I have been thinking lately about forgiveness. I pause when I get to the line in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
I wonder about past hurts. I have prayed for help to forgive. Only by grace can I forgive. I say the words, “I forgive.” I think I have forgiven. It mostly feels like I have forgiven.
When I reflect on certain past hurts, they still ache, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, sometimes not at all.
Once forgiven, always forgiven?
I hope so, but sometimes I pray the words again, “I forgive.”
Forgiveness only needs to be given once. Healing is what takes time. Healing is a process and can only begin after forgiveness is given. Maybe sometimes praying the words again is needed to help the process of healing along.
I wonder if I still hold any unforgiveness. They are foundation stones to the walls I build around my heart, the walls that I want to tear down, to be open to God and to others, to be free and to be real.
I scan the surface of my heart and do not see any remaining. I peek under and see none. I hold my breath and dive deep. Nothing. Or at least, I do not see anything that “appears” needing forgiveness.
I sense that some thing, perhaps many things, are lurking, hiding some where, perhaps in disguise.
I whisper to God to please show me any thing in my heart that still needs forgiveness. I want to forgive all. I do not want to bind anything or anyone.
Part of me fears what God may show me. Part of me wants to face it, acknowledge it, step through and into it, and emerge on the other side transformed, all with God’s grace.
Forgiveness is not unlike surrendering. Not as resignation but as an act of the will, a choice to let go. To let go of what? Control, possession, identity, pride?
Surrender requires trust—faith and hope.
Forgiveness requires the same trust—faith and hope, plus love.
I believe God is answering my whispered prayer. I should not be surprised at what I think I am beginning to see, but I am. It just might be the hardest person in the world to forgive. Only by God’s grace.
I trust you Father. I trust in Your love. I surrender to You. I am Yours. I know You have forgiven me. Help me forgive myself.

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