“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim--letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” (C.R. Strahan)
Forgiveness does not mean that I have to like what he did to me. It does not mean that I was okay with what he did. And it definitely does not remove the pain that he caused. Forgiveness makes nothing go away.
But see, holding onto un-forgiveness, it takes so much energy, so much time, and so much soul. Every day, another piece of me was consumed by this hatred of this guy who did nothing but hurt me. This guy who never even deserved my attention and my heart in the first place. It got to the point when it was just too exhausting to hate him anymore.
The Bible, it teaches us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to forgive those who have wronged us. Jesus himself teaches love. And if I am to truly allow Jesus into my heart, allow him to consume my wants and desires, allow him control of my life, holding onto this hatred becomes a fight inside of me. A fight that just drives me further from the only one who can love me perfectly.
The idea of this separation--it's just simply unbearable.
Because in this perfect love, God sent His Son to die so that I could spend eternity in perfect love.
In this perfect love, I am held in the palm of God's hand, comforted by the only one who can heal my heart.
In this perfect love, God promises justice.
He doesn't overlook what happened. He sees it. And He loves me perfectly in spite of it. And if the Creator of the universe can love all of us, in our brokenness, and forgive us, then certainly, I can forgive this one person, right?
No. I can't.
But because of Jesus, I can.
Because Jesus gives me the power to forgive.
He gives me the strength.
And no, this is not easy for me.
But I have a Savior who makes all things possible.
And because of Jesus, I can forgive. Because I have already been forgiven.