Time Needs Time

“Sometimes you just have to give time, time.”

I have been reading the book God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours, written by Regina Brett. If you are struggling with forgiveness or emotional pain perhaps sharing/summarizing her words (in this post) will offer some peace and understanding.

In Lesson #30, the author, Regina, tells a poignant story of healing and forgiveness.  She begins by speaking of a series of retreats she attended once or twice a year for 26 years. Life had thrown her many curve balls and she was in dire need of emotional and mental healing primarily in regard to her father whom she no longer loved.

A woman, who also regularly attended these retreats, befriended Regina.  As a result, Regina became comfortable sharing and confiding her deepest pains with her. The lady would listen to Regina, make her laugh, give her advice and always ended the conversation with the words: Sometimes you “have to heal in layers and not all at once”…. “Sometimes you just have to give time, time.”

Version 3As the years passed, she recognized her level of healing had reached the point where she was ready to try to reconnect with her father. Although she had been able to finally work through her anger, her feelings of fear and insecurity made it difficult to make the first move.  As a result the gift of time kept ticking away as well as the opportunity to reconnect.

One day she received word her father was ill and had been given a few months to live. This crucial news provided the opportunity to confidently make the first move so she immediately went to be with him.  They both experienced a much desired and welcoming peace.  They shared memories and were filled with much joy just being together again. As she left that day her dad waved goodbye for what was to be the last time. Due to his illness he fell unconscious three days later.

She went to him again and was filled with compassion as she lovingly caressed his hands and was able to say “thanks”.  As she sat at his bedside she reflected on the grace God gave her. How He enabled her heart to fill with the love that had been absent for too long. How He enabled her to remember the good qualities and special moments shared with her father and not the painful times.  As she wrote his obituary she “was able to tell what a great guy he was.”  Regina stated, “For years she had put the magnifying glass on the pain, now she was able to put the magnifying glass on the gifts, and there were many.”

“Time needed time” to bring her to this incredible moment of love, compassion, and forgiveness.

I can appreciate the wisdom in these words and through the years I have experienced the truth in these words.  How about you?

Forgiveness

How very sad for a person to die before they have had a chance to make amends with someone even if that someone is themselves. Forgiving someone or yourself for past misjudgments or actions can be a trial that can last a lifetime.

I am seeking self-forgiveness and I often find the biggest obstacle in forgiving myself is me.

I know it is important to ask God for forgiveness and I have asked. I believe in my heart He has forgiven me.  My own insecurity is holding me back from fully allowing myself to accept this forgiveness.  The Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). In other words, He is saying, I forgive you so move on with yourself!  I am trying hard to remember that if an awesome God can forgive a wretch like me, I should be able to forgive myself. If God has moved on, shouldn’t I do the same rather than remain a victim of my own scorn?

I realize the longer I avoid truly forgiving myself, the longer I allow myself to harbor the feelings that I deserve to suffer. Self forgiveness will bring me the peace I desire. Simply letting go of what I am holding against myself will better enable me to move on with my relationship with God and with others.

The reality is I cannot change what has happened.  It is time for me to forgive myself and let the healing begin.

 

 

Bucket List Idea #3

Resolve a conflict or forgive someone.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Is there someone in your life you need to forgive or is there someone you need to ask forgiveness?  Why not give yourself the opportunity to to let go of this heavy burden?

It’s a hard thing to do—to completely let go of something painful and forgive. It is not easy to forgive when we feel like we have been wrongly hurt.

Sometimes there are obstacles.  Is your personal sense of justice or righteousness getting in the way?  Do you get a little personal satisfaction by brooding or sulking?  Sometimes when we get hurt, we want to hurt back; we want the other person to suffer as we are suffering.

Refusing to forgive leaves an open wound in our heart.

Perhaps you need someone to forgive you.

But, what if the person you need forgiveness from is not willing to forgive you?

Unfortunately, there are sometimes things you just can’t fix.  Sometimes things are so broken that they cannot be mended.  This can be very hard to accept.

My only advice is to pray for that person, pray for what has been broken to one day be restored, and pray you have the inner strength to move on with your life knowing you have given it your best effort.

Don’t put it off any longer. Take this opportunity to release not only yourself, but the person you need to forgive or need forgiveness from.

 “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis Swedes