When I’m having one of “those days”.. I often spend a bit of time wracking my brain and trying to figure out why I don’t feel like everything is okay. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and finding that it’s affecting everything, my running, my eating, my energy levels, … So I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so “off” and what needed to happen for it to get better.
In conversations with friends I found myself constantly referring back to the hurt and anger I was feeling about a failed relationship. I was on a bit of a downward spiral. One of my friend swas dealing with a failed relationship of his own and we were talking about how we just wish that the other people would realize how much they have hurt us. We were talking about how hard it is to see them happy and how part of us really wishes they were miserable or at least aware of how horrible they made us feel. None of this is shocking… it’s just the emotions that occur when a relationship or a friendship ends. Yet I found that nothing I did could ease the hurt I was feeling. I couldn’t move past it and was wondering why things always seem to bother me so much.
So then I went to church. And it was one of those times when I knew that I was meant to be there to hear that very message. Well parts of the sermon were a bit hard to relate to but the main message was about forgiveness. It was based on Ephesians 4:31-32. “ Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV) The translation the pastor used began with “Get rid of all bitterness” which really caught my attention. And it hit me. I have been holding onto bitterness and anger and all of these negative emotions and it’s not healthy. I’m not able to grow spiritually, I’m not able to move on, I’m stuck in a rut and I can’t get out. I need to get rid of these things and I need to forgive because.. well I was forgiven.
The thing is.. the person who hurt me will probably never know how much he did. And you know what? That’s okay because I’m not responsible for him, I’m responsible for me. The more I cling onto these negative destructive emotions, the more power I give him in the situation and the more pain and hurt I end up causing myself. I am called to forgive people, to let go of anger, to be kind and tenderhearted. I must let go…
And so.. I prayed. I prayed that I would be able to forgive him and I was amazed by how quickly God answered that prayer request. Sure, I still have a few left over hurt feelings but I no longer have that deep anguish and resentment. I was finally able to let go of all of that and get busy forgiving and forgetting. It’s amazing how quickly God can work in our hearts.
So I think I figured out why I was feeling so down. I think much of it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t forgiving someone and I was holding onto a lot of horrible feelings. To live that way is toxic. It’s not healthy. It’s not pleasing to God. No wonder I felt “off'” and felt that way for so long. Now that I’ve let that go, I do feel so much better.
Sure, everything is not totally okay but I cling to the hope that one day, it will be.