2019 was a hard year, which is evident by my lack of posts. I had so much to write about, but it was all so hard that I couldn’t write about it.
But that’s not what I’m letting go of today.
In asking myself one very hard question, “What do I need to let go of today?” my mind went to several places, but eventually landed on a six-month period in 2015 when it felt like my whole life was falling apart. My most important relationships and my job had disintegrated and because I’d allowed them to become too important in my life, I very nearly disintegrated too. I made a lot of poor decisions in those six months, decisions that hurt people and decisions I’m still dealing with today. If I could erase that time from my life entirely, I would. That’s how much of a difference they made in my heart.
These six months are part of my life I am choosing to release today.
I’ve had enough hurdles and obstacles in my life to know that I will have to continue to release this over the next several months. Maybe even years? Letting go of something that hurt you deeply is not something that happens in a moment. But this morning as I contemplated what it was I needed to let go of, I realized that though I’d moved on from all that happened in that time, I still had not done one very important thing.
I hadn’t forgiven myself.
Several years ago, I went through a period of intentionally trying to forgive someone who hurt me deeply. I did crazy things like post a picture the door I would see every day as I left the house that said “Forgive”. I wrote the word “Forgive” on the inside of my wrist with a sharpie. I posted a banner on my old flip phone that also said forgive, so every time I opened it up, that’s what I saw. And it worked. (You can read about it here.) I was reminded of these crazy tactics today as I put some sticky notes in different places around my house to remind me of a new challenge I started (Side note: I’ve been using the Fabulous app for a few months now in order to create good habits in my life.) And as I placed the sticky notes around my house, I remembered how long it once took me to forgive someone else.
Now it’s time I become intentional about forgiving myself.
Part of what’s been so challenging about forgiving myself for the people I hurt in that six month period is how I was never allowed to apologize. I was devastated when I realized the series of actions I took to hurt them, and I did try to reconcile. My attempts were refused. As a result, I’ve felt a little like I’ve been in a state of limbo, knowing there wasn’t nothing more I could do to make things right, all the while knowing there were people out there who had no desire to ever see me or talk to me again. That’s a pretty painful place to live in, and it hurt for a long time.
The hurt subsided, and what once consumed my mind stopped consuming my mind. I set my own boundaries in order to ease some of that hurt, but if I’m honest with myself I believed the hurt would only fully subside once they were willing to forgive me. And since I wasn’t given the opportunity to tell them how sorry I was, I think I assumed that never ending that hurt was part of the consequences for what I did.
(I’d never realized that until this moment.)
But that is not living in freedom, and I do believe that is what God has called us to do. To walk in His glory and to release ourselves for what we have done.
The thesaurus says that another phrase for “letting go” is “it doesn’t matter” and I have conflicting feelings about this. Because what I did absolutely does matter. I undid a heart, and that matters. A lot. Yet in this process of not being able to make it right, I’ve undone my own heart.
And honestly, that matters more. Because I do have control over that.
I hope to discover what it looks like to let go of those six months of my life, lay them at the feet of Jesus and ask him to heal all that I’ve broken in it.