How do you know when you have forgiven?

There has been a load that I have been carrying for three years.  I’ve referenced it in some previous posts, although my messages have been somewhat cryptic.  I was badly hurt, really betrayed by someone who I worked for and thought very highly of, and considered a friend.  It was one of the most painful times in my life and I chose to walk away from a job, really a vocation, that I truly loved.  As I have said before, sometimes you have to do what you believe is right in your heart.

It took me a while to look through the hurt and find the anger.  But, when I was actually able to let myself feel anger, I knew it was a first step, as crazy as that may sound.

And, after the anger, came the desire to forgive, but that was not a switch that I could just turn on. I prayed and prayed and everything I heard during lent focused on forgiveness.  I wanted to forgive, I really did, but I just didn’t know how and when I thought that I did, did I really?

A couple of days ago, this person reached out to me, after three years, to ask me if I still had a presentation that we had created for the children.  It was a friendly text, and I had to think, as I have done before, that he really wasn’t aware of what he had done and how much hurt he had caused.  I stared at the text for a few minutes, really not knowing what to do with it.

In the end, I realized that I had to be true to who I am and so I provided the slides that I found in my computer.

After the exchange, I realized that, by the Grace of God, I was able to interact with this person in a totally detached way.  There were no strong feelings, positive or negative.

Reflecting back later that day, I was filled with joy.  This had truly been a gift from God.  I finally felt closure, and I felt that I had really forgiven this person.  By no means was this all my doing!  This was a joint effort, surrender on my small part, God’s largesse on the other.

If you ask me to define forgiveness, I would still struggle, but now, I do know exactly how it feels….it is such a freedom… that weight that has been on my heart has been transformed into a thousand butterflies.

 

2 thoughts on “How do you know when you have forgiven?

  1. Forgiveness is not easy and sometimes it isn’t just a one-time thing. Sometimes we have to come back to God for help forgiving the same person for the same incident more than once. I’m so happy that you have come through this difficult experience and now you feel joy! Blessings.

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