This morning was raw. Just me, my pencil, and the blank page that is my life. Normally, I love fresh starts. The chance to start over with the thrill of “Who knows what could happen” is something I pathologically get high on. But, lately, it sure feels different. It seems you can’t go anywhere without being reminded of how bleak things are, which sure makes it hard to hope.
Today I had to untangle quite a mess. I sat down to ask God why I have felt so stuck, anxious, and exhausted lately. I then realized something that has been weighing so heavily on me for so long: unforgiveness.
It’s easy for me to say “It’s fine,” “I can understand why they would do that,” or “I shouldn’t be so affected by that,” but what that can do is sweep it under a rug that stays there insidiously for as long as you let it. There’s a power in acknowledging someone or something hurt you, actively forgiving, and then releasing it from your life.
So this morning I wrote letters to people - and even things - that I’d put my hope in that had let me down. I also wrote a letter forgiving myself for all of the things I didn’t do perfectly and the mistakes I’d made. Surprised by how much longer it was from the other letters, I realized just how hard I have been on myself. “No wonder I’ve been having such a hard time moving forward,” I thought as I wrote “Tori, I forgive you for being so hard on yourself.” But what I wrote next was the most healing for me:
I give you permission to rest and to trust in the Lord with all your heart. I give you permission to believe the promises of God and that His plans for you are good. I give you permission to feel hard emotions like pain and regret. But I also give you permission to move on from those things, to forgive yourself, and to not look back. I give you permission to dream and move forward in hope. I give you permission to part with the failures of your past and dare to hope for amazing things, even in the midst of a bleak time. I give you permission to experience such true joy and thankfulness every day. To believe in God and yourself. To do whatever it is that will motivate you. To talk to and listen to God and start walking ahead into the great unknown.”
I’m sharing this today to further cement this in my mind, and also in hopes that it might comfort and encourage you as well. If there’s anything you need to forgive yourself for or give yourself permission to feel or do, I highly recommend it. May we all step deeper into forgiveness, freedom, and trust in our kind Heavenly Father. God bless you.