From an early age, I found it easy to forgive others when they wronged me. I was never one to hold a grudge for very long. I didn’t like conflict and I didn’t like tension.
Don’t worry; I won’t sound so high-and-mighty for very long.
If you are a Project Inspired Girl (and if you’re not, you should become one!), then you may have come across several of my posts in the Girl Talk Relationships forum. You’ve probably read half of my teenage heartbreak story, and you probably know by now that I’m pretty thorough about describing every detail of how one seemingly perfect relationship turned sour.
After my breakup with my now ex-boyfriend, I treated him the same way. I wanted, in every way, to still approach him with kindness and no hard feelings. However, he didn’t treat me the same way. I was gossiped about, emotionally bullied and just torn down by the surprising turn of events. I had hoped that all could be forgiven, but it didn’t seem that he hoped the same thing.
So, after six months of trying to be kind, my frustration turned to hurt, and eventually hurt led to bitterness—and not bitterness about the situation, more so bitterness toward my ex-boyfriend.
Having that bitter feeling in my heart led to poor choices. For the next four months I began my own line of gossip; my own stinging words as a way to fight back. On the surface, I still treated my ex-boyfriend the same way, but my heart was not in any place to forgive.
Everything remained the same for those four months. I was rude, I gossiped and, most of all, I was sick and tired of “trying” to forgive.
However, just three weeks ago, I put my foot down and shook my hand free from satan’s grip. I realized how far I had strayed from the One who first forgave me. This reality brought me to my knees in prayer—it broke me down in tears.
I’m the kind of girl who needs closure. I need not only to be forgiven, but to have the comfort of knowing I forgave the other person as well. Knowing that it had taken me ten months to realize I had chosen not to forgive was heartbreaking, but also humbling.
The burden and guilt that was lifted from my shoulders reminded me again of how wonderful it feels to forgive. With a changed attitude and perspective, I forgave all that there was to be forgiven. Bitterness and anger vanished and were deserted.
And although I continued to treat my ex-boyfriend the same way I always did, this time my heart was in the right place. At first, it seemed as if forgiveness only made a difference in my heart. I knew I had forgiven him, and I knew that was all that mattered.
So I was shocked when things began to change between us. Remember that I said I didn’t treat him any differently. Yet we began to talk more, laugh together more and treat each other as normal friends would.
He was more attentive to my existence, he was kind and we exchanged more sentences than we had in the last ten months.
It was completely unexpected and a complete answer to all my prayers. Ten months later, we are rebuilding our friendship and are no longer enemies. In my eyes, it is a true miracle.
And I wanted to share it with you, because I know I used to think that forgiving someone wasn’t such a big deal unless it made you feel better.
What I’ve learned from all of this is that forgiveness does make a difference. Sometimes it’s not as obvious as it was in my situation, but most of the time your actions will reflect the state of your heart, and what is reflected in your actions can change things you didn’t expect it to.
For a long time I believed forgiveness was about making the other person not feel so bad about how they wronged you. Now I believe that forgiveness is not only for others, but also for you.
God’s desire in our lives is to help us to learn what His will is and what His will isn’t. Through this long, ten-month experience I learned that sometimes God is waiting for your heart to change—for you to become humble and for you to forgive. There are times when you may ask, “Why isn’t anything getting better between me and this person?” I know I did. And then I discovered that God was waiting for me to forgive so that He could finish His work in my life the way that He intends to.
If there’s anyone you haven’t forgiven yet, I encourage you to take that step, however pointless it may seem. You never know what miracles God can do with a changed heart.
Written by PI Girl Chels
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