could only manage a small grumble and terse nod in acknowledgement when someone asked those four words: “Can you forgive me?”

And in that moment between when those Four Words are spoken and when I suddenly become Ebenezer Scrooge, I always manage to have many panicked thoughts.

“Well, yes of course, but then what?”

“I’ve been upset for some time now.  I mean, this one was a doosey.  How do I flip the switch and exclaim, ‘YES! ABSOLUTELY!’ before grabbing this former opponent of mine by the arm and run through a field of daisies?  How?”

“But, if I forgive, where does all the hurt go?”

Source: flickr.com via Natalie on Pinterest

 

Enter the grumble and nod, which is all I thought I could manage. [This is usually the point in the situation where I can picture Jesus looking at me like, “really? Really, Natalie?  Have I taught you nothing?”]

I remember a Sex and the City episode [bear with me] where the main character and narrator, Carrie (who writes a dating column) is pondering lost loves.  She asks the question, “If you love someone and you break up, where does all the love go?”

I had to share how that quote came to mind as I was thinking about forgiveness because a.) I never thought I would quote that show on my blog and b.)it’s the question I found myself asking in the face of those Four Words- where does all the hurt go? 

But I think the better question I’m essentially asking is, “what about me?”

That person has reached a place where they can ask that question and somehow I get caught up in what that means for my hard feelings.

Am I the only one? 

Maybe I’ve always just really wanted to mean it.  I haven’t wanted to fake anything in the moment.  I grumbled because, yes, I forgave, but my hurt heart needed to catch up.  I needed to wrap my mind around what it really meant to forgive and let it go.  Since “forget” traditionally follows forgiveness, I didn’t want to make light of it.  I wanted to do it right, not just because I was supposed to.

But really, maybe it’s all pride and a little bit of fear… the traumatized feelings so tightly in their grasp and they only clench tighter at the sound of those Four Words, withholding complete forgiveness until I can issue it in my own time.

Why do I get the feeling that it’s mostly the latter? I hope it’s at least a blend.

I’m still a work in progress on this one, friends.  This comes from recently murmering forgiveness and not liking how it felt.  I know that God doesn’t murmer forgiveness to me when I mess up ALL THE TIME, so I need to get this straight. It’s not something I’m proud of and I don’t want to be a stiff forgiver, so I’m working on my rebound time.  In the meantime, I’m praying my heart out and thankful for grace from the ones I’ve stiffed. 

Forgive me?

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§ 3 Responses to Forgive me, Father.

  • veeraceo says:

    Life is too short to be anything but happy.so kiss slowly,love deepl,forgive quickly.take chances and never have regrets forget the PAST,but remember what it taught you.

  • Katie Cook says:

    thank you for sharing so honestly about forgiveness. my husband and i were talking about the other day how it really isn’t valued in our culture very much today, but how important and crucial it is for us to live a healthy and lovely life as God designed:) much love Natalie…love Katie

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Katie. You’re right about its absence in our culture- I think most people feel like there is always someone else to blame, so looking inward at their part of the equation doesn’t really happen. I know I can be VERY guilty of that.
      And can I just say how encouraging it is that you and your husband were talking about it! Those conversations are so valuable. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting!

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