For many years I thought those two words would be the answer to the deep pain I felt – the hurt someone else inflicted on me.
I was justified. What happened was wrong. It was completely unforgivable. Anyone would agree with me – and did agree with me anytime I told my story.
But I never heard the words.
I would never see the person who hurt me again, but it was as if that person was living in my head, constantly haunting me, reminding me, hurting me – even though the initial pain was over, I was reliving it day after day after day…
Because I wanted to hear the words.
I wanted someone to pay for what happened to me.
It wasn’t okay.
And I had the right to be angry about it. I had the right to punish that person with my thoughts. With my words. With my justified role as forever victim.
And then, I realized.
My unforgiveness was holding me captive.
It was acidic, eating away at my heart. My captor was no longer in the picture, the event was over, and I was ALLOWING it all to control me.
This deep seeded hurt was living rent free in my head – and I was the one paying for it to make a home there. It had set up shop and was torturing me with remembrances of my past.
It had to stop.
There was only one answer.
In the form of forgiveness.
I remember the day my knees hit the floor and I finally forgave. It didn’t justify what happened to me, it didn’t make it right. It didn’t make me instantly forget everything.
But I had peace.
Because that hurt was no longer the obsession of my heart, my thoughts, and my nightmares. Forgiveness gave me freedom.
And the experience of freedom was so beautiful, so full of relief – like a waterfall washing away all that pain.
But, for you, my sweet friend – I want to say something on behalf of the person who hurt you – the one who may NEVER say the two words you so desperately desire.
Sadly, you may never hear them uttered. You might have to forgive without the apology. And that is just…hard. It feels backward. And it is difficult to walk into the terror you’ve faced and let go of the walls you’ve built to protect yourself.
But dear one, I once heard someone say that the only way out of pain is through it.
Push through, let go, and forgive. Forgiveness frees YOU. It evicts the hurt and tells it to STOP PLAYING THE TAPES IN YOUR HEAD OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
So, on behalf of your deepest inflicted pain,
I’m sorry you were hurt.
I’m sorry someone took advantage of your precious heart.
I’m sorry someone didn’t treat you with respect and love.
I’m sorry you were faced with such deep sorrow.
I’m sorry part of you was taken violently.
I’m sorry someone left.
I’m sorry the one you love was ripped from you before his time.
I’m sorry your days have been long and your nights longer.
I’m sorry you were treated unfairly.
And right now, as I’m typing these words, I say a prayer for you.
That you will have the courage to accept my words as a surrogate apology for the person who never will. That you will make up your mind to stop giving power and control to the pain that has continued to rip open the wound for so long.
That you will have freedom.
Freedom, dear one, to forgive.
I would love to hear from you and hear your heart. Please comment and leave me your information so I can pray for you as you walk through the process of forgiveness.
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Freedom to forgive is difficult – I have walked the road of losing loved ones, screaming grief and pain, and facing my own cancer. I have walked this journey – and have found freedom in forgiving others – as well as forgiving myself. It can be difficult, but it is completely worth it. I’m praying for you!