I forgive you.
The words came spewing out of my mouth far faster than I had anticipated. They fell out of me like a tidal wave, washing away the years of anger I had built up against him. And as my heart softened with forgiveness, my mind reeled in disbelief. In my little world, he was public enemy number one. The person who took my sixteen-year-old heart and annihilated every ounce of trust it once held out so innocently for him.
But there it was, the words “I forgive you” still thrusting through my defenses as my nineteen-year-old heart began to bandage the broken pieces that had been placed there a few years earlier. And I wondered if I was being weak. In that moment of resignation, I wondered if the broken would wiggle its way back beneath those newly formed bandages, if I was forging a path for the heartache to find me once again.
But something inside called me forward, to allow forgiveness to extinguish that raging fire of anger I had spent years feeding. And so we worked at it, me and public enemy number one. We rode the highs and trekked through the lows. We loved and fought and put up defenses.
And then, on a perfect day in April, we said to one another, “I do.”
It’s amazing what God can do when we allow ourselves to drive holes through the walls we’ve put up against others. But we are experts at building, aren’t we? We take those broken parts of our hearts and stack them onto the walls that separate us, brick by brick.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
May those words break down the walls in your hearts, dear sister, because there is always room for love. Always.
Are you holding fast to hatred, a grudge, or anger? Can you let forgiveness wash over you? Start with praying for that person.
Brittany Calavitta is an enthusiastic advocate for a good book, strong coffee, and a hopeful heart. After battling years of infertility, she and her husband welcomed their first child on September 11, 2016. You can find out more about her here.