The morning started with the strangest dream. I dreamt that someone had wrapped a seatbelt around me and pulled it tight. It was so strange to me that I emailed it to my sisters.
My sister called me shortly after that email went out. She said there was something I needed to know. She said, “The icky neighbor died.” Icky neighbor is how I refer to my molester. I was silent. I didn’t feel anything, really. She asked how I felt. I said, “I don’t know. Glad, I guess. Now he can’t hurt anyone else.” My sister ended the call by suggesting that the dream and his death were related. She even suggested that I look at his obituary and picture for closure and that maybe I was still bound by something.
Something within me started to stir. Maybe she was right. I didn’t want to see his picture. This wasn’t traumatic. I didn’t head down memory lane. What God had set me free of was still intact. But was there another layer? Was there a final piece to put to rest?
To be completely honest, I started enjoying the thought of him rotting in hell. I was very comfortable with that thought. Then it hit me. I hadn’t had any contact with him in decades. What if he met Christ? What if he’s in heaven? Can I accept that? Had I fully forgiven him?
The week before this I had made this comment to a friend, “We are called to be like Christ and in transforming ourselves into His likeness it forces us to face the things within in us that we don’t like. It forces us to face the things hurt and cause pain or we are not following the call.” We then joked about how there is a blog in there somewhere. Ugh, was God calling me to face another unpleasant attitude in my heart that was preventing full forgiveness?
As soon as I arrived home, I headed to my elliptical to pray my way through it. 40 minutes of exercise can blow right by when you have lots to pray about. I know that God had fervently chased after his heart the same way he chased after mine. God was waiting with open arms to offer his prodigal the same grace, mercy and forgiveness that I had received. Could I rejoice at seeing him in heaven?
God and I wrestled with this. Initially, it was tough to stomach. But here is what I know. There is not one part of my life I want to change. Taking the abuse out of my life changes every aspect of my life. It changes my purpose. It changes my family. Most importantly, it changes my relationship with God. I wouldn’t trade the freedom I have found through Christ for anything!
This led me one step further. I hope I meet him in heaven. Yep, it’s true. I want him to look over his life, see what he has done and experience grace. It would be a great celebration. I finally, completely let him go and feel like I’m living this verse.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
I want to continue to be transformed into the person God calls me to be. It allows me to declare these words by Lincoln Brewster “I receive everything that You’re doing in me and I believe that the rest of life are the best days of my life.” I cried buckets of tears while on the elliptical. When I was done, I was lighter, freer, and filled with His joy.
Have you forgiven-really? Do you want to step into the best days of your life? Share your struggles and your victories below and we’ll walk this together.