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“it’s hard to give, it’s hard to get. everybody needs a little forgiveness” -patty griffin

October 28, 2008

ok. it’s safe to say patty is my favorite. it’s probably safe to assume whoever is reading this already knows this fact. please go find and listen to this song though. it’s called “forgiveness” on the album living with ghosts. wow. it’s been haunting me for the last couple of months. 

yeah, yeah. me again. 3:30 in the morning. i know i know.

that’s not what i’m writing about today. warning though: i’m about to be extremely candid. extremely candid and yet as vague as possible. have you ever been consumed with something? i thought i knew the extent of what that meant. but i think i’m learning new things about what that means. i didn’t think i was consumed, because i don’t think about it nonstop. and it hasn’t driven me crazy. and i haven’t felt compelled to fix it. but as i further examine and pray about it, i’m finding that it’s changing my heart. that it’s changing my interactions with people. that it’s causing fear and doubt in my life still. that it’s bringing about anger and discomfort far too often. 

i can honestly say that i hated one person growing up. one person ever. truly hated. i remember the day that person died. it was summer after my sophomore year of high school. i was on choir tour with my friends. i got on a tour bus and opened my Bible to ephesians. the passage told me to be careful how i live, not as unwise but as the wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. and i then realized that the days are evil. they trick us. the word “today” is deceptive because it implies “tomorrow” and it’s not always reality. i realized that the days were gone. i had no more time to hate her. more than that, i had no more time to love her. i hadn’t taken the opportunities thrown in my lap to love her. and i regretted that. i regret that to this day. 

and so i’ve never truly hated anyone since then. i’ve made a point not to. but i struggle these days with someone. i hope i don’t hate this person, and i don’t think it’s truly come to that. but i haven’t forgiven them either. and my eyes are wildly opened these days to what that does to a person’s life. it consumes it. very sneakily. not in the way that we think we would be “consumed” by something. but in all the little ways that we don’t catch at first until they’ve taken root. not forgiving someone grows and festers fear and anger and insecurities that we, as Christians, simply cannot afford. 

so what do we do? i thought that i could work it out. this is a me and God thing. and silently, in the privacy of my own prayer closet, the forgiveness would come. that the hurt would simply go away one day. i had myself convinced that it was unnecessary to uncover the wrongs done. to expose them. but maybe it is necessary. i told myself i didn’t need an apology. and maybe i don’t. but maybe i need to be heard. maybe i need to be true and honest and brave. and instead of fearing whatever further harm this person could or would do me, being confident in Who is truly for me. because, truly, if God be for me who can be against me? and if the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall i be afraid? 

it’s a tough one, but of the very little i’ve figured out, i’ve at least figured this out: things kept in the dark corners of our hearts do nothing but fester and grow. they do not go away. we must bring light to these things. expose them and let truth eat away at them until they are no more. 

and honestly, strangely, it feels better just writing this. the first few lines of this song pin my heart down and make it hard to breathe. “we are swimming with snakes at the bottom of the well. so silent and peaceful in the darkness where we fell. but we are not snakes and what’s more we never will be. but if we stay swimming here forever, we will never be free.” wow. right?

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