“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat. Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established. Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation. Forgiveness does not excuse anything. You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness.” ~ Wm. Paul Young, The Shack
I have walked that path. I was betrayed multiple times & probably more than I know by someone I loved very much. I used to wonder why, though I had forgiven & tried to move forward to restoration, I never did feel secure. I was told it was because I “just wouldn’t let go”. Looking back I see now it was because there was no true change. Nothing was done or put into place to safe-guard our relationship from those things happening again. The door was left wide open. And I finally got the courage to end it. The story is much bigger than that, but the crux of it – the trust – was the ultimate downfall. Please hear me – I own my share of things gone wrong. I was very controlling for a long time, trying to shield myself from pain – which was a total joke. But in the end, I knew if I did not walk away, for myself, it would only continue. I do wish nothing but the best & will always love them. And I still pray for them to this day.
Forgiveness does not always lead to restoration.
But it does lead to personal freedom.
Much love & forgiving y’all,
(image courtesy of vividlife.me)