Now that I’ve settled into married life, I have time once again to blog. Last blog was a “To Be Continued” message, but I thought I’d put that on hold for a minute and write about something else. I had another post entitled “The Christian Divorce Culture.” I had no idea then that I would write a follow up on that. I have to be delicate here even though some readers will know to what I’m referring, and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.
It’s amazing how a simple, genuine, heartfelt apology of repentance can wipe away years of pain and hate. And emptiness. Only a month ago I met the person who had hurt me more deeply than anyone in this world could have face to face. Well, I had met him face to face over the last 9 years since he’s family, but this was different. In the past, if there was any semblance of apology, it consisted of “I’m sorry you are hurting” instead of an acknowledgement of sin or a taking of responsibility. This time, however, it was an outpouring of genuine sorrow for what he had done. He took about 5 or so minutes without mincing words to repent of what he had done. He finally took responsibility for hurting everyone in our family. He told us how he had grown spiritually over the last 9 years and how he can look back and see where he went wrong-and what could have been done about it.
Of course we can’t go back in time, but just that acknowledgement, and to see the pain in his own eyes, washed away years of pain. As usual, the floodgates of my eyes were opened and I cried. I’m a crier, can’t help that. And I hugged him. Before it was extremely awkward for me to hug him or say “I love you.” That was just mechanical and creepy, but that time it was real, and there was no way I was going to hold back just because I had been hurt. I could have been spiteful, or pretend not to care, but this man was so important in my life that I had no choice.
Now as a Christian, I knew I was “supposed” to forgive when I was wronged. But how the heck do you actually go about that when you are really called too? I didn’t “really” know how so instead I didn’t think about it (after the initial pain, that is. And that pain was physically heavy). I certainly didn’t know how to forgive then, and if something else as painful as that happens, I won’t know how to forgive in the future. But seeing and experiencing someone give up their pride, take responsibility, and repent made forgiveness not only easy, but a joy. I’m so proud of that man who’s heart I considered too hard for even God to break through. Obviously, things will never be as they were; he still doesn’t live in the same state as I and he has another family now, but that weight I’d been carrying around for so long has been lifted. I feel good.