By Amy Kyle with Waco Moms
Istruggle with forgiveness. There I said it. Am I the only one? There are situations in my life that are still painful and raw and I’m just not ready to forgive. Yes, I’m aware that forgiveness brings peace and happiness, but I cannot force it to happen. How do I make this easier? And, how can I teach forgiveness to my children when I’m struggling with it currently. I want my kids to learn forgiveness. I want them to know what it means to show love, compassion, and empathy even in the most unforgivable situations. I don’t want them to know a life of holding grudges or hanging onto resentment and pain.
I recently attended a workshop called “Freedom and Grace through Forgiveness and Receiving.” It was put on by a good friend. When she contacted me about the workshop I thought, “Absolutely! I totally need this!” Two things struck me hard during this workshop. First was the question, “Do you feel hostile toward the whole idea of forgiveness?” “Yes.” I raise my hand. But then I recant, “Wait! I don’t feel hostile toward the whole idea of forgiveness. I feel hostile toward the idea of forgiving certain unforgivable people! That’s not the same, right?!”… It is. The second was during the explanation of the process of allowing forgiveness to fill the hole made by anger and despair. I was really struggling with this. Then she said one final phrase, “If you are not ready to forgive, then say to yourself, I forgive myself for not being ready to forgive.” Wow. That hit home.
“I forgive myself for not being ready to forgive.” Isn’t this just as important?
Forgiveness is a journey. There is anger, pain, resentment, denial, indifference, etc. You have to find love, healing, acceptance, and acknowledgement to eventually find forgiveness. Forgiveness is the ultimate action as a follower of Christ. How, though, does one forgive those that in every sense of the word DO NOT deserve it? This is what Christ does for us… I’m just not there yet, and that’s okay. For me, I’m trying to find peace and forgiveness in a situation that is continuous and ongoing. The exhaustion that comes with that can be very daunting. However, I’ve decided that I can teach my kids just as much about perseverance and the journey to forgiveness as I can about forgiveness itself. My children can watch me pursue healing, acceptance and acknowledgement, as well as watch me demonstrate forgiveness in the daily, ordinary things when mistakes are made towards the people I love.
This can be a difficult journey, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Find your peace inside the storm and the journey itself. Remember, you are not alone. Don’t forget to fill your own tank, find your own peace, and be present in your own life. In doing so you will be better equipped to be the example of forgiveness your kids need as they learn to work through the harder and more complicated lessons in life.