an open letter (will you forgive)

“Vulnerability lends its voice of strength to others who may need to know they do not stand alone.”

You may not want to hear from me, but I think it’s important that I share these thoughts with you. Over and over you state an unwillingness to talk about the past, but at the first opportunity, that is inevitably the first place you go with me. As much as you might like to think that I live there, I can assure you that I have given those years over to God long ago.

That yoke was far too heavy for me to carry anymore.

When you said you forgive me, I chose to believe you. Unfortunately, our breakdown is that the injuries you have sustained must now be relinquished to God for healing and perspective. As is so often the case, our relationship is not marked by intentional cruelty, but by differences of opinion and life choices, and inconsistencies in communication. My authentic apologies over the years have never been, nor will they be, enough to release you from your pain.

The responsibility is no longer mine.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone who hurt my heart many years ago, and she apologized again. It was so kind of her, and I told her I appreciated the gesture, but to be honest, it didn’t make me feel any better at all. I had to admit that the burden was no longer hers – I had chosen to forgive, but the process to healing is still underway.

Forgiveness is a decision, not an experience.

What you don’t understand about unforgiveness is that it clouds your heart and perspective. Years pass and memory becomes muddied in interpretation above reality. Not only does it bind and keep you from the freedom you struggle to find, but it prevents me from being my authentic self without you filtering every word or action through the clouded lense of the past.

Forgiveness frees both parties to walk in who they are called to be; to withhold it keeps us both in bondage.

In the end, there is nothing left for me to do – the choice now rests upon your shoulders. I have offered to you forgiveness for the ways in which you have injured me, and ask for the same grace. To reopen scars from our youth serve no one but the gods of bitterness, contempt, and bondage. I will continue to extend a hand, and I wonder if you might take it. 

If not, I will pray and stand in the gap until the Lord brings you someone to show you the way out. I love you and long for the day you receive His yoke of grace and forgiveness – it is light, and it is good. It is the only way to the fullness of peace He has designed for you. 

Release my friend. Release it today. 

Matthew 6:15

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”

Exodus 32:30-32

The next day Moses addressed the people: “You have sinned an enormous sin! But I am going to go up to God; maybe I’ll be able to clear you of your sin.” Moses went back to God and said, “This is terrible. This people has sinned—it’s an enormous sin! They made gods of gold for themselves. And now, if you will only forgive their sin. . . . But if not, erase me out of the book you’ve written.”

“I and my brothers and the people working for me have also loaned them money [given of self]. But this gouging them with interest [expecting repayment past what is owed] has to stop. Give them back their foreclosed fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes right now. And forgive your claims on their money, grain, new wine, and olive oil [blessing, favor].”




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