on forgiveness: a battle of the mind and spirit

forgiveness

I have been avoiding writing about the battle in my brain.  Just thinking about it ALMOST turns me into a raving lunatic. And I want to be honest here but also positive and encouraging, so I haven’t written about it.  But it’s such a huge in-between for me and for my family right now.  Also, I’m sure everyone can relate on some level.

What are you supposed to do when you have someone in your life who has wronged you or hurt your feelings and they’re not necessarily a safe person for you but they have to remain in your life?  You forgive, right?  Maybe you don’t trust them or be vulnerable with them, but you forgive.

What happens, then, when this person continually perpetuates negativity and ***  You let it go because it doesn’t matter?  You offer grace and forgiveness?  Over and over and over?  Even though you know you won’t get it back even a little bit?

You do, right?

GET RID OF ALL BITTERNESS, RAGE AND ANGER, BRAWLING AND SLANDER, ALONG WITH EVERY FORM OF MALICE.  BE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVING EACH OTHER, JUST AS IN CHRIST GOD FORGAVE YOU.
EPHESIANS 4:31-32

Anne Lamott says not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die.  I love this.  It’s a brutal but accurate truth.  Not forgiving, or staying angry, eats you alive.  It hurts my heart and my brain and threatens my sanity and well-being.  It pushes me away from God.

But it’s also so damn hard to turn the other cheek all. the. freaking. time.

Plus trying to get someone who really doesn’t give a crap about you to see things from your perspective is like beating your head against a wall.  There’s no point.  So why not just let it go?

Because it’s hard.  It’s hard not to be liked, to know there’s someone in your life who thinks so negatively of you, to be put in a box you can’t get out of – given a label that’s inaccurate and irremovable.

forgiveness

I think the most difficult part, the saddest part, is knowing things could’ve been SO different.  But I have to let that go, too, because I can’t do anything about it.  I can’t change the past.  I can’t change the people.  The only thing I can control is myself.  And I can pray that God helps me to forgive and the Spirit takes over my busy, crazy brain.

LET THE MORNING BRING ME WORD OF YOUR UNFAILING LOVE, FOR I HAVE PUT MY TRUST IN YOU.  SHOW ME THE WAY I SHOULD GO, FOR TO YOU I LIFT UP MY SOUL.
PSALM 143:8

Having a blended family is so hard.  It is no joke.  You have no control over what is being said or how the child is raised or when anything happens.

It’s hard, and it sucks.  But it could’ve been great.  And that’s what kills me.

I’m not even sure I should be writing about this.  I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus, and I completely recognize there are faulty assumptions, misperceptions, and hurt on both sides in situations like these.  I also know that I’m not alone in these kinds of feelings.  Forgiveness is a universal struggle, right?  And we have God.

I have no idea how any of this will turn out or how our feelings will get hurt or how we’ll make it through, really.  But I know we will.  I know God’s got it.  I don’t have to worry.  I just have to let go and forgive.

For more about my blended family story, see my other post, The Blended Family Blues.