Spirituality,  Thoughts

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Chapters Three & Four

Chapter Three: Is This Even Survivable?

Unresolved grief, pain, unforgiveness, etc. can provoke us to react – behave and speak – in a way that leaves us unrecognizable. Even to ourselves.

Suffice to say, it can bring out the absolute worst in us; perhaps even causing us to react in ways that we didn’t even know we were capable.

Trying to regain control of an out of control situation, when we ourselves are out of control is a little like sprinkling fuel on the fire.

Things just get more and more chaotic.

My choice to disconnect and walk away from some people in my life has stemmed from my own awareness that if I were to go to toe to toe with them, things would likely get out of control.

I’m not sure I’d have the composure to hold my tongue. To choose my words wisely and control the tone with which my words are spoken.

One of my gifts is that I’m quick to think, put responses together and respond.

This gift without a pause for filter, however, tends to be a curse.

I’m not sure I’d come through the interaction without a slew of things spoken which can never be taken back; spoken from a place of hurt and with intention to hurt back.

So, instead, I am doing just what this chapter suggests:

I’m taking back control.

My disconnect doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing about the situation at hand. Rather, it means that I’m owning my pain and associated emotions without waiting for someone else to own their stuff and apologize.

In fact, I don’t even want the apology at this point.

I’m controlling the only person that I am able…myself.

My words.

My actions.

I am seeking to move forward ensuring that I respond in a way that is righteous and that I can be proud of and allow God to do His restorative work in me like only HE is able.


Chapter 4: How is Forgiveness Even Possible When I Feel Like This?

How many read this chapter, then found themselves running out to purchase index cards and red felt?

I didn’t BUT I did fully appreciate the message contained within this short chapter:

forgiveness is both a decision and a process.

A decision that happens most immediately; addressing the facts of what happened and isn’t contingent upon anyone else and their choices or actions post-offense.

A process that then deals with all the longer-term impact of the hurt, including emotions that can still be triggered long after forgiveness has taken place.

It is these triggered emotions – that are sometimes intense – that cloud our vision and make our progress sometimes hard to see.

But it’s there!

All those steps forward.

I think this is where I land: the actual offense(s) is(are) something I’ve forgiven and accepted as a fact written into the story of my life BUT certain things continue to trigger emotion within me regarding some people/places/things in my life.

Emotion that is sometimes so intense I have a physiological response.

Here is why I think it’s important for me to go back and revisit the event(s), even though I think I’m “here”: did I really unpack it all?

The cards and felt activity provided Lysa an opportunity to really unpack the event and surrounding details. Infidelity may have been the over-arching issue but alongside that was a whole host of other “stuff”…all the other hurts that come along with this serious violation of trust within a marriage.

Without unpacking everything so every detail can be forgiven, then sealing with the blood of Christ, we are prone to be pulled back into that space of unforgiveness where hurt turns to bitterness and resentment.

And for all the details that we’ve noted as fact, we’ve verbalized forgiveness but the emotional ties still exist: that’s where the blood of Jesus covers.

And there’s just nothing more powerful than that!

Love and Hugs from Colorado,

In case you missed it:
Links to prior chapters here — Chapter 1Chapter 2

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Quotes, direct and paraphrased, are used throughout this article from “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” as beautifully written and owned by Lysa Terkeurst

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