Go back to when you met your first love…you were on an unexplainable natural high all day and night! This person was your world! In your eyes, they could do no wrong. You thrived on their every word, and they were your food, shelter, and water. You dreamed about them day and night. Every person, place, and thing you came in contact with, reminded you of them. You were IN LOVE, and although you really didn’t understand how this one person could have such an impact on your world, you knew this one thing…you never wanted the feeling to end, and you didn’t care who knew it!
Everyone around you knew you were in love because you wore it. You were the happiest you had ever been in life; smiling and laughing all the time. Nobody, and I mean nobody, could ruin your mood, and especially your day. It could be storming outside, and you could see the beauty in the lighting, thunder, and rain. Life was just great and whoever didn’t know it, when they came in contact with you, they knew it was great too!
Then the unthinkable happens, the love of your life does the ultimate no-no in your book , and you’re DEVASTATED! You can’t sleep, you either didn’t want to eat or you ate all day, the things and places that once brought you joy, now made you cry; and I mean booo-whoo-whoo-whoo cry, until your eyes were red, and your cheeks had permanent streaks in them from the tears. The same people who noticed your once blissful state in life, now noticed something was extremely wrong, and they knew it probably had to do with your “love-front.”
You didn’t care how you looked when you went out. Your hair was barely combed, if at all, you didn’t put your makeup on as usual, and you would put on your gym clothes instead of your usual pumps, dress pants, and silk blouse. Not only did you look a hot mess, you felt it too. Life just wasn’t worth living any more, at least that’s how you felt anyway…After ignoring many calls from your love, you finally answer and all you hear on the other end is “PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I MISS YOU, I LOVE YOU, I NEED YOU, PLEASE… ”and although your heart is hurt, you accept their apology.
What was it that made you forgive your first love even though they hurt you?
It was a number of things, but the main reason was, you remembered the feelings associated with the memories linked to them, and because you wanted to experience those feelings again, you forgave them. You still love them, but it’s with caution now. In the back of your mind, you question everything they say and do, and at times even verbally, and you begin to realize, even though you still love them, things are not the same. The feelings that you thought would be restored are there, but your heart won’t let you express them freely and you keeping asking yourself “why can’t I get those feelings back??”
Here’s what’s different: you were deeply hurt and even though you forgave that person with your mouth, you didn’t forgive them with your heart due to the hurt…it just wouldn’t let you. Forgiveness is the first step to healing any hurt, and once we’re able to forgive from our heart, we’re able to love freely again. God tells us in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert” meaning when a person misses the mark with you, whether or not they come to you with a contrite heart asking for your forgiveness or not, you must forgive them with a sincere heart.. Once you forgive them, God forgives them and thinks no more of it, so you have to do the same.
How do I forget the hurt they caused me when my heart is still hurting?
God does not expect us to literally “forget” the hurt, that’s too close to impossible. The word forget in Hebrew means to ignore, neglect, forsake, and willfully act in disregard to a person or covenant. It is to act as if you have forgotten, meaning you must refrain from holding the hurt they caused you over their head and you can’t continue to bring it up every time you talk to them or see them. Verse 19 of Isaiah 43 tells us not to worry about how, we must let God handle it. By opening our heart and accepting their forgiveness, we’re allowing God to do his part in the healing process. That which was once hot-with anger, dry and dehydrated-because you’ve cried until you have no more tears to cry, and dusty-which didn’t allow you to think clearly; the desert, God will miraculously cause rivers of comfort, love, and peace to flow freely and abundantly.
Through forgiveness, the situations and relationships we thought we would never be able to entertain or be involved in again, will be obtainable with ease… even if it’s with different people. Which brings me to my next point with forgiveness: it is perfectly fine to truly forgive, forget, and let go.
God is not telling us to “forgive and forget” and at the same time be a doormat. When we forgive, and the person continues to miss the mark with us, yes, we must forgive them, however we can also decide in our heart to love them from a distance. Everyone who enters our life, is not meant to be there for a lifetime. Some people enter our lives for a season, and after that season has come to an end, they leave our lives. They may not leave permanently, for instance, we may see them at mutual places and we speak to them, or you may call each other from time to time, but they are no longer a part of your everyday life. The test of knowing if you have truly forgiven a person, is having no ill feelings towards them. When you see them, you’re able to smile and greet them with sincerity. If they come to you with a need, and you’re able to help them, then help them, that’s what forgiveness is and what our Father God would do!
The same thoughts you had of love to forgive that person that hurt you, are the same thoughts of love and sincerity God wants you to have towards everyone who has or will hurt you. It doesn’t matter if the people who have committed trespasses against you were a significant other you were involved in an intimate relationship with, a family member, a co-worker or employer, or a complete stranger, we must forgive them, whether they come to us or not. Always remember Forgiveness is for us!
Keys to living a healthy life through Forgiveness:
- forgive those who have hurt you, whether they come to you and ask for forgiveness or not
- don’t focus on the hurt, instead focus on the love of God
- know that the God will restore your heart and allow blessings (rivers) of comfort, love and peace to live in you!
Love & Peace