01 February, 2009

Letting go...

I want to be sure to show both sides of this:

Yesterday I wrote this:

What do we do with the things in our past that hurt?

How do we respond to the things that still prick our hearts and make us want to shrink up? How do we deal with parts of who we are we wish were not that way? There is one area of my life that hurts to discuss, see, to interact with... And I want to separate people from that situation, or worse, block out the whole thing - but I can't do that - or more accurately I don't know how.

I've done what I can. I have confessed it to God; I have sought to forgive those directly involved. There is no anger in me towards those people - it just hurts A LOT.

How do we get over internal pain? How do we grieve what was stolen from us - a child, a home, a promise, a life, a person, a relationship, etc. How do we let go what we never got to say goodbye to?

I don't know how to do it. I don't know what else to do. I have cried out to God - I have gotten angry and shouted, cursed and wept. I have forgiven and talked it out. I have tried to move on and let it go - but I can't and I can still work myself into tears if I let myself think about it too much...

So what is one to do with this pain?

Last night I was reading “Never Silent” and this is the answer that came...

At one point, John, who works for Prison Fellowship in Rwanda, is discussing going into the prisons full of the Hutus that carried out the genocide. 110,000 Hutus are in prison for their part in the killings that lasted 100 days and took the lives of close to a million people. John is a Tutsi who niece, nephew and cousin were brutally killed. His niece and cousin were raped repeatedly before being slaughtered.

John went to the prison to do what, as Christians, we are called to do: preach the only hope they could know – the hope in Jesus Christ and the cross. Only He can take away their suffering and give them release from the nightmares that still plague many of them a decade after the event…

He went into the prison and started to preach, and he saw the prisoners receiving his message, accepting Christ and finding peace. Emotion overwhelmed him and he ran from the prison.

I tell you the pain was too great for me. I fell on my knees and wept. I thought I wanted those men to know Jesus, but it’s not true. I wanted them to pay. I opposed them, and I opposed the Lord. Why was He reaching out to save those men? How could He forgive them for what they did to me and my family?

I could not stop crying. I didn’t understand it. But I knew this truth: The confusion and pain was coming from within me. Bitterness had taken root. The desire for revenge was choking me. If anybody needed to run to Jesus and repent, it was me. I needed Jesus. I needed Him to forgive me. I was no different than the prisoners. I was locked behind bars of resentment and unforgiveness and I knew it. (p.275)

And here is what God said back – while John wept on that hillside, praying for God to take his anger and bitterness and allow him forgiveness God told John he had to forgive the men who killed his family. John struggled. Then God reminded John of His Son. Who, while being on the cross, while in severe agony and pain – while dying for a sins He did not commit, while being mocked by those He died for, while all that was happening He said, “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

He forgave while He was still suffered at their hands.

“We cannot wait until the pain is gone,” John continued. “We must forgive while we are in pain. This is what Christians do, and He gives us the power to do it.” (p.276)

Thad, the writer of “Never Silent” continues to ponder what John has said. And he begins to wonder why he cannot face the pain in his own heart.

But, “we must face our sin. We feel its weight. We bear its pain. Then we run...to the hillside, in tears – to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we repent.” (p.279)

“I know where suffering begins,” Thad writes. “It’s right here on this hillside. It begins in humility, under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, in the open confession of my sin, and in true repentance before the Lord. It begins on my knees in tears.” (Ibid)

In the end, forgiveness is a choice. To leave it at my Father’s feet is a choice. I worked hard last year to forgive those involved in what hurts me. I forgave the people I knew I had to and asked the Lord to forgive me for my anger and actions towards those connected who I did not respond properly to.

The thing about unforgiveness is that in only hurts me. I am the only one who is sitting here racked up in tears and sorrow and pain. It doesn’t affect them anymore. My unwillingness to let go only hurts me. And that’s it – I have not let go. I still feel entitled to be angry, to hold onto the shreds of my stolen birth right, to scream to God this isn’t fair and I want what was stolen back!

But I can’t do that and say I love Christ. I have forgiven but I have never grieved. And I don’t know how to do that and say goodbye to what I will never have. Saying “I forgive you” is the first step, and to be honest, that is easy. Living in that forgiveness and letting go are much harder.

“Forgiveness is not human, forgiveness is divine” John said once. And he’s right; in my power I cannot let go of what haunts me. But if I come to my Savior on the hillside and release control, He promises to take this away.

I am entitled to nothing. I am promised nothing. But I will continue to carry these chains on my feet until I am willing to stop, release control and let God take them away.

The only question is: am I willing to be that patient, that humble, willing to endure that much pain? But can this pain be any harder than the pain I am putting myself through? In the end, all I have to gain is peace, joy and the sweet blessings He has.

Somehow the choice doesn’t seem so hard anymore.

I leave you with a song that has become my prayer is this time. It says what I cannot and pleads what I hope God will do in me. Letting go is a daily process; it starts and ends on my knees and by releasing what was never mine to hold. Everything on this earth belongs to Him and I know He has better things planned for me than this foiled dream.

Hear the whole song here

“Teach me to be humble. Call me from the grave. Show me how to walk with you upon the waves. Breathe into my spirit, breathe into my veins until only love remains”

0 reactions:

Post a Comment

© Amanda Lunday