I am #StrongEnough to Forgive
Posted October 3, 2016 by Prairie Wife -
When have I felt #StrongEnough? Oh man, this question. The emotions it evokes and the images it places in my head are diverse. I find it interesting the answer would be vastly different if asked at different times in my life.
For me, now…at this place in my life…strength has been found in forgiveness and love.
I’ve experienced a portion of hardship in my thirty-five years. Of course, some might argue my life has been nothing if not easy. Those people are allowed their opinions. I would argue life’s journey is never easy. No amount of fortunate circumstance can protect a person from the pain provided by life. Some are certainly given more than their fair share. Then again, nothing about life is fair.
I’ve written a little about some of the influential moments in my life—the car wreck I experienced at fifteen, the traumatic birth of my first daughter, living with severe chronic pain for nearly a decade… Watching some of my closest friends experience the death and loss of a sweet baby daughter…Witnessing a boy, like a nephew to me, and his parents battle childhood cancer.
I’m well acquainted with the destruction addiction unleashes on a family. And each time I’ve endured crushing feelings of betrayal and/or rejection—which I have, on numerous occasions, my life and my character have been influenced.
But nothing has made me stronger than learning to choose love and forgiveness.
In every moment when I’ve been weakened—physically, emotionally, or spiritually—I have had the choice; forgive and lean into the strength of love, or allow fear to rule.
This is not to say I haven’t wallowed in fear’s company. Anger is usually who I run to first when things aren’t going according to (my) plan. This isn’t fair! This is someone else’s fault…anger and bitterness is justified. That is what fear will whisper into your ear when you are weakened. And fear is a seductive emotion. It makes you feel right, which can sometimes almost feel like being strong.
It takes far less strength to stay in a place of anger than it does to choose the alternative. The other path is work—hard work. The alternative means vulnerability and honesty. Two things only the truly strong can handle.
Those who have the capacity to forgive…to love…despite all of life’s ugly, unjustified, hurt…they are the strongest. They are the pillars of strength we should seek to exemplify, and when we must, they are whom we should lean into when our own strength is insufficient.
God willing, this life has much more in store for me. And I have no doubt I will receive both an unjustified amount of pain…and blessings. I already have. I pray I have am #SrongEnough to endure them both. With ample practice in forgiveness and massive quantities of love, I believe I will.
Categories: This and That