After that talk I'd written the above blog post and was on the journey towards forgiveness - but the thing with forgiveness is I don't always know if I've done it. Like I "forgive" and then I don't feel any differently. It's not like forgiving a debt, where you actually erase the debt and can no longer call on that debt. I don't know how to erase the hurt or the feelings, but I know that my heart is towards forgiveness and in that moment I've made a choice in faith to forgive.
I was heading into the weekend with all of this in mind. It felt like most of the week was full of swirling thoughts and it was a bit overwhelming. I was feeling very uncertain.
On the Friday night I went to Chapel. Chapel is our youth worship night - complete with awesome worship, a great speaker (seriously Carmen, amazing), and 700+ youth. Being some what older than youth aged, I sat at the back with my friend Arlene. At the start of Chapel I saw the friend that had suggested I forgive the person who I felt hurt by, this friend said she had read my blog post and was so encouraged to hear where I was at. That was nice to hear, and reminded me that a worship night was a good place to come when you are working through an issue.
As I sat with Arlene at the back of the room Carmen preached an amazing sermon - like really really amazing. I learned stuff, I laughed, I was moved - it was good. And then at the end she asked if anyone needed to "mark" anything - to make a moment for a declaration. And I felt like God prompted my heart: that if I could mark my choice to forgive, then I had to admit in the future that it was done. I didn't go forward but I made a mark there and cried out to God and chose forgiveness and faith. It was a moment.
Arlene is amazing - she reads my blog regularly so she had already been a bit in the loop, and then I shared with her what God was saying and so after I prayed, she prayed for me as well - and helped commit this moment to God and to thank him for His forgiveness in my life and to thank Him that He empowers us to forgive, and so it is done. She prayed for numerous things in my life and I felt very loved and cared for...and as we finished praying the next worship song came on...
In my first blog post I'd written about how difficult it is to know if you've let go, or if you've forgiven, as it's an intangible thing. When we hold a balloon and we want to let go, we simply let go. A string, unlike feelings, is a tangible object that you can let go of. It is much harder with feelings. So in this place where I'd made a choice to let go, and to say my hands are free, I'm not holding on to this hurt the next worship song comes on "Nothing I hold on to". I have to laugh, so does Arlene. Really? "It's like God reads my blog, Arlene!"