Saturday, December 30, 2023



I hate how the human heart and mind ebb and flow through crisis periods of life.

One day, you are doing well; the next, you are in bed until 1pm.

Such was today, with a beginning embedded in last night.   I woke up at 5am, read messages already on my phone from a few early-riser friends, and rolled over.

I finally got up a few hours later, but it wasn't long before my mind and body both betrayed me, and I was back under the covers watching the next few episodes of The Crown.

Finally, at 1PM, the sun was trying to peek through my bedroom blinds and break through the 36-degree weather outside.  I threw back the covers and made my way to the kitchen to talk myself into some positivity while making coffee, eggs, and bacon.

At 1:45PM, I decided to see what God had to say today.  I'd already been to my little bedroom altar in prayer and tears, after a night full of arguing with God.  Surely, He had something good to give me in response to our conversations together.

A girlfriend of mine, whose marriage dissolved this year - after multiple decades - send an encouraging picture and a few texts.  I guess those of us in "misery" love company, but nothing seem to be reaching me today.

I'm at a point where my broken heart just feels like a millstone around my neck.  No matter how much praying I do for healing, it's like the Lord is saying, "No, keep going."  I am despising social media, tv movies, and even going out to eat right now.  Seeing couples together on dates just kills me and makes me incredibly sad.  "Keep going out with friends," everyone says - but it doesn't help.  You just carry the sadness and heaviness of your heart with you, like a piece of luggage.

I'm not really sure how to escape it anymore.  I just keep writing, journaling, praying, and crying.  Eventually, it has to stop, right?

I think that maybe if I knew this hurt wasn't one-sided or if an olive branch was extended, I might be able to heal differently, better, or quicker.  I have asked for forgiveness multiple times (each time, it has been denied), and I have extended multiple olive branches (none taken).  My heart hurts from a type of love I have not experienced before - and from a walking away I don't understand.

I know the love still exists between us both, but I'm not sure why the desire to work through the hurts is absent.  So, to open up today's reading and read Ephesians 4:2 was a little surprising, "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

One thing I am 100% sure of is this - my prayers for my partner have not ceased, and I have seen at least one of them answered.

I will always be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving.  Because that is what we are called to do - endlessly.

I can't imagine doing anything else.

Forgiveness is hard.  (Which is probably why my ex will not grant it.) In the book of Phillipians, we are told that we can do all things through Christ.  This includes forgiving those that have hurt us.  Forgiving not only releases those that are asking for our forgiveness, but it releases us as well.

I have forgiven my ex for leaving us (four times to be exact) because I know the underlying root cause, and it releases me from harboring anger and resentment towards him and within my soul.

I have asked for forgiveness from my ex multiple times for hurting him, for being selfish, and for also being self-centered - even though I know the root cause (which I wrote about yesterday).  Asking for forgiveness releases me from carrying the guilt and shame of hurting someone I deeply love.  If that forgiveness is ever finally accepted and granted, my ex will be able to release the deep hurts he is still carrying toward me and our relationship.

The act of granting forgiveness is an act of kindness (our fifth Fruit of the Spirit).  Granting forgiveness often becomes a war between the Spirit and our flesh.  If the hurt happened multiple times or if the relationship was deep, the war raging within us may take a little while to sort itself out.  (I think that's what my ex and I are dealing with at the moment.)

One Bible verse I have been praying for (over myself) these past few weeks is one I learned to memorize early on as a new Christian - 2 Cor. 5:17, "Behold, old things are passed away; all things become like new."

In order to walk in full kindness and forgiveness and to renew relationships and love, we must be able to let old things pass away and become like new.

Today, I read a few things forgiveness is NOT.  I think these are good reminders to all of us that when you forgive someone, you are not losing these things:

1. Forgiveness is NOT claiming our pain isn’t genuine. We can forgive and still acknowledge our broken hearts.

2. Forgiveness is NOT condoning or saying someone's behavior was appropriate.

3. Forgiveness is NOT forgetting. We aren’t wired this way.

4. Forgiveness is NOT a feeling. The Bible teaches us the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). If we’re waiting to feel forgiving towards someone, it may never happen.

5. Forgiveness is NOT an invitation to be a doormat. Expressing clear boundaries of what’s ok and what’s not is very important.

6. Forgiveness is NOT trust. Trust is earned. It requires the offender to repent and show consistency in healthy behaviors for trust to return.

7. Holding on to unforgiveness is NOT powerful. It doesn’t give us control, it deceives and enslaves us.

Those are amazing points, and things I know my ex is struggling with.  It is OKAY to forgive your partner, rebuild relationships, and still love them.  Forgiveness does not mean everything is fine.  It is just a first step to release both parties to move ahead freely and begin the healing process.

In fact, here are some more points of what forgiveness is:

1. Forgiveness IS a decision. Sometimes our feelings and intentions to forgive aren’t always in sync, but the Lord will help us align our heads and hearts in obedience to His will.

2. Forgiveness IS strength and courage. Courage is the ability to be strong amidst pain and grief.

3. Forgiveness IS freedom from the weight and heaviness of the offense we’ve been carrying.

4. Forgiveness IS freedom from bitterness.

5. Forgiveness IS costly. It cost Jesus His very life to provide us forgiveness we don’t deserve.

6. Forgiveness IS a command (Colossians 3:13; Matthew 18:21–22; Luke 17:3–4). 

I'll wrap it up with this.  If Jesus can grant forgiveness, after being flogged, spit upon, and beat beyond recognition, I can forgive a person leaving me multiple times.  I can see past the sin and root causes of those leavings, and I can love through them to forgive a person I love deeply.

People are worth saving.  Jesus showed us that.

I can forgive people I love (and, honestly, those I don't) because Jesus did it first, and more importantly, because He told me to.

I don't know when Jesus will heal my heart completely.  I am still in love with a man I had planned to marry and grow old with.  In time, Jesus will reveal the path and plan for my life.  The road is pretty painful right now, but when I sit down to read Scripture or pray, my heart and mind are filled with so much HOPE.

And I love that.
Dear Lord, You have given me so much love and forgiveness. I don’t deserve it. I want to be obedient to Your command to forgive. You ask, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say” (Luke 6:46 NKJV)? I need help, Lord. Allow my head and heart to align. My head knows I’m called to forgive, but my heart still hurts. Please reveal any root of bitterness and heal my hurting heart. Please help me to be kind and tenderhearted, just like You. Amen.

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