Friday, February 5, 2010

Forgiving ourselves!

Yesterday was a difficult day for me!  Spring cleaning can be a good thing when trying to declutter, straighten up closets and cabinets, but beware, you might stumble upon something that you have tried to forget about! 
I am very sentimental! Cards and letters mean a lot to me.  I guess because I feel like I communicate better through pen and paper.  So words written to me, seem to penetrate my soul easier.  I was shredding old bills from 2007 and stumbled upon a long letter.  One that was written to me during a difficult time.  I'll save the details of the letter out of respect for the person who wrote it.  Lets just say the letter broke me to my core.  Feelings of anger, bitterness, sorrow, confusion, retaliation, all were present during this reading and oh so many more!!!  When I was finished, I immediately felt a weight. I felt alone! I feel to my knees by my bed and cried.  It was despair I felt.  I begged God to take me to the cross.  I don't know why I kept saying that.  Maybe out of comfort for what he had done for me there(saved) or maybe as a reminder of why he was there. (sin)  You see this letter was written to somehow try to change me.  A lot of it was very hurtful. More than I can express.  A lot of it was scripture.  Most of it was written as a one way view, feelings this person felt toward me. Anger and sadness were expressed throughout the letter.  When I read  the letter the day it was given to me, I loathed this person.  I described this letter as hate mail and highlighted everything in the letter I disagreed with and left commentary as a side note as a rebuttal.  I never did rewrite a letter and send back to this person because I knew that the words I would have written, could be keep and use against me one day and I probably would regret what I said.  Maybe I knew deep down inside that my words would do little in changing this person or to get them to see my side.  It's funny how reading the letter this time had so many more emotions.  Different ones, I wasn't expecting.  This letter was intended to hurt and indeed it did.  Everything that was said became true! Every accusation became real.  I was this person! I am this person! I loathed myself this time!  I began to question my worth. I felt bad that people had to know me.  I felt bad for my husband, that he had to love me.  How could he?  Surely there can not be someone as messed up as me!  In my sorrow I called my mom.  She is such a wonderful counselor.  I can be so honest with her.  I can unload everything.  I feel bad that she is that person for me.  I question calling her every time because I know the weightiness of what I can say could depress anyone.  But my need to have a voice of reason takes over and I call anyway.  After I explained everything to her she said something to me that brought me out of the misery.  It caught my attention.  She said you know we work so hard to forgive others but we forget to forgive ourselves.  FORGIVE MYSELF?   You see I had forgiven this person.  One day through reading scripture I was so convicted I called to acknowledge my wrong doing.  I said I was deeply sorry for any pain I had caused. We cried and promised we would never go down this road again.  But I had not forgiven myself for what I did.  What I had allowed to happen.  Remember when I said I feel to me knees and cried and I kept saying take me to the cross. I needed to be reminded. The Holy spirit was speaking those words before I could put it all together.  I was heard! In Romans 8:26 says" In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
At the cross Jesus spoke these words ( Luke 23:34) " Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."  Jesus wants forgiveness for us all.  Even me! I know that Jesus died for my sins! I know that I will never be able to make myself better to the point were I no longer mess up or sin.  I will never meet the standard of perfection that I so desperately chase.  Perfection is only found in one.  So as I close I will say! Good bye unforgiveness, Goodbye perfectionism,(JAMIE) Hello salvation, Hello perfection (JESUS)! Take me to the cross!
P.S. The letter was shredded!