Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Forgive…and move on!

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Has anyone ever hurt you? Did your mate cheat on you or break up with you all of a sudden for no reason? Did someone steal your parking space? Has someone lied on you without cause? Were you mistreated because of your size, age, race, hair color, shoe size, ability, or gender? Or were you the victim of pure deception? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, listen up. Forgive and move on.

God calls us daily to forgive those who have wronged us, no matter what the offense. He calls us to let it go, even when the hurt lingers. Pain never feels good, but often God allows us to feel pain so that we can begin to listen more intently to what He has to say to us in a particular area. He wants our attention.

There are numerous times in my life when I have been called upon to forgive. One example is of when I was a young woman and in love with a young man who I thought was my soul mate. We were both intellectually stimulated and came from similar religious backgrounds, or so I thought. We were friends and shared everything, or so I thought. In sharing our goals, it seemed as if we also had similar life goals and desires for family, or so I thought. But little did I know that he had not been totally open with me, and many of the notions that I thought were similarities were mere deceptions.

During my sophomore year of college, we had begun to discuss marriage. What was to happen during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college was supposed to be a marriage proposal. What happened instead knocked me for a loop.

I had studied abroad during the spring semester of that year in Paris. While there, I wrote letters and send him postcards. He responded once or twice. My roommate noticed his lack of attention and I had played it off as insignificant. I continued to write, not listening to my gut and the knowing that something was not right. I did not want to face the fact that maybe I had not made a good choice in choosing to go as far as I’d gone with him. And I wanted God to make it right. But God didn’t make it right and allowed me to feel intense pain.

Near the end of the summer in what seemed like a normal telephone conversation, he dropped the bomb. Although we had shared many conversations, events, and activities, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear. Instead of proposing or even continuing the proposed marriage conversation, he told me that he was bisexual.

It was the late 1970’s and back then the only sexuality that was openly acceptable was heterosexuality. I was stunned. As I hung up the phone, I wondered what I would do next. I couldn’t tell anyone because all of my family, his family, and my friends thought of us as having the potential to make a nice married couple. The expectation was that we would be together. Furthermore, pastors and churches did not even address sexual issues, let alone homosexuality. I turned inward, and wondered what might be wrong with me for him to say such a thing. We had been intimate and everything seemed normal to me. I continued to hope that he would rethink his thoughts and decide to be heterosexual. It didn’t happen.

By September of that year, he declared that he was homosexual and that he would only pursue relationships with men. I was devastated.
So how did it end? And what did I do? Well, first of all, I immediately entered another unhealthy relationship on the rebound (another story for another day). My self-esteem plummeted and I blamed him for many years for destroying what coulda, shoulda, woulda been a “good relationship.” I was angry with him and carried that anger from one failed relationship to another. It took me years to learn to forgive and come to terms with what really happened.

So what really happened? He potentially saved my life by eventually telling me the truth about his sexuality. His honesty, however painful it was at the time, saved the hurt that often comes when individuals choose to live a lie. And God allowed me to feel that pain to save me from a situation that could have been ten times worse than what it was.

And what did I learn? I learned that even in pain, it is important to forgive. Forgiveness is not for the other person; it’s for you. It releases you to cleanse your emotions, thoughts, and feelings in order to be able to attract the new and refreshing love of others. It releases you from the pitfalls of anger and bitterness, and thereby, allowing you to become a better person. And finally, forgiveness allows you to heal. Wherever pain has been, there is a scar that represents the wound where the skin was opened and the tissue was exposed, but forgiveness allows the wound to heal and to become less noticeable.

Forgiveness for me began with acknowledging my part in the situation. I had to own it. Then, I had to begin to say the words “I forgive him” to myself so that I could begin to heal and move forward in a more positive and healthy direction. It was at that point that my healing began. I had to say it more than once until it was truly manifested in me.

Today, he and I are dear friends. As we talk and share today, I thank him for his honesty at that time, even though it was painful. He continues to share that he could not live with such a lie and that he thought it was best for all involved.

God calls each of us to forgive those who have wronged us, no matter what the offense. It is when we hold on to unforgiveness that we become angrier and bitter. That bitterness is often reflected in all that we do. It hinders our walk with God, and keeps us from attracting better.

What unforgiveness are you holding? Let it go. Forgive, and move on.

Read Matthew 6:14-15