Chapter 3 | Un-forgiveness | Why Your Life Sucks | My Biggest OMG Moment Of My ENTIRE Life.

Refusing to forgive will hold us back from being successful in every single area of our lives. With un-forgiveness comes a plethora of other nasty emotions and begrudges. Un- forgiveness mainly hurts you, not the one you need to forgive. When I looked at my own life and realized that I had people who I needed to forgive, it wasn’t fun. Here was what was in my mind and what might be in yours as well:

“Oh, I don’t need to forgive. They were so mean and awful that they don’t deserve my forgiveness.”

“I have already forgiven them, but I am sure waiting for them to come to me and apologize—I bet that will never happen, though.”Those thoughts are laced with bitterness, pride and resentment. I unknowingly knew it well. You see, I thought I had forgiven and moved past them. But my day to day thoughts about certain people were far different from those of someone who had forgiven, healed and moved on in a healthy way.One of my biggest misconceptions about forgiveness was that the other person would just ‘get away’ with what they did.

In some ways we can think un-forgiveness will protect us, that if we forgive wholeheartedly we will be saying that the offense that was against us was okay and validated. But that is not the truth of it.Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.Nearly ten years later I saw that I still had up my walls of un-forgiveness to protect me from any more pain and abandonment.

Who do you need to forgive? Unless you have already worked through your forgiveness, I am going to help you identify it. What I don’t want you to do is gaze. By ‘gaze,’ I mean I don’t want you to try really really hard to ‘find’ someone who you need to forgive. I remember someone in our church asked me during prayer if there was anyone I needed to forgive. “Anyone? Anyone at all?” He asked. “Are you sure?” I felt badgered! Like oh my goodness if I don’t figure out who I need to forgive I won’t live life to the fullest and everything will be ruined and I will die miserable.

Please.God is the God of restoration and there isn’t anybody or anything that can ruin that. For me it took God revealing it to me. At that time I honestly didn’t see that I had refused to forgive anyone, even my mom. But if you know your heart is clean and you have forgiven those who have hurt you; you will be free and not carry around the weight that un-forgiveness takes. It’s a part of life that everyone has been hurt at one time or will be hurt in the future. This happens knowingly and unknowingly.

Here are signs of un-forgiveness:

  • Tendency to blame others
  • Irritability or easy frustration
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Repetitive sin habits
  • Feeling like you have to prove yourself to other people

If you can relate to any of these habits then you might have un-forgiveness present in your life:

  • Rehearsing speeches (I am guilty of this one!)
  • Holding negative thoughts towards someone
  • Avoiding a relationship/contact with that person
  • Secretly hoping for retaliation
  • Doubting that you can truly be happy for others when
    good things come their way

In 2005, I had a moment with God about my dad. I thought I had forgiven him for not providing for our family and being the role model that I needed in my young life. The confusion of being six years old and not understanding what was happening with my family was devastating.

As I sat there praying, I envisioned myself carrying my dad and laying him down at the foot of the cross and forgiving him. I was 23 at the time and knew that laying him down meant that I was releasing the anger, bitterness, sadness and disappointment I had toward my father, and I finally forgave him and gave him to my Heavenly Father. Even after that vision, I still didn’t have much of a relationship with my dad. It was as if he was a stranger to me. I tried to write a letter here and there, but nothing really grew from my inconsistent attempts.In 2008, it was as if I woke up out of bed one day and was in love with my dad again. I HAD to go see him! (He lived in Colorado and I was still in Maryland.) I felt this urgency and told Brad I had to do this. By myself. I took action and booked my flight.

I couldn’t understand why I felt the way that I did—it was like a switch.At this time of this all happening, my dad was in the hospital. I was able to talk with him on the phone, although I could not understand what he was saying. He had just come out of surgery. I told him that I loved him and I asked him to hang on and recover because I was coming to see him. I cannot understand what happened to me, but all I know is I needed to see my dad. I needed to tell him I love him and ask for his forgiveness for not being the daughter to him that I could have.

I imagined caring for him and brushing his hair and just sitting with him. I had no other motive but to just love him.I know this was God working in me because the abundant love I had for this man that had emotionally abandoned me didn’t make any sense at the time. My dad never reached out to me and asked for forgiveness. He didn’t apologize and try to make things right after all those years. But I forgave him anyway and I wanted him to know my new love for him. My flight took off at 10:28 am. I was to fly to Phoenix and have a layover and then fly into Colorado. I had a great flight and sat next to an amazing woman who sweetly gave me half of her delicious turkey sandwich. I look back and remember asking God if I could sit next to an angel. I was excited for this journey and knew anything was possible!

When I arrived in Phoenix I turned my phone on to call Brad to let him know I got there okay. I had six messages. The first one asked me to call my uncle. The second one was from my oldest brother telling me that Dad had passed away at 10:26 am that morning. I fell to my knees as tears and sadness poured out of me. I was confused and desperately asked myself if I could somehow figure out the formula to go back in time. I had to. I needed to tell him that I love him!

“Wait, no! I didn’t get to tell him! I didn’t get to tell him!” I cried out through my tears and heartache.I sat in the airport on my knees for what seemed like days. I was raw, emotional and totally alone with more sadness and heartbreak than I have ever experienced. I am amazed at the kind people who stopped to see why I was sobbing. They had genuine hearts and shared my brokenness and vulnerability while in the most fast-paced place on earth.A security guard came to me because people had reported a distressed young girl by the moving walkway. He walked me to the terminal to figure out what flight I could take home.I was on a mission to see my dad that came to an abrupt halt of which I had no control over whatsoever. I asked God, “What do I do next?” And I heard him say, “You are doing it.”

I was obedient to go see my dad. I wasn’t angry that it didn’t work out exactly how I had pictured it. I had no other choice but to go with it and figure out how to get home to my family.

 

The work of forgiving my dad had already been completed. I would have never been able to forgive myself if he had passed away and I was sitting at home on the couch. My presence in Phoenix was the only comforting thing to me, knowing that I was doing everything humanly possible to be with him. My mission ended earlier than expected and I was honestly okay because I knew God had worked things out so that it was best for me. I don’t have any other explanation for it.One of the most important things I learned was how people were open with me when they saw how vulnerable and raw I was. I did not hide anything. Every person I talked to would ask what was going on because I was wearing my emotions on the outside. I could not help it. It looked like I had been crying and starving for days.People need relationships. Genuine relationships that are real, inspiring and honest.

That security guard who walked with me told me that his brother died unexpectedly and that he was angry. A gentleman I sat next to in the terminal told me his dad had an affair outside of marriage and he was so hurt to go through that. Then there was a man I sat next to on the plane as we were stalled on the runway due to weather (I was re-routed to Las Vegas to catch a connecting flight to Baltimore). He was a talker to the tenth degree!When he asked if I was going to Vegas to party with my friends I simply said, “No”. He then asked, ”Well then, what are your plans when you get there?” Despite the tears running down my cheeks, I told him that I was on my way to see my dad and he passed away before I could see him, and now I was trying to get back home to my kids and husband.He was shocked and speechless. This stranger began to have a great amount of warmth and condolences. He then began to tell me his life story and then some. The man told me about his past, about his work and all about his relationships; I learned that he had three stepdads and could never commit to a woman because he had been badly hurt in his past relationships.

I began to encourage him and tell him that all things will work out for our good, even in the most painful times.I realized that this man sitting next to me felt safe enough to tell me things he had never told anyone else before. He saw how vulnerable I was. He was 65 and I was 26. His spirit connected with mine, and he felt that he could open up to me without any judgment. There is no other way to explain it. I felt God was using me to help this man in a way that maybe no other person had before. God knew I would be sitting next to this individual on the runway for hours at the exact moment that I was facing these distressing circumstances.

At the time, I just wanted to grieve by myself and take comfort in my own quiet tears. But God had another plan for me, and that was meeting that man on the plane that I never got the name of.And that woman I sat next to? Ironically, she was on her way to her aunt’s funeral. She indeed was an angel. That half of her sandwich was the only think I ate or drank for the entire 48 hours that I was being re-routed back to Baltimore. I couldn’t stomach the thought of ingesting anything to eat or drink.

Un-forgiveness will eat away at you and can look like the following:

  • ⁃  Conversing with yourself in your head and asking yourself how to set a certain person straight, and how to get the last word in the conversation and be correct.
  • ⁃  Thinking, “I’m so sick of [Insert name here] thinking they are the best and that they have everything figured out.”
  • ⁃  Thinking, “Everything always goes just perfect for them.” !
    While ruminating on these phrases, did you think of anyone you need to forgive? I say these things only from experience. Bitterness is one of the consequences of un- forgiveness. Here’s the thing about forgiveness—it is undeserved. We have been forgiven by a loving and tender Heavenly Father that we are undeserving of. Whether your God is the same as mine or not, you were forgiven before you were even born.

The person that wronged you may or may not have come to you and asked for forgiveness. Whether you choose to walk in and forgive them is up to you. Forgiveness is about setting you free from those emotions that are eating you away. Forgiveness is NOT for the person who hurt you; rather it is FOR you. Think about it: the other person isn’t walking around worrying or wondering if you forgave them. But those thoughts that run through your head are laced with bitterness and are constantly thinking of that exchange that hurt you. This ultimately robs you from the fullness of the happiness that you are meant to have.

ACTION STEPS:
✓ Imagine yourself carrying that person to the foot of the cross. You lie them down and leave behind them and the pain that they have caused you. It is only out of their weaknesses and pains that they have caused you pain.
I am very proud of you! This is the first step to becoming who you are designed to be and also who you deep down want to become.

✓ You may need to revisit this and re-forgive if it was an especially difficult circumstance that you have trouble letting be. Just know that is normal. What you are doing by repeating the previous action step is creating a new habit to forgive when those feelings come up again.

To Read the rest of the chapters and get your copy of Why Your Life Sucks – CLICK HERE NOW.

I want to hear from you! Have you experienced a time when you knew you needed to forgive someone and were set free from the bondage of un-forgiveness? Tell me more in the comment section below!

xoxo,

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