A 100-Pound Costco Sack of Potatoes
Forgiveness isn't an easy task and can be a process. It feels like a 100-pound sack of potatoes from Costco. Each potato is dug up from the ground but differs in shape, size, the amount of dirt covering it and firmness.
The impact of a failing relationship often reaches far outside the two people directly involved. If there are children, extended family or friends most people naturally take sides. The day my marriage abruptly ended my children lost not only their father but family and friends. As a parent, it can be devastating to see the ripple effect on your children, and there's a part of you that wants revenge. Thoughts ran rapidly through my mind, word exchanges happened, and regardless of my justification, there was still a negative impact. "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Proverbs 12:18).
Conversations & Malice Intent
Some people's actions throughout the process were quite disheartening and fueled by negativity and hatred. Every feeling possible surfaced, and I began to think about all the potential conversations taking place about me. I'm guessing they weren’t to edify me or our marriage. Discussions of this caliber are usually an attempt for people to justify their position or opinions. Unfortunately, it fosters an environment where magically recollection of memories, situations, and stories become slightly different or twisted. Regardless of how it takes place, the result is always hurt.
Making A Choice
I was determined to forgive all involved in what felt like a relentless attack. I had to; it was beginning to consume me, but I didn't know where to start. My actions and reactions are the only things I can control. I made the decision not to perpetuate negativity and instead move forward walking in love. I was adamant that I would not let anyone, not even my closest friends, dishonor my husband by speaking negatively about him. It wasn’t easy avoiding the gossiping, accusations or assumptions. I knew that it wasn’t healthy for me and it provided the perfect opportunity for resentment to creep in. I trusted that his actions regardless of how they felt to me at that moment could be forgiven. I knew by honoring him I was ultimately honoring the Lord (Ephesians 5:21-22).
Forgiveness is truly a non-negotiable. "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger … along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate…forgiving each other…" (Ephesians 4:31-32). God began to lead me to meditate on other things (Philippians 4:8), and it allowed me to remain in a good place emotionally. I was revisiting my journal on a message about forgiveness by Micheal D. Yearley, my Pastor at The Church at Rocky Peak. Forgiveness doesn't declare that what happened was right. It doesn't mean that the offense is now justified or that somehow the seriousness of the hurt isn't real. What it does do for you, however, is remove the power that the memory has over you. It is a decision I make, a choice not to hurt the person(s) back. Forgiveness is canceling a debt (Matthew 6:12).
Choosing To Forgive Can Be Done
The act of forgiveness is a daily task when the lies of the enemy creep back into my memory. The decision to forgive is a lot like that sack of potatoes. If I decide to hold onto resentment and allow it to turn to bitterness, then it will rot. Choosing to forgive and trusting that the Lord will help me to build compassion in its place is encouraging during the process. If you take out one potato at a time, the burden becomes lighter, carrying it around becomes easier, and eventually, it’s gone. God's grace comes in abundant supply, so I don't have to do it alone. Every once in a while my heart will be reminded of the hurt that took place, and I have to choose between forgiveness or a sack of Costco potatoes. I choose forgiveness, the price of the potatoes is deceiving.