Today’s #MondayMessage will be a bit different; the following is a page from my journal/diary. When I write in it daily, I write with God as my audience. So sit back, read along, and pray with me.
September 22, 2019, Day 21 of Surrender
Yesterday I watched as my college friend married her best friend. Being back in Baltimore is always so hard for me because my mind can only recall all of the pain that the city has caused me. I recall the heartbreak of failed familial, platonic, and romantic relationships and I think of all the numbing that I did to survive 25 years in Charm City. I drank, I ate, I engaged in risky behavior- I did it all just to drown out the reality of what the city was and the pain that I had endured within its limits.
As I drove home today, I spoke to another friend and mentioned to him how the city affected me. He poured into me spiritually and encourage me to let You begin to heal me. I tried to eloquently explain to him that my heart felt like it was in a vice grip, dying from the pain that held it, but also terrified of enduring more pain by removing it from the choking grip. No, the city itself never hurt me, but I had been hurt so much in this city that all I see when I see it is pain. Baltimore is where I was raped, it’s where I experienced heartbreak and betrayal from multiple boyfriends/lovers, and it where I blindly drank to forget it all. I spoke to him and realized that I have to fall in love with my city again; I have to give it another chance. I may not be a resident of it anymore, but I owe it to my heart to forgive.
A familiar word in my heart…
I feel like You have just been steadily trying to get me to focus on this word and its implied action. Just when I thought I had forgiven all who had hurt me, something else pops up and I am faced with this word again. Honestly, Abba, I am tired of having to forgive. I know it sounds so wrong, but some of the things that people have done to me caused me so much pain and I do not want to let them off the hook! It is not fair that they get to hurt me and I am just expected to just ignore it and make amends with them. Frankly, I just don’t want to do it. I am TIRED of being the “bigger person.”
But as I think about all that I have done to people… and all that I have done to You… I realize that forgiveness is the only reason that I am here today. Forgiveness caused Your Son to die for my sins and forgiveness caused others to see You when they see me.
I am learning to forgive without prejudice. For me that means forgiving and moving past all of the associated pain to an inexplicable level of renewed trust. That’s a mouthful! But it is also a mentality. I do not want to continue to be weighed down by the debilitating weight of unforgiveness and bitterness. So on this 21st day of Surrender, I am leaving this on Your altar. Please, help me to forgive the way You have forgiven me and help me to love the way You love me.
And then, help me to heal.
I don’t want to live in this perpetual state of pain forever. I also don’t want to hold onto to the pains of my past forever. I want to build a new legacy of love and light- two things that cannot survive in the darkness of pain. So again I surrender and humbly ask that You would help me to lean on Your strength and not try to do this in my own might, but instead by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
As I head to bed tonight, Abba, I thank You for the love that You continue to surround me with through my friends and family. I have known so many fraudulent relationships that sometimes it is hard to see the real deal, but I thank You for wisdom and discernment, that allow me to proceed with caution.
I am one step closer to bed now, Father (one night of staying up all night has gotten me all cross-eyed at the computer), but I just want to say thank You. No matter what happened this weekend, You were there and Your grace and mercy went before me. Thank You for loving me beyond my pain and keeping me throughout it all. I love You…
I don’t know why God had me to share this entry with you all today but I pray that something in it spoke to you. It is always my prayer that what God shares with me is able to feed His children in some way and this journal entry is no different. Maybe you are struggling to forgive or maybe you just mastered that art, I don’t know, but I pray that this was for you. I lay my heart here, exposed for the masses to see, forever praying that all can see how Jesus is steadily healing and repairing it one keyboard click at a time.