Saturday, June 1, 2013

If you can relate.

Your heart's pulsing and your breaths are short. Your eyes are avoiding contact with someone else as you try to smoothly pass them as though it means nothing. But we both know it means everything. And you stand there, paralyzed. It seems like everything stands still in this one moment; everything comes down to this one moment. It also doesn't seem fair.
I don't blame you.
Weeks of focus and agonizing hours of disbelief have crossed your path.
Minutes where your heart throbbed and your inner core shook.
I know those moments, and it's different for everyone. Maybe you're on edge instead of falling apart, or maybe it just stings a little bit instead of throbs. Maybe you're in a different place with it than other people. I mean, everyone's in a different place. Sometimes I'm at different places with it, and the same place, all at once with different people.
People I used to be so entirely comfortable with, who used to share with me in creating those memories that are so firm and sturdy in my mind that it's hard to shake them.

I wouldn't say that I'm at odds necessarily with anyone in particular, but I felt compelled to relate to that awkward phase in the middle.

If you relate at all with the first few paragraphs, you know what I'm talking about.
That faint throb or ache? That rush of nervousness? That just... icky feeling maybe that sits in because you don't necessarily know where to place someone anymore.
I think I'm encountering it more as I get older. I'm not necessarily fond of it.
Sometimes I come across a Facebook post, a simple act of one person writing to another on a virtual wall, and my heart just stops for a moment. It aches a little bit. A dull throb comes. It's almost like my mind is trying to comprehend it all: "I used to know you."

I don't mean just "know" either. I mean like, I used to know you. We used to share something together. You were once a part of my daily life. I once considered you a vital part of my social atmosphere.
And I let you know me.
And maybe this is why it aches, because you don't know me like that anymore and I don't know you like that anymore. We're friends, but that term would be used loosely.
And I'd really like to get away from all of that. All of this.
How do you place someone like that in your life?

I heard it said a while ago that you finally know you're over something when you can honestly wish the person who caused you pain the best. You can sincerely look at them in the eye, say you wish them well, and truly, genuinely mean it. While this might seem like a stretch for those who have fresher wounds, it caused me to think if I had the ability to do something with such sincerity. Was this something I was capable of doing?

I was sitting in a church service during the semester and my pastor was preaching on moving past barriers and breaking bondages. He mentioned unforgiveness as something that might hold you back, or be classified as a bondage. As he went through a list of other weights and barriers it was almost as if my mind was stuck on that one word: unforgiveness.
God spoke to me in that moment: "You haven't forgiven..."
He used someone's name. I won't repeat it here.

I was almost dumbfounded.
"Yeah, I have, right? I thought I did."

He didn't even have to reply to that. I knew how stupid I sounded.
"It was just so long ago, God."

Still no reply. Still a pretty lame excuse, and not entirely accurate on my part.
"It's just so huge, God."

And I felt it in my heart in that moment:
If I ever wanted to be able to look that person in the eye and truly wish them well,
I had to forgive them.

It's almost like I was about to turn the corner and come upon this huge breakthrough, and I was so terrified that I found my feet frozen in place, because what they had done was engrained in my mind. It almost marked me in a way. It scarred me tremendously and forgiving them of that, knowing that I was willingly letting it go, seemed too practical and easy. It was too simple.

But the fact was that to begin with, I hadn't even realized that I had not forgiven them. It was like this weight I had been carrying around with me was finally identified, and I was so used to it that it seemed illogical to release it (which is incredibly silly).
To me it was just a dull ache in my mind. A relentless, but seemingly tiny throb in my heart.
Something that hurt, but didn't kill; something that was noticeable, but not lethal.
But I was wrong.
And maybe with those anxious looks and awkward emotions, you haven't clearly defined it either.
But maybe, just maybe, you haven't forgiven them. And if you don't believe me, push pause on your crazy whirlwind life and ask yourself if you could truly wish, with all sincerity, someone that hurt you the best.

It's just a thought, but I would venture to say that it's a possibility.
And maybe you think it's impossible to do so, or too hard, or too much.
And I'm with you on that. It can seem overwhelming.
But it's not impossible.
And if the truth sets you free, maybe this vagueness is a lie holding you captive.
And the three words "I forgive you" could finally help you be sincere when you look at them again.

We often have a tendency to think that God is solely on our side whenever we're at odds, or at awkward phases, with other people. But God doesn't really have a side when it comes to this, because He wants everyone to come to Him. Who's to say that person who hurt you isn't praying to God about the situation as much as you are?

So maybe you just need to think it over, and re-evaluate where you're at, or begin to tell God that you're ready to forgive someone.
Whatever it is, you're not in it alone.
We're all in process together, so let that encourage you.
My best friend always tells me that a process is a process, and that as long as I'm moving forward and the process is moving, I must be doing something right and making progress.
Everyone's progress is different.
We're gonna make it. 
It's going to be worth it.
We're in this together, friend, and we're gonna come out on the other side victorious I just know it.