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It didn’t hurt.

The ache was no longer there.

That place that kept getting rubbed the wrong way by that one (or two, or three…) person that just seemed to always say the wrong thing at the wrong time, the one (two, or three) who had been abusive in word and deed.

In that instant, I knew I was free!

It began with little digs, and a constant one upping, moving into put downs and reminders of my failures. I finally had enough and just shut the door. I was through and I was hurt.

Wounds not found on my flesh but on my heart. Words harshly thrown can wound deeper than a fist to the face.

In the midst of the pain the choice to forgive was mine and mine alone. I must choose to forgive, by faith, and trust one day the pain would no longer be there.

The choice was made.

Approaching the throne of grace, I asked for the gift of faith and set my will in the direction of forgiveness. With this act came prayers for myself and for my oppressors. I wanted to believe forgiveness would be simple and quick and I could just move on. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way, sometimes trust has been so broken and a heart so wounded and the pain so deep that while the act of forgiveness has taken place the actual healing coming from forgiveness takes time.

The gift of time.

Giving myself the gift of time, I chose to allow the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit to remind me when I needed to dig a little deeper and when I needed to just let the soil of my heart rest. Occasionally, I would test the waters and see how my heart would respond.

It was during those times I had to fight the lies of the enemy. Lies he would whisper about the pain, lies he would declare about a true lack of forgiveness, lies to keep me in the bondage and lies to tie me to down with condemnation. He would poke and poke on those wounds and deceive me into thinking true forgiveness didn’t hurt.

It was during those times when I would remind him I had forgiven by faith and someday my emotions would follow. Someday, how I felt would line up with the decision I had made.

The day arrived.

I tested the waters of my heart and felt…joy! The pain was gone, the gentle pricks of my heart were no longer pricks of pain but undeniably joy. Joy for their families, joy for their destinies and joy for their lives.

John 20:23 – “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;”

Jesus made a way for me to be forgiven and from His forgiveness, He has asked me to forgive others. He does not leave me on my own to just say the words but to truly embrace the grace needed to receive healing and hope for my wounded heart and to know healing comes sometimes instantaneously and sometimes over time but either way it comes by faith!