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A heart that cannot forgive is its own jailer.

Growing up, you see things. You see people get hurt. You see people leave. You see people hurting others. You see pain. You experience pain. You experience joy too, but pain, you never forget, because you don’t want to experience it again. You want to do whatever it takes to guard against it. It’s so innate, we don’t even realize we’re building walls.

The Walls. We don’t realize that our hearts are surrounded by the best metal to forge a stronghold around it, then outside of that there’s a moat with the most deadly starved sharks. Then on the land surrounding the moat there’s pit bulls, rattlesnakes, bear traps, and every other creature we can imagine on guard.

This is what lack of forgiveness looks like. But to us, we’re well protected from hurt. The funny thing is, we always get hurt again. And we experience pain again, but we’re miserable because we’re isolated and without comfort. And we’re slowly killing ourselves.

Learning to forgive and building relationships.

Un-forgiveness is a disease of the heart and mind. I’ve heard it called “keeping records of wrong.” These records don’t protect us from getting hurt. They keep us hurting. The only difference is now we’re hurting alone.

Outside the walls. So Where’s the Love? The love lives outside the walls. God said we can’t love him and not love others. (1 John 4:20) And we can’t love, if we don’t let others in.

As a little girl, I was touched in an inappropriate way. I grew up with a perception of love that wasn’t real. And it angered me because it warped my senses and I couldn’t do anything about it. But the anger only affected me. He was gone. I didn’t know where or how to find him. And even if I did find him, what then? I still had the same damage but worst, I was holding anger and resentment. This hindered my relationships with others. I was living in a jail that my hatred created.

The only way out was through forgiveness. The only way I could forgive, what he did to me, and what I became, was through God and seeing him and my sin the way God saw it, something worth dying for.

I have never felt so much freedom. I could forgive him, but more importantly, I could forgive myself and unchain my heart because He paid the price for it all. Christ extended new life to me, where I’m clothed with His love, compassion, grace, mercy, and strength.

This is freedom, this is Christ, and this is illumination.

Categories: Acts17seventeen

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I am a writer, a poet. I peruse life like a storybook, a tale, where the ending is unknown but believed to be happily ever after. I am an attorney by trade. I am a singer, poet, and actress by desire and gift. I am a member of City Church of Sacramento and I am growing in grace and repentance. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and friend, all of which I am gratefully budding in.

2 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Daughters of Jerusalem and commented:
    It’s amazing the amount of thought, time, energy, and feeling we put into old hurts. This made me wonder, what does it take for me to let go of my past hurts? Illumination is one things, but it’s more the choice to forget, forgive, and move on. The good thing is we don’t have to continue to put ourselves around those hurts, or people anymore. And the fact we hang on to those hurts only keeps a blockade up around our hearts and mind.

    We begin to think the only person who can take care of us is ourselves and that we can’t love, nor do we deserve to be loved by anyone else. The more we dwell on it the more we begin to believe our fears are real. We begin to grow angry as those hurts continue to fester. This moment from my pastor really made me take a step back and look at myself; my life, and my relationship with God. I found there was no room for God because I was so angry and bitter from what I called injustices in my life.

    So I prayed…

    I prayed, and I read, and I studied the Bible more and more. And what I found was mercy, grace, and happiness. I found my days were better spent figuring out how I can do more with volunteer work, how I can better myself at work, how I can be a better wife, and how I can be a better me. I found that following God means leaving the past behind, literally! If I don’t then the evil one will always have control of my mind, heart, and soul. I’ll continue to live in darkness, and I’ll continue to self loathe. What a waste of my time and the time God wants me to spend focusing on Him and his word.

    Gods illumination in my dark world was just the start. Now it’s time for me to move on and be the light that shines (Matthew 5:14-16).


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