Honestly, I haven’t really struggled with forgiveness much in my life. I would say that I forgive easily, and pretty much always have. I couldn’t tell you why, and it’s not to make me sound any better than anyone else for being this way. It’s just not something I have found to be incredibly difficult.

Until now.

When something hurts you deeply, deep into the cracks of your soul, you discover something within that changes you. You discover hurt and bitterness. You confront anger and betrayal. You keep it real close to you, allowing it to harbor and make itself a home within your heart. You choose to dwell, authorizing it to take over, leaving you stiff and numb. But those things don’t belong there. Their presence is toxic, growing more poisonous as the days pass.

Forgiveness not only frees these enemies you have created within your mind, but it frees your whole being. Forgiveness allows you to see the situation from a brand new light. Forgiveness forces your heart wide open to vulnerability, rather than it staying cold and closed off from the world. I think that people have come to the conclusion that being strong means building walls and keeping your heart guarded behind barriers that even the strongest cannot break. I believe it’s quite the contrary.

Letting them go, allowing your heart to be vulnerable… that is when you are strongest.

So yeah, I’m hurt. I was kept in the dark and I was lied to. This is the third time in my life where I’ve had to forgive at a heavy capacity. It’s not at all easy. When your emotions and your heart is on the line, it can make it even more difficult. I wouldn’t naturally choose to do this. I didn’t want to forgive. I’d rather keep them in the dark and push them away, just as they did to me. But that’s not loving. That’s not forgiveness.

I want to move forward, I want to continue to flourish and grow. I want to develop strength on a deeper level. I deserve to voice how I feel, but no matter what was done to me, they don’t deserve to feel the wrath of my hurt words or actions. They are human, and as humans, they deserve to be spoken to with love.

My feelings are still hurt. My heart isn’t shattered but it’s not completely mended either. So this is my first step, a step toward a renewed relationship. A step toward harboring love rather than hatred in my heart. A step toward developing a stronger me. And finally, a step toward constantly choosing forgiveness over resentment.

Here’s to healing.

Here’s to love.

Here’s to forgiveness.

This article was originally published on Lauren’s personal blog, at Dainty Devotions.

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