forgiveness pt2 .

I realise that I’ve already posted today but here’s a follow up.

This morning, shortly after my post on forgiveness, a dear friend sent me a link to a testimony. I spent the day anticipating a time late in the evening where I’d be able to listen to it in its entirety.

Five o’clock rolled around and my phone buzzed, my aunt was calling. This was the phone call I anxiously awaited, I answered with a meek greeting. My aunt spoke with a warm voice on the other end of the line. We spoke for a few minutes, it was so good to hear her voice. I kept asking her how she was doing and she kept changing the topic without answering. The fourth time I asked her, her voice cracked and she told me she wasn’t doing well. I could hear her as she began to cry, my heart felt for her. In short, she is ill, all the pain she’s endured over the years has caught up to her and still she endures more pain as punishment for being in pain.. I can’t grasp the logic behind this. There is only one to blame for this and no matter how hard I tried to resist, I felt anger begin manifest within me. My aunt told me that they’re coming home for four weeks but she doesn’t think she’ll be able to see us. Now, not only has she been hurt but also isolated – this hurts her, this hurts me and this hurts my mom deeply.

I feel frustrated because there’s nothing I can do, my family has extended so many opportunities for her to escape but her mentality is that she is deserving of everything she’s given. Oh how I continue to pray that she will see that she’s worthy of so much more than this. I’ve been on the receiving end and I can’t begin to imagine what its like to be on that end each day.

My uncle refused to speak to me, I mean I know I didn’t want him to but I don’t know what hurt more – knowing what my aunts going through or knowing that despite it being my birthday, he wanted nothing to do with me. I’ve never done anything toward him that would justify his actions toward me – though there’s much history untold. I cant help but wonder, is this what family is like? I think back to tv shows that paint an unrealistically perfect picture of what family should be. That will never be us.

The phone call ended and I burst into tears, I feel discouraged, deeply hurt and angry. Hurting me is one thing, but hurting the people I love is another. Why doesn’t he want anything to do with me? What’s so wrong with me? I want to forgive him and I was honestly so ready to try but as I sit here I’m so heart broken and I pray for Jesus to meet me here.

I sat on my bedroom floor and remembered the testimony I had planned to listen to later in the evening. Now was as good a time as any. In a whirlwind of negative emotions, I pulled out my iPad and began to listen. Over the course of the testimony I was convicted in relation to my uncle and the surround situation, but also at times in relation to everything else that has weighed on me over the last few months.

Conviction 1: “Love keeps no record of wrong” – 1 Corinthians 13

Of course this is one of the first points made. My first conviction. If I truely loved the way God loves, I wouldn’t keep track of peoples wrongs.

Conviction 2: “Thinking ‘They hurt me’, should concern you because you’re so breakable”

I never considered this. Psalm 18.2 states that the Lord is our rock. If I had truely allowed Jesus to be my rock, I wouldn’t break and hurt so easily.

Conviction 3: “Don’t let it eat you up, don’t let one man define you and don’t let his actions define what you see or how you view yourself”

I’ve allowed the past to consume me and define me. I wasn’t viewed as worthy, therefore I haven’t believed I am worthy or valued.

Conviction 4: “If you live outside of what he’s called you to, I won’t get mad at you, I’ll weep for you because mercy triumphs over judgement, why should you have the ability through your conduct to frustrate my heart if God is love? Where sin abounds grace abounds more so why wouldn’t I be graceful, why should I judge you without knowing why you do the things you do”

I try to imagine myself speaking these words, I can’t. I weep because I know I am wrong. My attitude toward my uncle is wrong. I should be showing God’s love. I should be slow to anger and quick to forgive. When I sin, God’s grace abounds more so why do I struggle to show grace? The final phrase; “Why should I judge you without knowing why you do the things you do” – I have never once wondered why my uncle behaves the way he does. I’ve always been so quick to judge him for his decisions. Thats so wrong of me.

Conviction 5: “Jesus doesn’t love where you’ve been and what you’ve done, He loves who He’s created you to be, He loves the purpose and potential you possess”

Love. God’s great love. He loves me no matter what I’ve done in the past, He loves me no matter what I’m going to do. Jesus loves me for who He’s created me to be, for my purpose and potential. Better than that, my uncle is loved the same way. We’re all loved the same way.

By this point in time, I’m in tears. I’m humbled and I’m ashamed because I never considered the fact that God loves my uncle. God loves all of us. How could I be so blind? I only ever held my uncles past against him, I judged him for what he’s done and I’ve felt resentment toward him for so many years. Matthew 7:1-2, instructs us to judge not, it warns was that the judgement we judge with will be the same judgement that we are one day judged with. It is not my place to judge. Repentance is calling.

Conviction 6: “If you don’t have love, you have nothing”

Without love I have nothing. It’s been said that the bible is God’s love letter to us. It outlines the depth of God’s love. No love is greater than the love God displayed when He gave His only son as a sacrifice for our sins. For my sins. For my uncles sins. For your sins. There is no other love as such.

In my mess of tears and overwhelming emotion, my phone rings. It’s my cousin. My uncles son. Was this a test? You see he’s hurt me too. I thought that dealing with my uncle was enough for one day, but God had other plans. He needed me to realise the depth of my sins and my dire need to forgive and to be forgiven. As my phone rang, my heart pounded. I answered the call, we spoke. The conversation was awkward and when he told me that he loved me and wanted to hang out with me, my heart sank and my stomach became a bottomless pit. Flashbacks crossed before me, closed bedroom doors, flashing lights, nightmares, his cold hands and my feelings of helplessness. My voice cracked as I tried to play it cool until the call shortly ended.

Conviction 7: “If you’re discouraged, where’s your focus? Is it on you and how life’s effecting you, how its costing you and how you have to go through this. You denied yourself and picked up your cross, so how is it that you have so many rights. Why is it always about you and how you feel, and what they did and said and how it hurts?”

This convicts me so deeply. Across all areas of my life, not just forgiveness toward my uncle and cousin. I’ve been discouraged lately. My focus has been on the negativity around me and the trials; rather than the blessings that surround me and the grace poured over me each day. As a Christian, we are to deny ourselves daily, to pick up our cross and faithfully follow our Saviour. If I’ve done this, how is it that I am so caught up in how I feel, what people have done to me and how its hurt me?

The final conviction: “If you love people, the way I’ve just loved you. If you forgive and see people, the way I forgive and see you. They’ll know the way to forgiveness and they’ll know the way toward me because you represent me”

Tonight as I pray, I repent for my unforgiving state, the judgment I have passed and the selfishness I’ve presented. I pray that my Heavenly Father will be my rock and that I will encompass His strength, that I may forgive. I pray to be so filled with my Fathers love, that it overflows into the lives of those around me. For without love I have nothing, my God is love. I continue to pray for the salvation of my uncle and my cousin, for the safety of my aunt and the wellbeing of those around me. Though this time I pray out of a place of love. It’s time to forgive. In this state of vulnerability and humility, this is where He meets me.

– c x


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