I think a lot about forgiveness during Lent. It is a season for repenting after all. I seek forgiveness. I go to reconciliation. I am forgiven.
I also check out my heart for any un-forgiveness there. Not surprisingly, my father usually comes to mind. I really did forgive him years ago. But I am always worried that I didn’t really forgive him. Forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling. But I forget that.
Forgiveness does not condone what was done to us. Forgiveness does not say – hey, let’s be pals!! But I forget that too. I keep falling back into that need to be a good little girl and win everyone’s approval.
Over the years, I have had to forgive him over and over again. Every time I have to deal with the abuse, or I remember something I had not thought of for a long time, or he says something that shows his total disregard for my feelings and pain, I feel the need to forgive him again.
I think that forgiveness is a process. Especially in big hurts like this. Because it takes a lifetime to heal, it also takes a lifetime to settle things, so to speak.
I am on the journey and I keep trying. Because I know that forgiving my father is one of the best things I can do. Not only for him, but for me.