I don’t know about you, but my patience with summer is wearing thin. I think the first week in August is when I begin to realize anew that I could never be a homeschooling mom. I love my children more than life itself, but there comes a point when breaking up one more argument over whose Nerf bullet is whose, makes me seriously consider drug seeking behavior. Not because of them, of course, but because of me. When I get to the point where I catch myself exhibiting 3-year-old tantrum-like behavior, to get them to stop exhibiting the same, I realize I need some time to cool my jets.
And think through my apology.
I may not be gaining as much ground with my temper (I really am trying!), but I’m doing better at quickly apologizing and asking for forgiveness. As you can imagine, the boys are catching on. One of them in particular. And he’s decided he’s not always going to forgive me, just because I ask. No matter how humble and repentant my request, his new line is “That’s fine, but I’m never going to forgive you.” It’s his precious little way of showing that he’s getting stronger, he has a voice, and he’s gaining independence.
I have a love-hate relationship with that.
I love that he’s growing up and testing the boundaries of who he is becoming. I love that he’s still talking and feels like he can tell me what he’s thinking and feeling. But dear goodness, it breaks my heart that he’s holding onto the hurt. I want so much to heal it for him. I want to make it new, to keep his little heart open and curious and brave. And I can’t control it. Not one bit.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t try.
That’s when I remind him that his lack of forgiveness is hurting him more than it’s hurting me. It’s the age-old lesson that bitterness is like a cancer in his bones. That it will remain an ache in his heart until he lets it go. That it blocks him from enjoying relationships and loving well. He hears me, but sometimes it takes a while to sink in. I was thinking about that this morning.
We all need that reminder sometimes.
That person who hurt you, they were wrong. You didn’t deserve it. They were completely out of line. Maybe they’ve never even apologized. Maybe they don’t have a clue how much it hurts. You have every right to be angry. You have every right to hold on, to hold out and never forgive them. They don’t deserve your forgiveness.
But you do.
Precisely because you didn’t deserve what they did, you do not deserve the pain of holding on to your anger about it. It’s only hurting you and you deserve better. You deserve to get to live free. You deserve peace. You deserve to move on.
Let it go.
Forgive for YOUR heart.
Do it today.
to more love,
P.S. Forgiveness is one of the questions we’ll be tackling at our GNO next Thursday. Come join us.