The gift we give...
Funny enough, and I love it when this happens, my apology leads me right into today's post. As we start our November praying about forgiveness, we have to touch on the gift we give when we say, "I'm sorry."
It can feel like trying to breathe water sometimes... getting those words out... and to follow them with the question, "Will you forgive me?" After we have spent time praying to forgive others, it is a glaring reality left lingering that we, too, have been a wounder, we have caused pain, and we have delivered our own blows.
I was a wounder recently and it was an episode that ended up smacking me in the face and heart. Ironically, I had done the actual smacking.
It was late. Her words were full of hatred and pointed directly at my heart. Defiance was spewing forth from her mouth. I could feel the energy it was taking me to keep myself in control building like a volcano about to erupt into a dark night sky... or more accurately... into the upper spaces and inner walls of her bathroom. Each word I spoke took great effort to come forth at a controlled volume. Each sentence seemed harder and harder to speak as she just continued to spew. And then it happened. She spewed words and my hand came up and landed on the side of her face. It did snap her out of her rant but her face seared my heart... causing me to almost crumble beneath the weight of what had just happened... the reality that I crossed a line and violated our relationship... trust... love... grace. I wounded her. In retaliation, anger, and pure exhaustion... I became the wounder.
As I stood in my room that night, the enemy pounced on my spirit with full force. He screamed accusations at me and I wanted to run... run far into the darkness of the night and just fall apart. I was so tired of trying to hold it together. So tired of the battle. So tired of failing. So tired of the filth and stench that tried to wrap itself around my heart. Tired of trying to swim out of the current trying to pull me under. And so tired of looking in the mirror and hating what I saw looking back at me.
Tears streamed down my face as I sent a text to the worship leader at our church. You see, I was supposed to be on the praise team and sing the next morning. I stood there, clothed in my own disgrace with my own wounding hand, and envisioned myself standing there... singing praises to the One who just witnessed it all. I felt sick. There was no way I could stand there and attempt to worship wearing such shame and sin.
After I hit "send," I sank into bed and cried. And I cried. And I cried.
I asked the One who trusted me with these hands, to love and to serve, to forgive me and wash me clean. I begged for the anger and rejection and exhaustion to be yanked from the depths of my soul. And I begged for His arms to hold me tight.
I spent the next day in bed... emptied. I needed to be with the only One who could refill me. Praise and worship music filled my room as I sat with Him and soaked Him in... refilling my spirit in His word, in worship, in prayer and in praise. When I was filled with Him again and after I forgave myself and took self-grace in hand... I found the one I wounded and offered her my apology.
I told her I was wrong to slap her face. That I had sinned and made a very bad decision. I offered her the reality that mommies make mistakes too. Would she forgive me?
She waited, hesitated, and then she accepted the gift of my apology and offered me the gift of her forgiveness. The exchange of gifts was wrapped in healing and sealed with a hug.
We need to be as free with offering the gift of forgiveness to the ones we've wronged as we are with the gift to forgive when we've been wronged. An ever flowing gift exchange of love and freedom.
Today, we pray the ones we need to offer the gift of an apology to come quickly to mind. Reach out and ask for forgiveness. Pray you can forgive yourself, accept the hand of self-grace, and hold tightly to the One who forgives us as far as east is from the west. Pray to abide in Him and rest in forgiveness. Be blessed sweet friends. Be blessed today. Thank you for walking this month with me. It is already a gift.