I have hurt a lot of people in my short life. I’ve been told (and I concur) that I am an old soul. I feel like I’ve already lived an entire lifetime and learned a thousand lessons and truths in my 21 years.
I think people rarely set out to intentionally hurt people, at least I don’t. I guess you could call it casualties of war. The casualties of sin- whether direct or indirect.
We go through life trying to follow the light guiding us, yet somehow it’s impossible to avoid bumping into others trying to do the same. We try to celebrate the journeys and successes of the ones around us without getting sidetracked of our own vision because vision is what keeps us alive. We might get distracted, looking at each other’s journey, noticing the baggage and the road weary faces. Sometimes the masks successfully hide the wounds, but masks never heal trauma.
We try to do the right thing- to communicate what motivates our steps without derailing others in a different spot. We are compelled to speak our testimonies, but sometimes say the wrong things. Sometimes even the right thing is wrong because it’s not the right time. Sometimes we think we’ve ruined it for everyone. Sometimes we think we’re alone.
Sometimes I’m afraid I will never have a voice again because of the way it was misunderstood and rejected in the past. The fire never died. God never let me die even when I thought I would. The coals have been stirred quietly in my heart to keep me alive and growing.
God, I’ve been letting You in to heal the wounds. I have let You touch the misunderstandings, the rejection and loss of things and people I once thought I was incomplete without. I have kissed the ground of my pain and released offense towards ones who tried to silence me and reject what You were doing in me, despite my mistakes and young faith.
But something keeps coming back, and I wonder why I catch myself when I want to move and speak and dance and live and breathe and respond. My flesh calls it wisdom- this caution to avoid offending, to avoid hurting, to avoid to avoid to AVOID even when it’s time to be direct. My spirit knows it’s fear.
I’m afraid to cause pain again.
If You say go, why can’t I move? If I’ve forgiven, why don’t I feel forgiven? God, if I’m not holding offense towards others, am I holding an offense to myself? You said to love my neighbor as myself. Do I still love myself like You see me?
I can’t forgive myself that I didn’t execute Your plans perfectly. I cant forgive myself that I let the condemnation in and cloud wisdom and crush faith. I can’t forgive myself for letting the intense pain of human misunderstanding convince me that You would give me a stone when I asked for bread. I can’t forgive myself for not being strong enough to carry the weight. I can’t forgive myself for taking on the weight of the burdens instead of properly finding my rest and wisdom in You against all odds.
I can’t forgive myself for not not knowing who to confide in. I can’t forgive myself for trusting the wrong people or being too gullible to discern and to give myself grace and time to process and learn. I can’t forgive myself for not receiving the grace to make innocent mistakes as I learned to walk. I cant forgive myself for the pain and chaos that learning to walk in boldness of your testimony in my life caused.
I can’t forgive myself for believing that You were limited by young faith- that somehow my inconsistencies and weak areas would not hold up against your great strength and love to keep me humble and to keep me pure in heart. I can’t forgive myself for not being wise enough to navigate the questions well.
I can’t forgive myself for receiving doubt. I can’t forgive myself for letting Satan steal that innocent faith and first love abandon. I can’t forgive myself for stumbling into the very things the accuser held over my head with fear when I first had the faith of a child. I can’t forgive myself for buckling under pressure. I can’t forgive myself for losing it and throwing myself under the bus of self sabotage instead of digging deeper in You. I can’t forgive myself for falling into actual personal darkness so much worse than the false imagination and fear the enemy projected- even through people.
But most of all, I can’t forgive myself for believing that You were the one hurting me and for letting pain and bitterness harden my heart to Your unconditional love in my pit.
I can’t forgive myself for letting the memories and fear of hurting others again dull my sensitivity to Your voice. I can’t forgive myself for letting the pain of my offense overshadow the magnitude of redemption and the power of Your words and my testimony.
Sometimes I let my mistakes dictate how I respond in the present. But can wisdom really speak through fear? Can fear really ever promote love which covers a multitude of my sins? Fear is never wisdom unless it’s fear of God. With holy fear, I don’t have to fear anything else.
I’ve done all I know to do to make it right, yet I can’t fix it. How do I let go? How do I pick myself up and walk in boldness and humility? Perfect Love, step in my fear so I can see clearly.
I don’t reject the testimony of Christ in my life. It’s much too real to deny, and I would sell my soul to close the door to what I’ve known. But show me where I’ve over-corrected to my mistakes and hardened my sensitivity the the quiet voice of the Spirit because of the intense fear of being a trigger point of pain.
God, how can you be limited to me? How small You must be in my mind if I think my mistakes can derail my destiny or keep someone out of Your arms? I’m not even strong enough to escape Your intense love.
I say I can’t forgive myself, but I simply can’t forgive myself yet. You invade my heart, and I know the end, or really, the beginning is in sight.