I’ve always said, “I’m not Jesus: I can’t forget the past; I can’t forgive that easily.”
And it’s all true. I’m not Jesus. There are some things I’ll never forget, but everyone deserves forgiveness.
I spent a year and a half in a horrible relationship; I gave my heart to the “perfect” guy. He was smart, loving, nice, understanding, and beautiful. He was my first real relationship ever. He was a jealous guy, but that was understandable. He loved me, and I loved him.
After a few months of being together, he became wary of me and my friends. He wouldn’t allow me to spend time with my guy friends, not even my gay best friend. His jealousy got worse. He didn’t approve of my seeing my girl friends either. He constantly feared I would leave him for them. I was slowly growing apart from all my friends.
I got pregnant two months after I turned sixteen. A couple months after I found out, we lost the baby. It was then that things got bad. Our relationship became harder and harder to maintain. He became abusive; he broke down my confidence. I constantly felt like I needed to be sorry for everything that went wrong in his life.
Forced into depression, I attempted suicide. My best friend Ashley—one of the few friends I hadn’t lost yet—saved me. She made me throw up the bottle of Aspirin I had taken. The following Sunday, she took me to church with her. She became the only person I truly trusted. I confessed to her, what I’m confessing to the world now: he was sweet, he was kind, he was gentle, but he was emotionally abusive, and a rapist.
I went to church with Ashley every Sunday, and in February of the next year, I became a Christian. I still didn’t have the courage, or the heart, to leave my boyfriend. On my seventeenth birthday, I gained that courage: I left him. I found out he had been cheating on me the entire time; he even got another girl pregnant while we were together. That was the end. I still loved him, but at the same time I hated him.
Months later, Father’s day, I went to church and listened to my pastor. He preached of children, and their fathers’ mistakes. My pastor told how we should forgive our fathers and do better than they. It hit me: the guy I left was betrayed by everyone he trusted as a child. He was abused, his father had left him, and he hated everyone for that.
I had been bound to my hatred to him for so long that I forgotten what it was like to be happy. Although my trust in him had died, I finally forgave him. In that moment, in my pew at church, I found freedom.
Forgiveness is Freedom.
Christian = Christ-like
I’m not Jesus, but I’m learning to forgive.
And everyone deserves to be forgiven, this I believe.
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