I had a vivid dream about finally being able to face someone who greatly disappointed me. This person was someone others and I held in high regard and, while the person didn’t directly hurt me, the individual didn’t use the opportunity and authority they had to prevent me from being hurt by another, but in fact was a participant in encouraging or not discouraging the “unwise” acts to be done.
Many times as the “unwise” act was playing out, I thought long and hard specifically about what I would say to this person (not the direct hurter, but the indirect one), how I was going to say it, who I was going to let know what I said, what fancy words I would use as I said it and how good it would feel to let this person have it! Let’s just say I’d made up my mind to read this person from A to Z and back around to Q and a half, then tell everyone what they did (or didn’t do) and add nothing to it, nor take anything away. (Boy, did I waste a lot of time!)
In my dream, I saw the person at a public event where the spotlight was on me. I’m not certain, but it appeared that I might have been part of organizing the gathering or perhaps being honored. The person approached me with an embrace as if all was well and wouldn’t you know it. I surprised myself, even in my sleep! I served them the TRUTH, but without a side of anger or attitude. I remember embracing the person, gently telling them my feelings, wishing them well and walking away. I didn’t wake with a sweat, a palpitating heart or anything. I woke with a smile on my face. There’s power & peace in forgiveness. Like in my dream, I’ve learned that forgiveness doesn’t mean ignoring problems or people who need to be addressed. It doesn’t mean being weak and only walking away, but being wise about how we choose to let situations and emotions connected to them control us. It doesn’t mean stifling feelings of pain and pretending that they’re not there. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean you stay in relationship with the person that has done damage, but sometimes it does. For me, most importantly, forgiving means handling matters in a manner that pleases God, making sure no man, woman, boy or girl has the key to my “emotional ignition” and then turning the situation and people, places or things over to Him.
Forgiving truly is the gift that keeps on giving because the feeling you have from knowing you’ve finally let go is so refreshing, sustaining and long-lasting you begin to wonder how you went so long without it in the first place. I’ll be the FIRST to say that it is not easy, but it is absolutely effective. In the Bible, Colossians 3:12-13(NIV) says it best: 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
How to forgive you ask:
- Pray for yourself.
- Pray for them.
- Know the Word concerning forgiveness and use it, even when you don’t want to, especially when you don’t want to.
- Don’t think or talk about them (or the situation) so much. Find some good things. Think on that. Speak on that.
- Stop focusing on what you would or should say or do to them in return.
- Look for, and focus on any good that might have come out of the association. It all happened for a reason and there remains beauty even in pain.
- Surround yourself with people who won’t accept you living in unforgiveness.
- Pray for yourself some more.
If you’re still holding on to unforgiveness do yourself a favor…. start the journey of letting GO and watch what you get because of what you gave up!