Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me. – Sara Paddison
They were close friends. Or they thought they were.
They were childhood friends who grew up to be inseparable. They shared a dozen trips, a hundred sleepovers and a million talks together. They were like sisters, born and raised in one small town.
After college one flew overseas and one stayed back home.
The year was 2010.
Two childhood friends were reunited in Abu Dhabi. They both thought it was a start of a happy journey together in a foreign land.
I took one year of living together for a brick wall of silence to grow between them.
The year was 2011.
One ran away, one let the other go. The last brick completed the high wall.
One left the country in despair, the other was left with a hurting heart.
They vowed never to speak to each other again.
Two bitter years of silence.
Two prayerful hearts nursing hurts of the past.
Two unforgiving wills, two weddings gone.
Two separate lives, fingers crossed their paths do not meet.
The year is 2013.
One email sent, “a gift for you.” One email replied, “I miss you.”
One night reunited, one long talk, one last cry.
I’m sorry. I forgive you.
Forgive me. I’m sorry.
To forgive is easy to say until you actually have someone you need to forgive.
When the fight is between two old friends, unintentional hurt leads to deep piercing wounds. Self-pity turns to anger and anger turns to grudge. Grudge causes even the strongest friendship to crumble like sand.
Forgiveness is tricky. When your head knows the right thing to do, your heart screams the opposite. Then when your heart is resolved, your head gives you a second opinion. The cycle continues until days turn into years.
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it is an act of will regardless of the temperature of the heart (Corrie Ten Boom). It is a move in a chess board that only God’s grace can push.
It was a continuous war of the will for me, a cha-cha of I’m making the first move and no I’m not. Two years I danced the dance, waiting for the right time that never came. Until one day, I put my foot down, stopped my brain from thinking, clenched my furiously beating heart and focused my eyes on the cross and the blood that forgave the unforgivable in me.
I reached out my hands. In a flash, she reached and grasped mine back. At that moment, a bondage was broken and the Serpent with its lying tongue slithered away defeated.
In the midst of forgiving comes a celebration. We see the beauty after pain and the wisdom of God who knew that the only way for two old friends to learn valuable lessons together is for them to drift apart for a season.
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. – Louis B. Smedes