* Okay, I need to make a disclaimer here before you continue reading. I wanted to clarify (before we get a bunch more misunderstanding) that I wasn't writing about Joanna holding a grudge...Some things happening in her life and another friend's life were a catalyst of my remembering the grudge I had against the man you will read about in this post. Make sense?
This week some really cool things have been happening among a couple of my friends. One being my best "G" on the planet...Miss Joanna. I think a lot of people think that forgiveness equals weakness. Or that it makes what someone did okay. Well, in my humble opinion, those folks would be wrong.
Forgiveness, if you need to forgive someone, is for YOU. Do you know what holding a grudge does? It shackles you to that person. It's like you want to be as far away from them as possible, but when you don't forgive, you're bound to them. Like two peas in a pod. As long as you don't forgive, you will never be free from their power over you.
I learned this lesson the hard way, about 13 years ago. The man I was with cheated on me and lied to me, and I found out. This was a time in my life when I was not living the Christian life I should have been, even though I believe I was saved, I was involved in leadership in my church (which I shouldn't have been!)...I was living with this man. Then, his ex-wife sent out their two precious little boys to live with us. This woman had no idea who I was, but sent her precious babies on a plane, alone, from California to Michigan. They were 11 and 7. Oh, how I loved those boys. Leaving them was one of the toughest things I have EVER done in my life. It was horrible. In my heart I love them still.
The pain from that situation was almost unbearable. It would have almost been easier to go back, but I knew nothing would change. Finally I read a book called the Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley. AMAZING. Life-changing. You don't have to be a Christian, you don't have to believe in God (although I highly recommend it!: ).....you CAN forgive, and the only person it benefits is you. Believe it or not, the other person may not even know you have an issue with them! Shocking, but true.
After I had truly forgiven this person, I truly held no ill will toward him, and it didn't break my heart to run into him anywhere. (Him and his new wife, having married her 12 weeks after I moved out of my own apartment so his children would have aroof over their heads!) I still regret the whole thing because to this day I think about those boys. I told them I wasn't leaving them, but you know they felt like I was.
Anyway. I really encourage you to let it go. With me being chronically ill now, I simply don't have the energy to stay angry or hold a grudge. Life is too short. It really does drain you, even if you don't think it effects you in any way. It does.
We can forgive. We might not forget, but ya know what? Even that goes away after a while when you truly forgive. You just release that person from their power over you, and then you can move on. I have been there. It works.