I have no idea where you are; honestly, I have no idea if you’re still alive. I have no idea if I ever come to mind anymore. I pray I don’t.
You told me once that your greatest accomplishment was taking the place of God in my life. It shook me up then, and saddens me now. You’ve never known what it’s like to serve, only what it’s like to manipulate and control. No wonder you think you’re a god. You’ve never been forced to come to terms with the reality that you are anything but the God you hate.
Three years ago, I thought I’d finally gotten to the point of forgiving you. It was easier to pass you in town, hear you speak my name and bring up memories that used to make me laugh. Three years ago, I was fairly certain I had grasped what it meant to move on and love you from a distance. Today, 5 years after you became a memory instead of a reality, I’ve finally realized how very wrong I was. So for that, if you ever read this, I ask your forgiveness for lying.
Forgiving you means wanting God to rescue you from yourself. Up until today, forgiving you meant I no longer let you control me. Until today, forgiving you meant not being afraid of what you thought with the way God has restored what you believed you’d captured. Until today, forgiving you meant not asking God to use me in exacting justice. Forgiving you meant letting you believe everything was okay and accepting the fact that restoration and reconciliation would never be provided to truly make it okay.
I realized today that I had truly forgiven you when I fought back tears over the reminder that many of my loved ones–often times myself included–struggle to pray for you… and taking such a blessing away from you felt wrong. You came to mind and my heart sunk because I know you still believe you have more power than the Creator. My heart didn’t sink out of fear, anger or resentment; it sunk out of absolute sorrow.
You rarely come to mind anymore. God’s given me overwhelmingly more than I could ever comprehend in understanding what redemption, love and authenticity look like in relationship. Honestly, the chapter in my story that holds your influence makes me value love even more because I know what it’s like to be lied to. For that, though you had nothing to do with the redemption in that reality, I’m thankful for you in that way. I love better because you taught me the difference between love and manipulation.
When you do come to mind, just know that I do the one thing you detested the most–I pray. Despite the tears, I’m reminded no one runs forever from the grip of Jehovah Jireh. I’m reminded that my sin separated me from God the same exact way yours does now. God provided my freedom, redemption and renewal… I pray some day you let Him provide yours.
Whenever you see me, I pray you only see Him. It’s a daily, moment-by-moment struggle, but I am forgiving you. Though I may not be able to laugh at reminders of you just yet, I can feel God’s smile. His forgiveness of me has given me enough to forgive you.