Wounded

stitchesI was wronged.  I was taken for granted.  My objections, fears, and questions were voiced; they were heard and disregarded.  I felt insignificant, powerless, and defeated.

It forced me into a period of questioning.  “I know I’m at the right place.  I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.  Why this?  Why now?”  “If it’s said my contribution is so highly valued and yet I’m disregarded in this very significant way, can I trust anything else I hear?”  “What does being valued look like–personally and professionally?”

When news seeped out, I felt forced to defend the decision that wounded me.  “Times are tough.”  “God’s going to provide.”  “They didn’t see any other way to meet all the needs.”

Each question was valid.  So was each defense.  Neither one negates the other.

It took more than a few deep breaths, a bit of venting, and innumerable tears to get to the place of acceptance.  I accepted the new reality, and I moved on.  I did what I’d been doing and tried to step up the pace in some areas.  I thought by pushing through, by making it work, everything would be OK.

I was wrong.  The surface of the wound appeared to be healed.  A little poking around showed some tenderness, but I thought that was it.  I convinced myself  it was just a sore spot and nothing more.

Since the beginning of the year there has been a domino effect of events that made me see a few things.  The skin of the wound may look healed, but the deep tissue is still in great pain. That shocked me. The events also helped me realize I’m responsible for the lack of healing.

I adjusted.  I pushed through.  I accepted the new paradigm while simultaneously spending a lot of energy holding onto the idea of the old one.  I didn’t forgive. Acceptance and forgiveness are very different things.

I wanted those who had injured me to acknowledge my wound.  I wanted them to see my pain.  I wanted them to say they were sorry.  I wanted to hold onto my pain until . . . well, until I decided they had earned my forgiveness.

How ridiculous of me!  I set myself up as plaintiff, judge and jury.  I put myself in a position higher than God.  I tilled fertile soil to for seeds of bitterness to take root.  I was wrong.

Realizing all this took a safe place to be heard.  It took hearing the wounds of a friend in the same situation.  It took a few questions asked of a room full of people, but unwittingly aimed with heavenly precision towards my heart.

Have I forgiven?  I think it’s fair and safe to say I’m in process.  I’ve stopped waiting and I’ve given up my right to whatever it is I thought I had a right to.  I’ve repented of  my unforgiveness.  I’ve let go of animosity—even though it wants to creep back.  I hold no ill will towards those who caused the wounds.  I’ve forgiven them—yes; but there are moments when I think I want to take it back.

Right now this forgiveness is a process.  It’s a regular relinquishing of my rights.  It’s a regular extending of grace.  One day the wound will be healed.  The relinquishing—in this case—will no longer be an issue.  Grace will imbue everything.  I look forward to that day because today it’s still a constant choice.  It’s a choice I make willingly for all of us, but it’s still a choice.

What about you?  Are there any sore spots indicating deep wounds that need tending?

photo courtesy of Miguel Saavedra

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Today I’ve joined the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week Bonnie’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith and life related topic.  This is my riff on “Forgiveness.”  I’d love to read your thoughts on the topic.  Please leave a comment or a link to your blog if you’ve jammed on this.  And if you haven’t blogged on it, please leave some of your thoughts in the comment section below.  If you’re interested in seeing what others had to say, please follow the link over to the Faith Barista site.

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15 Responses to “Wounded”

  1. Nikole HahnFebruary 24, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Sometimes the deepest hurts come from those we trusted and loved. It’s a long process. And we’ll go through it again when someone else hurts us. But each hurt makes us grow. It’s like the pruning process. God turns all evil to good for His purposes. Evil cannot triumph.

  2. allieFebruary 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    thanks.

  3. SherylFebruary 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    “Evil cannot triumph.” So, so right, Nikole! Those who we let in always have the ability to wound us deeply. I know it’s tempting not to let people in because of the possibility, but that’s certainly not the answer.

    Allie—you’re very welcome.

  4. DeeFebruary 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Forgiveness is not easy for us, but I am constantly amazed at how much God does it! What helped me to forgive the best I could was to see how much I was responsible for how I used or hurt others for the sake of self-pity, and how much I neglected God’s calling out to me and replaced him with things in this world. The more I read God’s word, the more I realize that my pain is nothing compared to Christ, and my wants are negligible compared to the awesome responsibility to further the gospel that I have, and what am I doing? Focusing on my hurts and hangups? Then, finally, I learned that I do need to work on forgiving myself, as well as others, becuase daily I make mistakes that keep me from moving forward, and then my habit of focusing on those mistakes takes me away from my purpose, or really God’s purpose for me in this world. Life is fleeting and fading quickly for all of us, and so it is more important to love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…for God is Love.
    Great topic, Sheryl, and I hope for all of us that we take this to heart and try our best to practice God’s Love with everyone we know.

  5. Shelley LavertyFebruary 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    No words for this, Sheryl. No words. I just want to tell you that I get it.

  6. SherylFebruary 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, Dee! I love what you say about extending forgiveness to yourself. That’s one place I’m not quick to forgive, but again that’s putting myself above God. I really don’t want to do that. You’re absolutely right that it distracts focus, too. So many good points. Thanks for sharing.

  7. SherylFebruary 24, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Thanks, Shelley. I’m glad you get it. I’m glad you were here today.

  8. Faith Barista | BonnieFebruary 25, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Forgiveness is like a labrynth, and your story here gives us a map to remember… to just keep turning those corners… because Jesus is there and friends who are walking it are on the way too! 🙂 Happy to see you as I make my way too, Sheryl!

  9. SherylFebruary 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    That’s a great word picture, Bonnie! Thank you.

  10. Lisa SewardFebruary 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Thanks, Sheryl, for sharing your honest heart. I can sympathize with the path of emotions you were taking and then, Boom!, truth jumps in and redirects your course back on the track of health and healing. Where did these interjections of truth and correction come from? We all need to invite these kind of influences into our life and thinking so we don’t continue down the path of self-pity or bitterness. Going too far down that path means a harder return to the main track.

  11. SherylFebruary 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    You’re right, Lisa—the path seems even tougher when you do an about face. I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit, his patience, and his making things obvious when I’m ready to respond correctly.

  12. BrookelynFebruary 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I needed to read that! Lots of soft spots in my heart right now. I especially love the phrase: “I look forward to that day because today it’s still a constant choice. It’s a choice I make willingly for all of us, but it’s still a choice.” I’m there…sometimes minute by minute choosing to forgive.

    Continuing this journey…
    Brookelyn

  13. SherylFebruary 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by Brookelyn. I’ll be praying for you as you continue this journey. May all your choices be good ones.

  14. Lisa notes...March 5, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    “Acceptance and forgiveness are very different things.” I wish it weren’t so, but you are so right. Thinking today about who I might need to forgive…

  15. SherylMarch 5, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    It’s a hard truth for me. I really wish they were the same some days. May God bring to mind quickly the person you need to forgive so you can get about that work. If he doesn’t bring anyone to mind, may you rest in the knowledge that your relationships are at peace.

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