This morning I felt called to write a letter, really an email, that I have wanted to write for about 10 years. This person was on my mind recently because they are forever linked to my 9-11 relief work days and September can sometimes remind me of him. I don’t mean in a longing or sinful way. I am happily married and I have an amazing daughter. I would not have it any other way and I no longer harbor romantic love for this person. He just hurt me really deeply on multiple occasions over a 7 year period. Much of that time separated by two different branches, continents, and jobs in the military.
Throughout my lifetime many people will hurt me. Their impact will not be lasting and I will forget it quickly. There are others who for whatever reason will stay with me and I must consciously choose to forgive them. For that reason, I felt like God called me to actually write to this person and forgive them even though I have not had any contact with him in four years.
I know him. He is a rather selfish person and I know that he may have never heard that he is forgiven before. I know he has not heard it from me because we cut ties when he hurt me, yet again, a few years ago. But, that does not change that I cared for him and it does not change the hurt I felt. He comes to mind rarely these days, but occasionally he will in September. I realized today that I needed to write to him and tell him what I never was able to say and to say that I forgive him. I told him that I pray that he is happy, as happy and blessed as I am. Really, besides saying that we forgive or choose to forgive, even if we don’t tell the person, all we can do is pray for these people. Even in hurt, when we loved someone, we always desire the best for them. It may take years to heal. It is a journey.
I told my husband about it. He didn’t quite understand, but we are different. He wasn’t upset, he just moves on and would not need to write this type of email to anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I have long moved on. I felt called to write it for two reasons. First, so that I can continue on my own journey of learning to forgive. I have some other deep hurts that I need to work on that are much harder to tackle than this one. This is a first step for me. Second, I hope and pray that my forgiveness and honesty will help him to Christ. He struggled a lot with faith. I was trying to witness to the power of forgiveness and Love.
The thing about technology is that it keeps us in contact with people who would normally be long gone. I am not friends on Facebook with this person, as I do not think it is appropriate for married people to be friends with previous romantic interests. As Christians, I do think it is necessary for us to actually tell certain people that we forgive them. Not only for their sakes, but for our own. There is a great healing in uttering the words “I forgive you”, which is precisely why Our Lord calls us to forgive and to seek forgiveness in the Confessional. It heals broken relationships, even if that relationship will only remain in the past.
Some people might think my choice strange. But abundant blessings flowed into my heart when I hit send. This is something that I have thought of writing for about 10 years, but never had the courage. Perhaps because this person kept on hurting me over a 7 year period, because I let them. It took that long for me to just completely walk away. It was the best decision and I found the right man because of that choice. I finally stopped comparing the men I dated to him.
Forgiveness is a conscious choice that we must each make in every moment of hurt. Some things are easier to forgive than others, but forgive we must. Is there someone or some people who you need to forgive? Perhaps you could sit down and write them a letter. If you cannot send it, then write it and throw it away. The act of writing down your thoughts and feelings can set you free. To forgive, the other person does not necessarily need to know they have been forgiven. I have lived all over, and I do not have the contact information for every single person I have known. Family may be harder to forgive. The point is that we work towards that forgiveness. Christ died on the Cross for each one of us, when we sin each and every day. Unleash the freedom and peace of forgiveness into your own life. Have a very blessed weekend!