Are You Okay?
Are you okay?
Its a question we ask each other all the time. Sometimes with genuine interest, sometimes just being polite. But its kind of a strange question. Are any of us ever really okay? If you were to walk up to me right now and ask me that, I’d probably respond with a yes, but I can think of three things right now that have my mind going crazy. And I don’t remember very many times in my life where I sat and thought, wow, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything is perfect.
When I told you last week that I sat on my bed, took my husband’s hand and forgave him right away, only by the grace of God, it might have seemed like that was the end of a lovely story. Nope. Absolutely not. I was far from okay. The next months were some of the hardest of my whole life. And honestly, the repercussions of that incident are still playing out today. My life will forever be changed because of it. So was I okay the minute I forgave? Nope. Nope. Nope.
But here’s the thing. I didn’t have to be okay. I simply had a choice to make. I was torn, I was heartbroken, my life had completely fallen apart. I was a long way from okay. But could I forgive anyway?
Our heart does not have to catch up with our head in order to forgive. If it were up to our deceitful heart, we never would. But sometimes its simply broken, not okay, and we think that means we’re not ready to forgive. Here’s the problem with that.
We will never be okay with unforgiveness in our heart because it ruins our relationship with God. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25-26
Unforgiveness puts up a wall between you and your Heavenly father, and you will never heal, never be okay when that wall is up. When I’ve been hurt, when I’ve been betrayed, when my life is falling apart, the only one that can put it back together is God. And the thought of my own actions cutting me off from Him in the time of my deepest need is more than I can bear. So I choose forgiveness. Because its the only way to heal.
What about our relationship with the person who hurt us? Doesn’t forgiveness mean that relationship is now okay? I wish. If forgiveness was some magic wand that would erase our memories and our feelings, life might be much easier. But its not. Forgiveness to me is the first choice in a series. Then, if the other person is willing, and no harm is being done, (for instance, you or your children being physically hurt, among other situations) you continue along a path to restoration.
But you’ll never get there, never get to okay, if you don’t first start with forgiveness.