Milk and Honey Magazine advice for young women to forgive. Trust in Jesus, beautiful princess!

Forgiveness = Freedom

Hilary Woldt

Forgiveness takes a lot of inner strength. You have to put aside your anger and punishing thoughts and try to understand and calm your mind to see things in a different way. If you go through life unable to forgive, it will eat you alive, kill your happiness and leave you terribly vulnerable.

Forgiveness takes time but will set you free.

I've always struggled with forgiveness. I'm a very emotional and sensitive person, and when I know I can trust someone, I'm all in. I tend to over think things, overanalyze, worry about things I shouldn't and so on. When I am hurt, every inch of my soul & body feels it. The wound impairs my happiness, actions and thoughts. I feel it too much, it's too much to handle - I want to run to a safe place and calm myself and think.

How can I forgive someone who just made me feel this way? I am questioning every decision and behavior that has led me to this place, with this person. I am grieving. Forgiving is not losing the fight, showing weakness or for pleasing the other person. It is so much more. You do it for yourself.

It took me a long time to understand what it means to forgive someone. I always wondered how I could forgive someone who chose to hurt me. After a lot of soul-searching, thinking and therapy, I realized that forgiveness isn't about accepting or excusing their behavior, it's about letting go and preventing their behavior from destroying my heart.

Milk and Honey Magazine advice for young women to forgive. Trust in Jesus, beautiful princess!

I remember the exact moment where it all clicked. It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was sitting across from my psychologist, crying. I felt angry, sad and hurt - so damn hurt. He looked at me and said:

"Hilary, look at how much this is affecting you. You need to forgive him for you. You need to set yourself free. You can't take on this responsibility for your whole life. Do it for you."

We often hold grudges because we don't want to let the other person off the hook. We want them to know their behavior is not acceptable. But who's really hooked: the one who's moved on or the one who's holding on?

I was holding on. I was holding on to the father I once knew. I was waiting for the sincere apology from my own flesh and blood to say he was sorry for his infidelity and the consequences of his actions affecting everyone. I wanted him to know it was not okay to make a selfish decision that not only broke our family up but made my mother question the most beautiful things a person could ever experience: love, trust and happiness. I was angry he told my sister and I over email, that he chose 'her' over my sister and I and that he acted like he did nothing wrong. The twisted words, desperate conversation and goodbye texts... I was bearing it all on my shoulders, I was the middle man in it all. I was being blamed for something I didn't do, my words were misconstrued and I was being punished for trying to understand, punished for not forgiving and punished for not taking sides. How could my own flesh make me feel so responsible?

Milk and Honey Magazine advice for young women to forgive. Trust in Jesus, beautiful princess!

I will never have the answers to any of those questions so I chose to forgive. I chose forgiveness because it set me free. It is so exhausting harboring those feelings and seeking answers I will never hear. I can't even explain to you how my life has changed since choosing forgiveness. I am no longer in battle, I am no longer exhausted from the emotion and I am able to live my life without thinking about it everyday. I am so happy I did this for me. If I hadn't, I'd still be right where I was, fighting for something that is impossible and carrying the anger within me like a ticking time bomb. Yes, I am still upset and at times BUT that is only normal, it's part of grieving.

Acceptance and forgiveness takes strength... and a lot of it. But you have to take care of yourself; don't get caught up in the cycle of holding a grudge. It hurts holding onto it, so let it go, because you don't deserve to have your life so deeply affected by someones wrongdoings. Let them live with the guilt and let yourself heal and live knowing you've done the right thing for you and your happiness. It is worth it. And it might just be the one gift you can give someone that will help them live with the hurt and guilt that they have deep down in their heart. Give them that gift, save them.

I hope this post has spoken to someone who is struggling with the idea of forgiveness. Remember, you are not alone.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32