My husband is a movie lover. All things movies, he loves. He is even one of those people who goes to the movies by himself (I shouldn’t make fun of him, I am one of those people who eats alone at a restaurant). One of the movies he loves (don’t judge) is Just Friends with Ryan Reynolds. It. Is. Ridiculous. But – so quotable.
One of my favorite, most quoted clips from the film is when Anna Faris sings a song called “Forgiveness”. It’s hilarious and just plain silly, but something about it today has one line stuck in my head.
Forgiveness is more than saying sorry.
I just came out a season that was hard on my soul. I felt I was wandering, reaching out to grasp whatever thought, idea, identity seemed to be “right”, and ended up not lost, but wandering. As I move farther away from that time, and thankfully have had friends to ask me the right questions (at times hard questions) – I have done a myriad of things in the name of “forgiveness”. I have confronted and emailed those who I have felt hurt by, those whom I’ve hurt, I have journaled letters never sent, I have asked God to please help me “get over” feeling the anger and frustration I had. But yet, at the end I still felt “wronged”.
How did I get here? And where is here? I hadn’t really moved. I have gone through the steps, the motions of forgiveness. I was trying to fake it til I made it for crying out loud! Why was I still so angry?
And then one Monday morning, I was talking on the phone to a dear friend who has walked along side me through this, and she said a simple statement – “I think you just need to forgive.”
Although she has said this to me 100s of times, I know the Lord put my heart in a place where I could truly hear it clearly. A place where I could understand forgiveness is more than an email, more than “still being right”, more than feeling justified. Even now, my phone just lit up with a text message from a girl in our youth group at church. It was one of those chain text-message pictures people send around, but I couldn’t see the picture clearly, only the word “Forgiveness” light up on the screen. The first thought flashed through my head, “WHO can see my computer?! That I’m about to write this!?” Nobody of course – but I’m going to take that as one more little sign from God that this truly is the right road to keep traveling. That I have truly forgiven not only in my head, but in my heart. And I need to continue doing that not just today, but every day.
No matter the history, no matter the hurt. Without looking back, forgiveness means letting go. Giving it over. And moving forward.