It’s a fine line – apologizing and forgiving versus ignoring. But I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
As a Christian, I know the importance of forgiveness. Trust me; I know. I’ve learned that my inability to forgive some only makes life worse for me. I’ve learned my inability to forgive hurts nobody but myself. I’ve learned this. I get it.
But my knowledge of the importance of forgiveness doesn’t make forgiving someone after an apology I never received any easier. Especially when the hurts just continue. Especially when nothing has changed. And especially when those I love continue to be hurt.
I struggle with this. I have never been good at ignoring problems. I’d rather address them head on. I was taught this concept growing up. And you know what? It works. You say things rather than holding them in and allowing them to eat at you. You get hurts out, and you begin to heal. But most importantly, you help those who hurt you grow too. We all need a little help sometimes. How can you fix something you truly don’t know needs fixed? How do you wholeheartedly apologize for a hurt you didn’t know you caused? That’s why I believe in honesty rather than ignoring.
But I get it, not everyone is comfortable with this honesty thing. So at what point do you just ignore? At what point do you just learn to forgive and accept someone as they are – even if they continue hurting you and those you love?
This is my struggle. Because even after complete openness and honesty, some just refuse to change. Some just refuse to accept the fact that they have hurt, and continue to hurt, others. Some refuse to accept help.
It’s really hard. It’s hard to understand the importance of forgiveness while also understanding the importance of no longer allowing the same harmful behaviors to continue day after day. Does ignoring make anything better? Does it help anyone? Am I even capable of forgiving someone who refuses to accept any wrongdoing and continues to hurt myself and those I love? Should I be expected to when the hurt just doesn’t stop? Right now, I can’t say I have the answer. But I can say I’m constantly praying for clarity with my role.
I’m trying. I’m praying for the ability to forgive after an apology I never received, but right now I’m not sure I can. I pray for God’s strength and knowledge to flood me, even to change my heart if that’s what needs to happen. I just don’t know right now. So for now, I’ll hold onto my cross and I’ll talk it out with my person, my husband, Jeremy. Clarity will come in time.
Follow our journey on Facebook at Jeremy & Bailey Koch: Anchoring Hope for Mental Health Ministry. Visit our website at www.jeremyandbailey.com to learn more about us and purchase our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith” in eBook or paperback.