I’ve spent an absolutely absurd amount of hours trying to make men see the pain that they inflicted. I will have the last word in the argument. I will write the long paragraph about the depths of my disappointment only to get either “OK” or worse, blocked. I will sit in tears while he rolls his eyes telling me to get over it. I will write an entire chapter in my *almost* finished book about them hoping that they see my name in Barnes & Nobles one day and buy it. It seems imperative to me to try to force the other person to be faced with the raw pain that they caused. To me, this will make me feel a bit less broken.
I feel as though if they can see my pain, they will be less inclined the hurt me again. I have found that the opposite is true. When I pose the question “Why are you doing this to me?” or “Why do you continue to hide who you are from me?” It isn’t met with truth. It is met with more dishonesty and more hurt. Why do I need answers from those who are only motivated to deceive and hurt me?
If I am being honest, I want those who have hurt me to not only see my pain but to experience the pain. I want the intensity of my emotional baggage to transfer to them. I want them to experience what it is like to look up at the person you love, make eye contact through tears, and wonder why you were pushed to the ground with bleeding knees. I want them to experience what it is like to fantasize about the future with someone you love only to find out about their secret life. I want them to lay with a wet pillow wondering what they did wrong to deserve the pain. I want them to fall in love and then have that woman shatter them into pieces.
I know that this is wrong. I know that hoping those who have hurt me experience the same or worse pain is a horrible thought. I also know that holding onto bitterness is not helpful to me. Bitterness is poison and it is only eating away at me.
“Until forgiveness is given, the victim is tethered to their abusers”John Perkins, One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love
In these moments, I am the judge, right? I feel like through the pain, I have earned the right to judge the scenario. I feel as though my version of events is the ultimate truth and the other person deserves punishment. It is difficult to stay out of the judge’s chair because let’s be honest..judge’s chairs are very comfortable. It is difficult to not wish ill will upon someone that just cannot seem to want to change how they are treating you. It is difficult to wrestle with the thought that I think I am a better person than they are. I wouldn’t ever put someone through this, right? It is easier to chalk their behavior up to being a sociopath and go about your day. It is much more difficult to pray for those who have caused you harm. It is an almost insurmountable challenge to pray that you’ll reach genuine forgiveness one day.
If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink.Romans 12: 18-20
It is easy for me to plot all the ways that I could enact revenge on those who have hurt me. I could literally come up with about 10 ways right now. Does this make me evil? Nope. I think it just points to the amount of pain I have experienced and a lot of free time. The truth is, God has the power to repay. God is the driver of vengeance. I won’t feel any better if those who have hurt me see my pain, experience my pain or are sorry for the pain they have caused. I shouldn’t even be delighted that God will seek vengeance but I secretly do.
In these moments of brokenness and raw emotional pain, I rely on God. I know that he is listening and he is has the power to bring me through the darkness. I know that I don’t even need to show God my pain because he already sees it. I know that God is using my pain for good. I know that the more kindness I show, the less tethered I will feel. I know that it would be for the betterment of all if I prayed for my abusers to seek God. Selfishly, I’d want them to turn to God to better see their treatment of me BUT I didn’t say I was perfect at this, ok?
How do you walk through forgiveness? What does forgiveness look like for you? How are you praying for those who have hurt you? Comment Below!
Have a great week,
P.S. Yes, I am going through a “re-branding” process with both my blog and Instagram. I will continue to share personal stories that mix Faith and Mental Health. I hope you enjoy!