I’ve been working through some things lately, and thanks to a conversation with my best friend I’m able to put some things into words. Sometimes just being able to put how you are feeling into words is half the battle. When I am able to put words to my feelings I then “feel” like I understand the reasons behind the emotions and feelings going on in my head. Once I have a better understanding of myself and why I feel the way that I do, I can then work on the issue. I’m a pretty analytical person…I like to know the who, where, why, and how of things.
There are some things about my mom where I have been saying to myself, “It is what it is. Now onto the next thing”. I thought I was working on acceptance towards her, however, the anger stayed. I’ve realized that even though I thought I was working on acceptance I wasn’t dealing with all of the betrayal I have felt for so long. It’s not just the betrayal either, but the judgement that goes with it. Thinking that she should have known better and should have made different decisions in many areas of MY LIFE, and forgetting that it was her life too. Judging her choices and decisions because they weren’t what I think she should have done or should BE doing. Judging her for not being able to let go, forgive, and move forward when I have been unable to do the same concerning her. Then wallowing in my own self-justification of my anger and unforgiveness towards her. Allowing my anger to feed into more anger.
Am I really justified in judging her the way that I do…no because I am not perfect. I do not make perfect choices, and how can I condemn her for something I find myself doing…harboring unforgiveness and not moving on.
Romans 2:3-5 (New Living Translation)
” 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? 5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself “.
What that verse is saying is, we will be judged in the same way in which we judge others, and that by holding onto those judgements we are storing up punishment for ourselves…ouch!! There is only one just judge and that is God. God has not put me here on this earth so that I may judge my mom (or anyone else). Am I allowed to feel hurt, betrayed, angry, and sad…yes, of course I am. I am allowed to have feelings and to feel the way that I do. However, I am not supposed to allow my feelings to harbour unforgiveness and judgement. I am to rule over my feelings, and not to have my feelings rule over me.
Luke 17:4 (New Living Translation)
“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive”.
Matthew 6:14,15 (New Living Translation)
“14If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins“.
Wow!! Matthew is such a powerful verse for me. I refuse to put my forgiveness of sins in jeopardy because I refuse to forgive someone of the wrong they have done. Forgiveness of my sins is way to precious to me to trade it in for unforgiveness. To me this verse is all about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Jesus suffered being beaten BEYOND recognition, mocking, and Crucifixion on the cross so that everyone sins may be forgiven. Which means that not only did Jesus pay the price for my sins, but he paid the price of the sins of those who have wronged me. How can I then stand in a position of judgment as to who is worthy of forgiveness and who is not when it has already been decided and paid for…I can’t and I have no right to; which is exactly what I think Matthew 6:14,15 is saying.
So, now that we have established that I have no right to hold onto this unforgiveness lets get down to the nitty-gritty of it all. What keeps me from letting it go? What have I to fear? Here is some of what I have realized. One of the things that keeps me from letting go is wallowing in my self-justification of my judgement and anger towards her…it keeps the cycle going. If I justify her, then does that mean that I also justify all the ways in which she has hurt me and has failed to protect me? Since she failed to protect me from my abuse and failed to make choices that I feel could have prevented the abuse (and choices in general that I feel she should have made), and I absolve her of that; does it then mean that I deserved what happened to me? My anger towards her drives me to be a better mother to my children than she was to me. So, then what happens when that drive is gone? Will I fail to push myself to continue to find ways in which I can better myself as a parent? I suppose if I were to let it all go the world would not end, and there would be a brighter tomorrow. You see, I have to allow myself to realize that letting go of the anger, hurt, and judgement doesn’t make what she has done ok or lessen the hurt that I have felt, and it certainly doesn’t make the abuse ok. I have to allow her to be human…mistakes and all; and not expect her to be some kind of super-mom who was capable of stopping the unstoppable.
I’d like to be honest with you here…I don’t want to pretend like this is all easy for me. There have been lots of times when I don’t want to give into forgiveness, and want to hold onto my anger. Despite what people may think, I don’t want to forgive my mom for her sake…I’m doing it for mine. I have allowed my anger to progress to the point where if forgiveness really had anything to do with her, I don’t know if I would even bother with it. Forgiveness benefits the person who is giving it more than the one who is receiving it. So, I will forgive her for my sake and for the sake of my girls. Unforgiveness is like a cancer that eats away at you. It eats away at your happiness, comfort, patients, and peace…all of which affects your relationships with others. There is a law in the Bible called the “Law of Sowing and Reaping”. It states that you reap what you sow.
Galatians 6:7-10 (New Living Translation)
” 7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith“.
I don’t want my children to feel about me the way that I feel about my mom, right now, later on in life when they are grown. If I continue on this path of unforgiveness and sowing the seeds thereof, I will reap a harvest of unforgiveness towards myself. I’m the only one who has the power to change that by choosing the path of forgiveness. So, I will push myself out of my comfort zone to do what is right not only in the sight of God, but to do what is right for the sake of my kids.
I would like to encourage you to deal with your anger now before it reaches the point at which mine is at. I feel like the Lord has shown me something about my anger and how far I have allowed it to take me. While I was reading my Bible the word “scorner” stood out to me. This is what Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance has to say, “…means to deride or to boast so as to express utter contempt. The activity of the scornful is condemned as an abomination to people (Pr 24:9) and contrary to the Law of the Lord (Ps 1:1)”. The word “deride” means, “to speak of or treat with contempt, mockery, or ridicule; scoff or jeer at” (definition found on www.thefreedictionary.com). I would like to share some Bible verses that talk about the scorner…
Proverbs 9:8 (King James Version)
“8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee“.
Proverbs 9:12 (King James Version)
” 12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it“.
Proverbs 19:29 (King James Version)
“Judgements are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools“.
Proverbs 21:24 (New Living Translation)
” 24 Mockers [scorners] are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance“.
Proverbs 22:10 (King James Version)
“10Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease“.
Proverbs 24:9 (New Living Translation)
” 9 The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker [scorner]”.
I believe that the Lord was showing me that this path can lead me down the path to becoming a scorner, and that in some ways I already am. It’s a painful truth to see about one’s self. I have been in the wrong for holding onto my unforgiveness and for scorning her, and it is something that I will take before the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. I know in my heart that I have spoken of my mom with mockery, ridicule, and have “boast[ed] so as to express utter contempt”. I have treated her with contempt and ridicule at times. I have always tried to treat my mother as nicely as I could at any given moment, but that doesn’t mean that my anger and hurt haven’t shown through my actions and words. There are times when I feel so hurt and betrayed that forgiveness is beyond what I am capable of doing. It’s at times like that where I know that Jesus and me hand in hand can do anything. I know that this has been such a long post, and I want to thank you for reading all of it. Just writing all of this has helped me to move forward. I hope to share more thoughts soon about how I plan on forgiving my mom. I know that with God’s help I will be able to forgive her.
Philippians 4:13 (King James Version)
“13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me“.