Forgiveness never used to come easily for me… and in the end, it was me who that ended up hurting most.
Even as a little girl I would hold grudges. And I mean really hold a grudge. I would go days without speaking to my mom or my dad if they had said or done something that rubbed me the wrong way. I would write down every grievance I had with my brother in my little diary. I literally kept a record of wrongdoings. And the older I got, I didn’t have to write these things down because I had them memorized.
You all, I can’t tell you how much hurt unforgiveness brought me over the years. It wasn’t until my early college years, when I had hit my personal rock bottom, where things changed for me. I remember crying out to the Lord and asking Him for forgiveness and guidance. I felt immediately convicted that I expected forgiveness from God, yet I was unwilling to forgive others. Hypocrisy at its finest.
It was from that moment on that I worked hard practicing forgiveness. Yes, WORKED. It didn’t come easily for me. But as I let go and forgave past hurts (from friends and family who never even knew they hurt me because I had said nothing), and I made a conscious decision to forgive, I began to feel a weight lifted off my shoulders that I hadn’t realized was even there.
Let me tell you, being forgiven and forgiving others is the BEST! I am happier, I am more joyful, I am more understanding, and my relationships are able to thrive now! It can be hard to not want to hold a grudge, but it’s truly so much better to choose to forgive and let it go. It’s not worth the pain and bitterness that hardens your heart, which is the alternative. Also, if God can forgive someone like me, with as many flaws and failures as I have, I can certainly extend forgiveness to others ❤️