stitchesI was wronged.  I was taken for granted.  My objections, fears, and questions were voiced; they were heard and disregarded.  I felt insignificant, powerless, and defeated.

It forced me into a period of questioning.  “I know I’m at the right place.  I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.  Why this?  Why now?”  “If it’s said my contribution is so highly valued and yet I’m disregarded in this very significant way, can I trust anything else I hear?”  “What does being valued look like–personally and professionally?”

When news seeped out, I felt forced to defend the decision that wounded me.  “Times are tough.”  “God’s going to provide.”  “They didn’t see any other way to meet all the needs.”

Each question was valid.  So was each defense.  Neither one negates the other.

It took more than a few deep breaths, a bit of venting, and innumerable tears to get to the place of acceptance.  I accepted the new reality, and I moved on.  I did what I’d been doing and tried to step up the pace in some areas.  I thought by pushing through, by making it work, everything would be OK.

I was wrong.  The surface of the wound appeared to be healed.  A little poking around showed some tenderness, but I thought that was it.  I convinced myself  it was just a sore spot and nothing more.

Since the beginning of the year there has been a domino effect of events that made me see a few things.  The skin of the wound may look healed, but the deep tissue is still in great pain. That shocked me. The events also helped me realize I’m responsible for the lack of healing.

I adjusted.  I pushed through.  I accepted the new paradigm while simultaneously spending a lot of energy holding onto the idea of the old one.  I didn’t forgive. Acceptance and forgiveness are very different things.

I wanted those who had injured me to acknowledge my wound.  I wanted them to see my pain.  I wanted them to say they were sorry.  I wanted to hold onto my pain until . . . well, until I decided they had earned my forgiveness.

How ridiculous of me!  I set myself up as plaintiff, judge and jury.  I put myself in a position higher than God.  I tilled fertile soil to for seeds of bitterness to take root.  I was wrong.

Realizing all this took a safe place to be heard.  It took hearing the wounds of a friend in the same situation.  It took a few questions asked of a room full of people, but unwittingly aimed with heavenly precision towards my heart.

Have I forgiven?  I think it’s fair and safe to say I’m in process.  I’ve stopped waiting and I’ve given up my right to whatever it is I thought I had a right to.  I’ve repented of  my unforgiveness.  I’ve let go of animosity—even though it wants to creep back.  I hold no ill will towards those who caused the wounds.  I’ve forgiven them—yes; but there are moments when I think I want to take it back.

Right now this forgiveness is a process.  It’s a regular relinquishing of my rights.  It’s a regular extending of grace.  One day the wound will be healed.  The relinquishing—in this case—will no longer be an issue.  Grace will imbue everything.  I look forward to that day because today it’s still a constant choice.  It’s a choice I make willingly for all of us, but it’s still a choice.

What about you?  Are there any sore spots indicating deep wounds that need tending?

photo courtesy of Miguel Saavedra

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Today I’ve joined the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week Bonnie’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith and life related topic.  This is my riff on “Forgiveness.”  I’d love to read your thoughts on the topic.  Please leave a comment or a link to your blog if you’ve jammed on this.  And if you haven’t blogged on it, please leave some of your thoughts in the comment section below.  If you’re interested in seeing what others had to say, please follow the link over to the Faith Barista site.

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