Have you ever held on to something so tight your hand began to hurt to the point where it stiffened up, and when you tried to let go, it was hard to do so? I did that, but it was with my heart and not my hand. I got the opportunity to go home to NH three different times this past summer. I was in NH more than I have been in a long time. You see, my brother needed help with our mom two different times, and the third was to have an in-person conversation with my siblings and my sister-in-law.
By now, you are probably saying, get to your point. What does that have to do with holding on?
Through these three very different times at home, I learned I was holding on to the past, the hurt, and the unforgiveness that came with it. I knew that even though I thought I had let it go, I hadn’t. It seemed like I was wading in an ocean when the truth was, I had gone out so much further that the water was almost over my head. That caused it to affect my attitude and relationships.
Through this time, I learned that it is only in Christ that I can let go of the hurt, the anger, and most importantly, the unforgiveness. Through this time, God showed me that I also hurt some of the same people that hurt me, and had to ask God to forgive me for my sins. None of us are perfect, but I learned that the tighter I hold on to the hurt and the past, the more I am hurt and the harder it is to let go.
I am thankful for the person I am today. It has made me the person I am because of the things that I went through, whether I caused them or they were caused to me. The pain is still there from time to time, and it is only through leaning on Jesus Christ that I can rise
above and use it to help others and to grow myself. I now know more than ever that this is only one person who will even understand completely, and that’s Jesus Christ.
I know you’re rolling your eyes right now; I know because I have been there and done it to others. But if you look at the life of Jesus, you’ll see that He went betrayal (Luke 22:47), Peter denied that he knew Jesus (Matthew 26:72)) and was abandoned (Matthew 27:46). He was beaten and abused (Matthew 27:22-31). Jesus was called names. He was called a liar. His motives were questioned. He was arrested (Matthew 26:57). There was even a time when His parents didn’t understand Him. And let’s not forget the death He went through. Jesus went through all this and yet found it in His heart to forgive.
Through my trips home, I was reminded that Jesus Christ had forgiven me; therefore, I must forgive (Matthew 6:14-15). He showed me it was time to let go. It wasn’t easy to “open my heart” and give up the hurt, anger, and unforgiveness that had been simmering for years. Yet the comfort I found in doing so was refreshing and renewed my soul.
*All scripture is from the NASB 1995