Hard as Nails Ministries
I'm Livid - How I'm Learning to Forgive

I'm Livid - How I'm Learning to Forgive

By:  Mission Team October 16, 2020
#AmazingNation, #Encouragement, #God, #Suffering, #Wisdom

Have you ever felt livid and unable to forgive someone? Somewhat recently I felt extremely hurt and taken advantage of by someone close to me, and it created a mess of emotions and bitterness in my heart. I didn’t talk to this person for weeks, I couldn’t talk about what I was going through without crying, and I felt as if the situation had weaseled its way into every niche of my day to day life. I was frustrated that something seemingly so small could create such a mess of myself. Throughout this year, thanks to the faithfulness of God and my mentors, I am learning to forgive, and to love this person again. Here are the steps that I was taken through in that process.

For me, step number one was when I was praying and begging God to give me His heart towards the person I was so hurt by. As I did this, a realization slammed my heart. If I was going to ask for a Christlike heart, then I needed to look at how Christ’s heart was towards this person. I began to think about it, and I remember thinking, “oh crap. Jesus, you love this person so much. You are cheering them on, you think they are amazing, you created them amazing, just like you did for me.” This prayer changed my mindset, and I began to slowly see how the love that I give is straight from the heart of Christ, not my fragile human heart.

One of my mentors encouraged me to write down every little thing I needed to forgive this person for. My first thought was that I already knew it all, so why write it down? I mean, I replayed the same scenarios over and over in my head. However, once I started writing, I filled multiple notebook pages with all of the small and painful details I was holding onto deep in my subconscious. As I wrote, I began to see the places where I reacted sinfully, where I messed up, where I failed to love as I should’ve. As I wrote, I began to beat up on myself, and began to understand that I needed to have mercy on myself too. This exercise was key to me being humble, admitting my shortcomings, and forgiving myself which in turn allowed me to be more merciful towards the person I was working to forgive.

I recently found out what it feels like physically and emotionally when I am acting out of a wound. My throat tightens up, I feel very overwhelmed and ready to burst into tears. Silence becomes the only way to not ‘freak out’. Why is this helpful? Well, now that I’ve figured out how it feels when I am experiencing a wound, I am now able to recognize in the moment that I am feeling a wound from the past, and that my thoughts aren’t going to be rational. It allows me to put my emotional reactions on hold until I work through them in prayer and with mentors.

At first, I confused healthy boundaries with self-protection. My boundaries brought hiding, not freedom. They were more to keep myself from hurting (which isn’t necessarily a bad reason for boundaries) than it was to truly love the other person. Good boundaries always look at what’s best for the other person, while protecting your own dignity. What’s best for the other is usually found in looking at what they need in their life, and how to love them in that. I am learning how to love and encourage now, because I feel like that’s what God gives me the strength to do through his heart, not mine. I am learning how to set up healthy boundaries, but for the betterment of the other person, not my own fear of being hurt.

Because I felt so hurt, it became harder for me to open up or share what I was going through with others. I was afraid of creating or being immersed in a mess again. This self-protective mentality became normal for me. It took a piece of my freedom and I saw myself relying more on myself and not needing others. The first step to overcoming something is recognizing it. I am still in the process of taking risks and it’s hard for me, but I know it’s where I’ll find my freedom.

While this may not be the case for every situation, in my case as I began to unearth my true heart through the above steps, I began to see that the situation affected me because of past wounds. My core wounds of feeling rejected, unwanted and taken advantage of rushed back in full force. Working through these with patience and compassion towards myself helps me to not go into self-hatred or despair. It’s amazing to see how the hardest situations in my life are the opportunities that God is giving me to heal from my core hurts to become more whole.

It’s unbelievable to see how through others walking with me each step of the way, I am able to love and forgive this person, and enjoy spending time with them again. The love I have for this person isn’t from a sense of pressure, guilt or obligation to make myself feel better (although I had all of those at times!). It isn’t based on what they have done, mistakes they’ve made, or mistakes I’ve made. It’s based on the truth that God made each of us amazing, and we can love one another in that truth.

God has been so patient with me, and He truly gives me the strength to love no matter what. This has been my experience in just one year, I can’t imagine what’s in store for my future! As hard as it is to admit, I am thankful for this experience of pain, because it’s helping me to grow. In this process, God has been incredibly gentle with me, and so present in tough moments. I’m sure he’ll do that for you too, because he is a God who believes in every person, he thinks you’re amazing, and he’s your biggest cheerleader.


Photo Credits:
Heinrich Hofmann / Public domain "Angry Bird" by gomessda is licensed under CC BY 2.0 "Nina Lise Moen - Setting Boundaries" by lastoffagiusta2019 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 "Jesus Christ" by AllAboutMormons.com is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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