Then, while attending a workshop, I heard the question, “Have you ever been hurt or felt betrayed by someone you love?” I was quick to identify with the notion. The overseer of the exercise went on to ask questions like, “Do you still love that person?” and, “Does that person still love you?” and, “How would you react if something happened to that person and you never saw them again? What would be the last interaction that you had with them?” At this point, I started crying my eyes out because, as much as I could point to the pain of feeling hurt by this person, just the thought of anything happening to this person presented a much deeper and more catastrophic type of pain. I began to think if I could live with myself, look myself in the mirror, and know that this person’s last thought of me might be one of me being filled with contempt rather than compassion.
I knew I could not begin the road to rebuilding the relationship without God’s guidance and help. And, though we are not nearly as close as we used to be, I know that my love is obvious. I know that if we don’t have a tomorrow together, I have made it known how much I care. And, that is really all we are in control of when it comes to others. Some people are hard to love, but we love them anyway. When we put it in perspective, we should be able to say, “If God can love someone like me, then I should be able to love anybody.” And when we love, we have to love past hurt feelings and feelings of betrayal. That is not an easy thing to do, but God is able to guide us through it. I know because He did it for me.
Many times, when we are hurt by those we love, we tend to think that time will heal the wounds, but we are not promised any amount of time on this side of Heaven to make things right. Think about the grudges you hold against the people you love. Think about how you treat them as a result of the pain they imposed. And, even though, you feel justified in punishing them or protecting yourself from experience that type of pain again, think about this: what if you don’t get to fix it? What if there is never another opportunity to say, “You know what, I feel like you were wrong when you did this…. It hurt me. It hurt me, especially because I love you and I know you love me.” Or, vice versa, what if you are the person in the wrong? Think about how it would feel to know that all you had to say was, “I apologize and I love you,” but pride got in the way and now, you will never get the chance.
This is not really about the reaction of the other person. This is about you. Can you live with yourself if that person leaves this earth and thinks that you hate them (whether they are right or not)? Can you live with yourself if the last impression that person has of you is you treating them cruelly? I knew I could not do it. So, I asked God to help me move past anger and resentment. I sought God to help me forgive because He is the author of forgiveness. He pulled me through it and He would do the same thing for you. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you don’t get a chance to fix it. Make the choice today to repair what is broken and I promise it will feel like a thousand tons of weight is lifted from your shoulders. Forgiveness and love are the way to go; if not, there would have been no need for Jesus to die on a cross to save you and me. Ms. EV