I had someone who had hurt me. They had said things that were untrue about me, they were attacking my identity. My identity can be my weak spot. I thought I had worked through what had happened and had forgiven, dealt with it and moved on. The further I was from the situation the more closure I thought I had.
But something happened again, and all the hurt feelings came rushing back in. I wanted the world to know my side of the story, I wanted to stand up and start defending myself and I wanted justice to be served.
But I knew that I could not do that. It was not honourable to start a he said she said campaign, but I was still feeling hurt and absolutely miserable over it and I just didn’t know how to move on.
I was in an environment where I still had to see this person. It wasn’t like I could just walk away and never see them again and each time I would see them I would hurt all over again.
Physically it was affecting me, I would tense up and I am sure the expression on my face was not a good one. I would behave differently around them or at events where we were sharing the same space. My thoughts were definitely not aligned with Gods thoughts for this person and even though I did not express my displeasure of this person to others I am sure that they knew how I felt by watching me.
My unforgiveness and bitterness was changing me.
It had woven itself into the fabric of who I was, and I was becoming a completely different person to who I was actually created to be.
I reached a breaking point where I just cried out to God. I was so busy trying to hide my pain away that I forgot to run to the one who could actually help me heal.
So, I asked God, why is it that I am still feeling this way? There is nothing that I can do about what this person has done, the only thing I can do is work on myself. So, God what is it, tell me how I can get closure over this and stop feeling this pain? And then I was silent, and He began to speak directly to me.
God said to me that I had taken God off the throne in my life and I had put myself there. I was trying to dish out my own kind of punishment and I had forgotten that forgiving someone meant that I give God permission to get justice on my behalf and I release people from my own form of judgment, from my attempts to get justice through punishment.
That revelation hit me so hard and it brought me to my knees in repentance. I could not see that that was what I had done. That I had removed God from the throne and put myself there. That I was dealing out my own form of punishment but all it was doing was affecting me and those over who I had influence.
On the spot I repented for what I had done. I said to God I am so sorry for doing that and I felt God release His forgiveness to me straight away. I love how He forgives in an instant and my heart was able to receive it and really take it in.
And then there was more… God said to me, stop looking to the world for validation, stop trying to make a place for yourself in this world, you already have a place in my heart. He showed me what my pain really was, and He spoke to it.
This person who said things about me was not my pain, they were just the face of my pain, they were pushing the trigger for my pain. My pain was over my identity, struggling to know who I am and to find a place in this world. Worrying about what other people thought of me when all that really matters is what God thinks of me.
He knew the truth and He spoke it out over me. He will deal with that person’s heart who was speaking lies about me, that is actually between them and God,. They are answerable for what they say and do to God and I need not worry about that and in that moment, I actually felt compassion for them.
After going through this whole process with God I felt so much lighter, like I could breathe again. I felt a sense of closure in my heart. I was then able to walk back into situations with this person who had hurt me, and I now was no longer trying to punish them through my bitterness towards them, in fact, I felt nothing. I was able to act and function from my true identity. They no longer held any power over me.
For so long I have struggled with forgiveness, but once I had that revelation that forgiveness is actually all about processing pain, about facing pain from the past and dealing with it, the journey to truly forgiving someone else has become so much more easier.
Pain is like an onion, you peel one layer back at a time, and I am sure that I have plenty more things to process with God, weeding out the pain from my heart so that I can live truly alive.