When Forgiving Feels Impossible

You ever have an encounter that brings back memories or feelings that make you down right miserable?   Most of the time, I do not because I’m great at letting it go.    Oh, I get mad, and I’ll most likely let you know just how mad I am, but then I’m over it.  And while I’ve blocked out much of my youth, when I do remember something, I always try to just let it go.

Do you believe that at some point in your life, perhaps when you are old or even dying, that you’ll have regret to the point that you’ll want to make it right or just simply show a more loving side?  I’ll get back to this…….

November has been quite the test for me in my spiritual walk.  Forgiveness is such a big part of our walk with the Lord and I can’t help to feel like it’s impossible for me right now.  I was able to let go of so much and forgive so many when I gave in to God, but there is still some that lingers, apparently.   Not too long ago, I saw people that I have tried to avoid over the years, all in one room.   I was uncomfortable and completely overwhelmed with emotion.   I left there crying, confused, and disappointed.

If you have ever blocked parts of your life out, then you probably also have a hard time remembering the good.  At least I do anyways.  I have focused for so many years on the bad, that I can’t remember the good and I know there was some. It may have came in small waves but it was there, and yet, I can’t remember any of it with this particular group of people.   I left that house crying because I clearly had not dealt with my emotions that revolved around them.   I left confused because I didn’t know what to say, how to act, or how to be after I left.  I left disappointed in myself for not forgiving the past and shunning the little positives that were happening at the moment.  And let me tell you, it can be very difficult to see positives, and even harder to embrace them.

I do believe a person can have regret later in their life and want to make things right in one way or another.  I believe that a person who said the ugliest things to hurt you, can turn around only to say how much they love you, and pray that you forgive who they once were. Even they, deserve prayer.

I have learned that their wrongs can be made right with God.   It’s not my place to hold judgement against them for their sins, as I am a sinner as well.  But it is my place to let it go and forgive, even when forgiving feels impossible.  What example would I be if I knowingly saw them trying, and did nothing……

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (37) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” Luke 6:36-37 ESV



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  1. says

    This is such a difficult lesson. I struggle everyday with this issue and it seems easy to do, yet so hard at the same time. I’m a naturally forgiving person, but when it comes to my past and childhood I just block it out rather than forgive. I guess I still need a lot of work in that department. I believe it’s easier to forgive people that have said horrible and ugly things than to forgive people who have hurt you physically and emotionally. This one is still very difficult for me. Instead of forgiving I usually pray for them. Somehow in my mind I think they don’t deserve forgiving, but I keep forgetting what Forgiveness really means. You’re right Lori, what example am I setting for my own children by doing this. Thank you for your wonderful post.

    • says

      I didn’t mention everything by the other other members of the family Tina , but, I have always felt the same as you—like they’re not deserving of forgiveness. I highly doubt that God approves of me saying who and who isn’t worthy of forgiveness though. I believe those who sinned without repent will be dealt with accordingly and it will be an eternity of suffering, far worse than I endured in my lifetime.

  2. Sunnie says

    Im not one for holding a grudge either, I get over ‘it’ also. I try not to hold hate either, just move on with your life for yourself.

  3. says

    This is so true! I had a similar situation recently that caught me completely off-guard. I had to pray a lot and turn it completely over to God, which is not always easy for humans. Put that’s what brings peace to our souls.

  4. Vicki says

    It is funny that you mention them deserving forgiveness. That is why forgiveness is so hard! They rarely ask for it and “I’m sorry” never comes! But something God showed me last month was an aha moment for me. I had been feeling like a certain person in my life didn’t “deserve” forgiveness. Grace. How ironic that grace is defined as unmerited favor. Undeserved. I had to laugh at my absurd stubbornness, thinking I would wait to be kind to this person until they “earned” my grace! Haha! I am so glad that God showed me this because the Word says in the same measure that you forgive, you will be forgiven. I am so thankful that God doesn’t wait til I “earn”his grace”! I love you girl! Keep fighting the good fight!

  5. Lauralee Hensley says

    The pain people inflict upon you knowingly or unknowingly on their part, reminds me of a bell. You know when the long rope is pulled on a bell and it starts ringing. The clanger inside strikes the side of the bell, like the pain they inflicted on you hits you inside, but after each clang it hits the side slower and with less strength than the time before. Then after a time the bell no longer rings. It’s like that with forgiveness in some situations, you forgive the people, but when you see them again, it’s like Satan pulls the rope. He wants that pain to come back the hit your insides with such a clang and such a force, that you will forget how freeing forgiveness can be, that you can forget that God forgave you of sins that you’ve done and knowingly or unknowingly on your part pain you may at some point caused others. Yet, even if Satan gets your attention with that first pull of the bell’s rope, you can immediately focus upon God and ask him to take his hand and stop the bell from clanging at second time, or third time or fourth time etc… I believe the additional clangs happen when we allow our mind to think about those people and things again. So I try to replace those thoughts with good thoughts when I must remember do something quite to get the thoughts out of my mind, e.g. read a recipe and really focus on it and what I like about it, or read an uplifting book and focus on the words. When I can replace that thought without having to be quiet, I just sing favorite songs out loud. Let me tell you when you focus on the words you sing out and your own voice, you can make your voice silly or try to sing a higher pitch or lower pitch than you normally do, you will have a hard time letting those pictures, words, feelings grab hold of your mind which affects your spirit. I mean I don’t care if you can hold a tune or not, it is replacement we are doing here. We’re replacing Satan’s attack with something positive. Now if you choose to try to fix things of the past with the group of inidividuals that hurt you, you must realize your attempt may not be met with acceptance. Sure they could have changed and may be up to hearing what you have to say, but you must be prepared in the event that they don’t. Ultimately we each are accountable for our own doings and non-doings, yet pray to God to determine how much and how far your doings should be if you choose to try and change things from the past. Be prepared to have the Holy Spirit tell you the only thing you can do is pray for them and place it in God’s hands. Me and my husband have had to just place a problem about another family member in God’s hands, and merely pray for that person. I know God can get you through, and I don’t dismiss your painful memories, but only you can give them space in your life now or choose not to allow them to clutter up how far you’ve come.

  6. says

    Lori, this is such a great attitude. I just had to teach a lesson on this at church last Sunday. It’s not easy. Sometimes I think the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. Thanks for the reminders that we can all do more, all do better.

  7. says

    It is so nice to hear you say these things. I did some pretty awful things to my oldest four children, when they were young. I wasn’t ‘there’ for them, even when I was present for a good part of their childhoods. I had my own problems to deal with but that was no excuse for me being so detached. The nice thing is, I did start raising them right – in God – and most of it stuck. We’ve all had our problems but we’ve all overcome them, and now that they are older, I am so thankful that they have forgiven me. We have wonderful relationships now. The really important thing is that I have allowed myself to forgive me. It’s so important. God will always forgive us, if we ask and do our best to fix what we broke. Forgiving ourselves is a lot harder than forgiving others, but it can be done. Somewhere (probably pinterest) I saw the saying, ” forgive them even if they are not sorry”. It works because the forgiveness is for you,..because the Bible tells us, we cannot be forgiven if we don’t forgive those who trespassed against us first.
    Thank you so much for your blog. I haven’t been here in a while, but I do keep coming back. I love it so much. I know you live out here close somewhere to me (I live in Montgomery), but even before I discovered that fact (pictures of the fire this past summer), I felt close. What you write, touches people. I’ve loved your blog for a long time. Thank you! Oh, you don’t have to post this comment. It’s just some things I wanted to share.