I was processing with a friend tonight about something that had recently happened to me that was quite painful, and while describing the level of loss I am experiencing, I said to her, in an attempt to paint a picture of what is happening on the inside of me: It’s like an earthquake has hit my life. Images of today’s devastating earthquake and tsunami that has destroyed Japan came across my mind. Particularly a picture of a rubble heap. What I once knew to be secure and strong around my life relationally, has crumbled in an instant to a pile of rubble. After the shock of the earthquake is over, and the grieving has subsided, the time then comes where you have to begin to rebuild again.
Where to even begin?
As hard as it may be, the first step to rebuilding is to clean up the mess that remains. And, what is messier in our lives than unforgiveneness? Not forgiving those who have hurt us is like trying to rebuild a new building on an old pile of rubble. Forgiveness is such a touchy topic too because of the confusion and lack of understanding surrounding it. I myself have wrestled with what does this actually look like to forgive? I would have really liked Jesus to have written a list of steps on how exactly to forgive! Yes, that would have really helped us all. But, we DO know that He tells us TO forgive, and if we don’t forgive others, He won’t forgive us! Ouch, ok, I have to figure this thing out! I wrestle particularly with the sense of injustice of wrongs suffered. If I forgive someone who has wronged me, but do not see that there was accountability for their action-it feels to me like an injustice. But, God sees all, and we will all give an account for each of our actions. Forgiveness does not mean saying that what was done to us is ok. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean that you have to keep yourself in relationship with the person who has brought harm to your life. Sometimes it is healthiest for you to release certain people, not just out of your heart in forgiveness, but also releasing them out of your life. It is so hard to look at what once was strong and secure-now a pile of rubble. What I do know is that the answer of a healthy heart is-to forgive those who have hurt us. Jesus has seen it all, and will take care of the matter. My part is forgiving.
Next step in rebuilding is to lay a solid foundation to build on. There is nothing more solid than faith in Jesus Christ. He is the Rock that I find constant security in, a rock that nothing can shake or break.
This is where I end up right now at the end of this post- rubble heap cleaned up, and a white solid foundation laid.
What’s ahead? A new beginning.