When Levi and I first started dating,
I had some things that needed to be said.
Mostly about my past,
And the things I knew he needed to know.
Which was far from easy.
It was hard to tell someone you really valued,
All the dirt you kept under the carpet.
The things you thought might be too much for them to accept,
Or wouldn’t be seen as good enough for them.
But piece by piece,
Things came out.
Not all at once but over a period of time,
As trust grew and I saw how he cared for me.
And in all the mess that poured out,
Fearing rejection from him,
Or being too broken to be loved by someone like him.
He looked at me,
Each time I would say something,
And in the gentleness of his words,
Helped heal pieces of me.
He would affirm how he saw me,
His love for me,
And that I am not that person anymore,
And that he see’s me as I am now.
That those things had helped shaped me,
And that it doesn’t change anything to him about how he see’s me.
I would exhale all that I was holding in,
As I would soak in his words,
Not just as his own but coming from our Fathers heart,
And how He forgives us,
How He see’s us.
Although we may be broken, messy and have some things we can’t take back,
I have realized,
The depth of Gods forgiveness for us.
That He knows us fully,
Knows all the things we wish He didn’t,
The things that we try to hide from others,
The things we think are not redeemable,
And speaks tenderly into those places,
Saying that He doesn’t see those things but who we are through Christ Jesus,
His beloved Child.
That He see’s us as we are,
And loves us.
He calls us to not shy away from what we feel ashamed of,
But to press into His embrace and receive all that He’s offering to us,
Life to the fullest.
And for me,
Those words heal,
They remind me of who I am and not who I was,
And most of all,
It shows me how beautiful,
Although I once was lost, now I’m found.
Was blind, but now I see.
See His love,
And His heart for the broken and lost.
But even in that,
There are things I find hard,
Things I struggle with,
Question and can’t understand how to live believing in fully.
And one of those things I find hard,
I’m not sure yet why it is so hard to receive and accept.
I think a lot of us simply just know knowledge,
But I feel that there is so much more than simply just knowing we’re forgiven,
And in that should forgive.
Because I felt and believed that for a long time,
But now am seeing that although I know that in my mind,
I’m not fully living and breathing it out.
Now in saying all this,
In no way am I saying that I don’t believe in forgiveness,
Or the depth of what Jesus did for us as He died on the cross.
I fully believe that we have been forgiven,
We are forgiven,
And in all the mess we make out of our lives,
Our sin is washed clean and we are as white as snow.
But what I am saying,
Is I have found in many other areas of faith too,
That there are things I believe and have head knowledge about,
But have come to see that I actually don’t know what it looks like being lived out.
That I somehow found pieces of me,
Hidden pieces that are still holding onto unforgiveness that surprises me it’s even there.
And I say the same thing about trusting in the Lord,
Or loving unconditionally,
Or praying without ceasing,
Or that we are to live laying our lives down.
These are all things that we believe,
But how many of us are truly living this out,
Every moment of every day?
Now I am not saying this to shame you,
I am part of this choir I am preaching too.
I am simply trying to clarify where I am coming from with having a hard time with forgiveness.
It’s something I know,
But desperatly need the Lord to continually lead me through.
And that’s the thing,
So often with things,
We leave the Lord out of it.
We come to believe by faith,
But then spend our faith trying to make it on our own.
Trying to follow these rules or believe these things,
When in reality we need to keep pressing into the Lord,
And realizing that we can’t do faith without Him,
But rather alongside of Him,
For we has humans have an issue with remembering,
We forget the truths we’ve been told,
We lose sight of His promises,
We wander around the wilderness for forty years,
And always seem to want more than what we have.
How I am thankful for our gracious God who doesn’t give up on us.
And so back to forgiveness,
I think our lack of forgiveness steams from,
Not fully forgiving ourselves.
We are hard on ourselves,
And it’s somewhat true in how we treat ourselves,
Give or don’t give grace to ourselves,
We’ll do the same unto others.
And it’s hard sometimes following Jesus,
For we see all the things about ourselves we wish we didn’t.
And we realize that Jesus gives us grace,
And we must receive that and give it back out.
For forgiveness is somewhat counter-cultural,
Our world is so much about us and self worshiping.
About others getting what they deserve,
And what goes around comes around.
But that’s not the words Jesus speaks,
And that isn’t the gospel we believe.
Forgiveness is a beautiful sound to those bound by chains of unforgiveness,
And lies that have been believed for far too long.
For the other night,
Lying in bed,
I was (maybe) crying to Levi about all the hurt I feel,
Or the anxiety that has built up,
And all that I hold onto.
In the midst of it all,
He whispered so gently into my ear,
And repeated himself for a bit.
That I need to forgive myself.
In all honesty,
That was hard to hear because right away,
I spoke back to myself,
But how can I do that when I’m a person like this?
And in that,
I have decided to no longer live bound to those chains which keep me from being free.
For although I’m not sure what forgiveness truly and fully looks like,
I can look to Jesus and have a glimpse and hope that in Him,
It is found.
Whatever it may be for you,
There are things we hold onto still.
Hurt we can’t seem to shake,
Or people who have done something that we can’t seem to look past,
Or the childhood memory which weighs on you.
Now I may not be right in saying this,
But it’s just my opinion,
Something I am thinking about and seeking to figure out.
So here it goes,
We all have something we’re holding out forgiveness on.
Whether it’s a person,
A past situation,
Or even God Himself.
We haven’t fully forgave.
And why do I assume that?
Because we hold onto a lot of stuff,
And I know how hard it is to let go of stuff.
We hold onto hurt someone spoke over us,
Or a situation that we can’t seem to look past,
We get irritable,
And angry if similar situations seem to be coming to pass.
I believe that if we’re honest with ourselves,
We’ll see that we haven’t really let it go.
Whatever it may be,
We’ve held on,
To even the littlest piece.
To the littlest bit of hurt,
Of memory or moment we wish we could take back.
And why I’m writing about this,
Is I want to learn how to forgive.
And even more so,
Accept forgiveness from the Lord.
As I have come to realize that, that is the place where lack of forgiveness steams from,
Not believing that we have truly been forgiven.
For even if we know with our minds we’ve been forgiven,
We still hold onto pieces of not feeling worthy,
Or good enough,
And in that,
I don’t believe that the Lord has really looked past all my flaws,
But the truth is He has.
For the moments where Levi re-implies the Lords truths about forgiveness over me,
Or asks me why I can’t forgive myself,
I realize that somehow I can’t believe that I am not this awful person that hurts others,
Continues to fall short,
And am far from being someone worthy of the Lords love.
And in all that,
Fail to receive the love that others are trying to pour into me,
Especially from Levi.
So how do I plan to learn how to forgive and receive forgiveness?
Well I haven’t found a short cut,
Or an easy 10 step plan.
I see it as reading the Word of God,
Pressing into prayer and seeking His truth to overcome the deeply rooted lies.
I see that it takes,
Taking every thought captive and bringing it to the Lord.
That when I feel resentment arise,
Or moments that bring up hurt,
To bring them to Him.
To pray for those who I have a hard time forgiving,
And that when I have a hard time recieving truth being spoken over me,
To pray that those words would overcome the lies I believe.
And through it all,
To keep allowing myself to be refined,
To accept that I am flawed,
And will continue to make mistakes and have to re-learn these lessons,
But to press into our Fathers embrace.
Seeing that I can’t do it alone,
For I long to be free to love others without holding back because of my own insecurities.
I want to be able to live not holding onto anything,
But to let it all go at the feet of Jesus.
So I have a hard time with forgiveness and maybe you don’t,
But slowly I have begun to see the hurt that is arising because of my unforgiveness.
And the funny thing is most things that we hold onto which we probably shouldn’t,
We don’t even know it’s there.
Maybe because it’s how we think we’re wired,
Or blame it on our humanness,
Or that’s just how we are.
But the truth is that most of those things,
Are things we desperatly need to let go of and bring to abandon to the Lord.
For I have found that most of the things which are habit for me,
Actually are things I need to let be stripped off of me so that I can live freely for the Lord.
So I urge you to press into those things which are hard,
The pieces of your heart that you suppress,
The wounds which you keep hidden,
Or the hurt which you hold onto,
And allow the Lord to see the pieces that you’re still nurturing which aren’t bringing you life.
Because maybe for you it’s not just forgiveness,
But other things,
Such as not feeling good enough,
The list could go on.
And believe me,
In no way am I judging you for anything you face.
Because for the most part,
Those are all things that I have faced.
We always want to cling to something when things are hard,
When we feel the situations we face are unbearable,
Or not fair.
And through it all,
I have found that the only One worth clinging too,
Is Jesus Christ.
The One who brings life,
Who breathes freedom back into our weary and heavy burdened souls,
Reminding us that there is more to life than just the here and now.
Than living just to make it by,
Or through this life.
And that is the anthem of hope,
That there are far greater things ahead than anything we leave behind.
But it is a fight,
A beautiful challenge that as we step into living in light of eternity,
We must put on the full armor of God,
And take heart,
For we are never alone in it.
We have a God who holds fast to His promises.
Praying for you that as you begin to work through the things which you have held onto,
That there would be deeper knowledge of His love and grace for you.
That in light of His truths you would come to see the beauty in abiding in Him,
That it is just beyond these rules,
But that it breathes freedom and hope,
Setting us free from the things which steal life from us,
And in it brings us to a place where we can no longer cling to other things but to the
One whom all life flows from,
The Lord Jesus Christ.
You are loved sweet friend,
May the Lord show you the places in your heart which you’re holding onto unforgiveness and through the work of the Holy Spirit replace it with His truth and love.