Tag Archives: disappointments

The Process of Forgiveness.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. Every time I would go to write it, I would stop. It seemed too difficult to tell the story well. To tell the story of forgiveness. I hope I serve the art of forgiving well as I share my heart today.

I believe the process of forgiveness looks different according to each situation. Many times it’s easy. It’s easy to forgive your children for forgetting to clean their room. It’s easy to forgive your spouse when he doesn’t meet an expectation. It’s easy, or it should be easy, to forgive a friend when they disappoint you. Why? Because, we are making allowances for each other’s faults. So, immediate forgiveness makes sense. The process is hardly a process at all.

But deep hurts of betrayal or of life-changing wrong-doing require a process of forgiveness. I don’t know that I truly understood this until last year when my family was forced to walk through it. Even the process of forgiving John Henry’s dad was easier. As crazy as it sounds, that hurt was not a hurt that was meant to deliberately hurt me or him. While it affected us, it wasn’t about us. It was about him. I know this is a hard pill for some to swallow who have experienced their spouse leaving them. But, because of the love I had for both of them and the awareness that it wasn’t about me, walking in forgiveness was an easy process. It didn’t make the hurt any less. I still had to live with the decision. But, it did make releasing any anger and resentment possible and quick. Am I making sense? See the difference? The hurt stayed a while, but the resentment did not.

Last year, I experienced a different kind of hurt. The kind that affects your entire family. The kind where intentions just don’t seem right. The kind where you have no emotional ties to the instigators, so there seems to be no reason to “let them off the hook.” I was hurt. I felt violated, betrayed, angry, resentful. Where was the justice, the fairness, the accountability? Every feeling was necessary for me to feel. The hard part in it all was trying not to lose who I was in it. Trying not to forget who HE was in me. Who HE is in each of us. I wanted to forgive. I would pray and release them, but I would find myself meeting that anger again whenever I allowed my mind to go there. Forgiveness was going to be hard. I was initially hard on myself, because, I felt like I knew better. I knew it was necessary. But, I never understood the process of this kind of hurt until I had to walk through it.

So, I learned that sometimes forgiveness is a journey. But, it has to be an intentional journey. It has to be so intentional that you set out every day with the goal of releasing it. You set your heart on the mission of letting them off the hook. It did not happen with a prayer. It didn’t happen with a single decision. It happened with multiple decisions. It happened with the realization that sometimes forgiveness is a process. It’s a decision you have to make over and over and over. Every single day. Until the hurt is gone.

It’s deliberate. It’s a daily choice. And, it’s a process.

Eventually, I framed my world to release the hurt and forgiveness so many times that it finally happened. I was free. And, so were the ones who hurt me.

Don’t stay in deep-rooted hurt. Don’t accept that your hurt will always be there. Take the journey. Go through the process. Keep making the choice to forgive over and over until that hurt no longer carries any weight.

Besides learning that sometimes forgiveness is a process, I also learned how little other hurts really are. I learned, that at the end of the day, it should be so easy to allow those we love to fail us. To let go of little things like someone not meeting your expectations. It became so easy to always fill in the gap of my expectations and disappointments with love and forgiveness. Everything else became so small. The people in my life became so big….as did my love for them. The decisions we made after our big hurt made our lives richer. Better. Nothing went to waste, and God has used it ALL for our good.

All of it.

If you’re holding onto hurt, choose to go through the process of forgiveness. Allow God to work even that for your good. He loves you, and His ways are so, so good. So worth it. YOU are worth it.


Filed under disappointment, God Stuff, Life Experiences, Relationships, Spiritual Journey

Oh, But For the Grace

What is God’s grace?  A shortened version:  It’s God’s unmerited favor.  Often times God’s grace is confused with God’s mercy.  It’s by God’s mercy that I don’t really get all that I deserve.  But, it’s God’s grace that we can draw from when we go through difficult times.

Oswald Chambers writes:

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “. . . in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested ( 2 Corinthians 6:4 ). Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

“To draw upon as needed….”  The measure of grace God gives someone who just lost their child is much greater than the measure of grace I might need for a financial struggle.  But, His grace is always sufficient.  No matter what situation we are in.  We just have to draw on it.

Kris and I were talking about how our life is going to change when Jett arrives.  How am I going to deal with the stresses of a newborn, two kids in school, and being so far away from my momma?  Then, I remembered when John Henry was born.

I was a single mother.  I was the only one getting up in the middle of the night with him.  I was the only one clothing him, bathing him, and feeding him.  By the time he was six weeks old, I was back at work.  I would get him up in the mornings, get him dressed and fed, and put him in his little bouncy seat.  I’d put that bouncy seat in my bathroom while I showered and got ready for work.   Then, off we’d go.

I don’t remember any moments where I was ready to pull my hair out.  I do remember an overwhelming peace in our little home.  I remember a sweet baby boy who began sleeping through the night early.  I remember not wanting to go out for New Year’s Eve, because I just wanted to spend the evening with him. 

What was it that made our first few months alone together so peaceful?  So wonderful?

I’m pretty sure it was God’s grace on my life.  I never stopped crying out to Him.  I never stopped praying that God would make something great of my disappointment in life – my divorce. 

He did.  He was faithful.  And, in the meantime of going through it all, His grace was sufficient. 

Sometimes, I forget to draw on that grace today.  That unmerited favor of God.  So, He reminds me of how His grace was sufficient when…..

And when……

And when…..

And, then?  I count my stones.


Filed under disappointment, divorce, God Stuff, Motherhood, Spiritual Journey