"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it."
-- Mark Twain
No other gift has such a high price tag. To offer it freely you have to pay the price of being hurt, cheated, treated unjustly, rejected, taken advantage of, abused, destroyed or maligned. Forgiveness is priceless. With trembling hands I realize there are a thousand ways to bleed and to experience the pain of a broken heart- to ask the hurt to offer forgiveness seems an offense of epic proportions.
to be set free completely from the chains of our abuser, we must stare the demon within our own hearts that bubbles up within us- that place of searing heat that seeks to inflame our insides and offer up to Christ a chance to douse the flames of bitterness within the cooling waters of His peace.
To see the Truth and confront the voices that hiss condemnation, fear, desperation and death.
Be reminded of who you are Beloved.
Forgiveness is not an act of weakness but a show of strength- a place to look at the pain caused to you and speak the Truth of Christ into it. Where you can stand tall and know who you are and claim His love over you.
When I was 13 years old, three teenage girls would bully me, taunt me and strike fear into my heart as I walked home from school. I hated them, I hated how they made me feel- worthless, fearful, weak and ugly. I would run home and plot my revenge. They haunted my dreams at night and consumed my days as I tried to figure out how to flee from their presence. One day my older male cousins found out I was being bullied and drove down to confront my attackers. My cousins were imposing and they told those bully girls who I was- I was their cousin and they would not stand for anyone attacking me. Those girls never bothered me again. When my cousins stood next to them they suddenly looked small and frightened. I saw them for who they truly were- with little power to truly destroy me. It was at the moment I saw who I was and who they were that I was able to forgive. Jesus hanging on the cross and about to die prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." It sounds as if Jesus was not grasping their evil yet Jesus knew there was a bigger story- Jesus's accusers meant it for evil but God used it for good. Those who tried to destroy our Savior, God used to ignite the plan of redemption He laid out for us from before the foundation of the world. Our God is sovereign! He overcame death and rose again so that we might have life.
Out of the ashes comes beauty.
Beloved ones- one day your abuser or attacker will stand and answer for the pain they caused God's most cherished child. The Truth is your Protector sees the injustice and weeps over your pain. Forgiveness comes when you see yourself as God sees you- Beautiful, strong, empowered, whole, priceless in His eyes. Those who would, with their actions, speak to you anything contrary to this is lying to you. Can you see how small they are compared to WHO stands next to you? Can you see the picture of beauty that God is making from the ashes of your pain?
Forgiveness does not mean placing yourself in harms way- it is standing strong in the Truth of who you are in Christ. When you forgive, you release yourself from the power that those who have hurt you have over you. It is a beautiful thing when the violet that is crushed releases the very essence of who it is- fragrant and beloved.
How hard it is to write to beautiful you. I know your pain, the hurt you've experienced and I grieve for and with you. I am not advocating placing yourself in harms way at all- I am asking you to give your hurt to Christ so He can show you His Truth. Will you share with us all here your journey to offering forgiveness a midst all the devastation and pain?