Hidden Unforgiveness

The other day, my son and I had another one of those deep conversations during which he asked me if I had forgiven everyone who was instrumental in all the things that landed me flat on my back, and initially, I said I had. Almost immediately, the wheels started turning in my head and I realized that I haven’t. I’ve always said that I had fully forgiven my ex and in all honesty, I have forgiven him.

After 19 years of a ridiculous level of abuse where I forgave, got mad all over again, forgave again, then got super-duper mad again, I finally reached that stage that I strive to help other women reach — the one where I finally forgave him for hurting me for real, but finally let go of the thing that continued to destroy me which was him. The day our marriage was legally over, I did not walk around angry, sad, or bitter. I watched TV, ate bad foods, and drank a little wine.

For the longest time, I thought I had forgiven the other person who had been so blatantly instrumental in the overall destruction of my marriage. Okay, let me be honest — I knew I hadn’t fully forgiven her, but I figured the level that I had reached was sufficed to constitute full forgiveness. I’m good for justifying stuff, so just as quickly as I told my son that part of the reason that I’ve held on to some of that stuff is because he was in some of those folks crosshairs, I realized that I’ve been carrying around some unresolved anger. It’s been hidden.

I’ve always been good at giving folks an excuse or reason for everything I d0. Whether the deed is right or wrong, I will give you something. I would never try to justify any wrong-doing because wrong is wrong, but I will definitely tell you why I did the thing. That’s what made me an exceptional paralegal. Just as quickly as I told my son that part of the reason that I’ve held on to some of that stuff is because he was in that woman’s line of fire and had been her intended target merely because he is my son, I felt conviction.

I’m always preaching that regardless of the infraction, it is your duty to forgive immediately. We desire and expect God to forgive us just as soon as we finish our sins, so we have to do the same thing. I found that I’ve been carrying this low-key anger around not just the past three years, but actually nearly the entire time I was married to that man. There was always interference on her part. I would later learn that this person highly recommended that my husband divorce me and in fact set him up with another woman before our divorce was final. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the fact that he is a grown man (kinda) so the decision to mistreat me and to ultimately seek divorce was on him. The point is, though, that the level of meddling was unbelievable and unacceptable.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I realized that I hadn’t forgiven that woman. I have been praying to God to give me strength to release that old girl fully. I have even been fasting about that thing because she’s caused enough havoc in my life. I won’t stop until I have fully released her because until I do, she holds a little control over my emotions. I don’t think of her every day, every week, or even every month, but when she does cross my mind, I become angry. That can’t happen. I won’t stop until I do my duty and that duty is to fully forgive her.

Forgiveness, as you know, is not necessarily for the other person. It’s for you. Let it go.

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