I grew up in a very loving Christian home. I don’t need therapy for how my parents treated my younger brother and me.
I am blessed to have wonderful parents. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t experience hurt as a child.
That hurt mainly came in the form of rejection by my peers. I wasn’t enough of an athlete to be a jock, but I wasn’t smart enough to hang with the nerds.
All the girls I had a crush on were running the other way, screaming when I let it be known I thought that they were pretty.
I often felt alone, even in a crowd.
Now don’t feel sorry for me, I had many wonderful friends in school. I can now see that part of my life prepared me to understand and connect with people from different walks of life, but it’s taken me a long time to get here.
However, I always felt rejected by my peers, like something was wrong with me, or I was missing something.
That’s where porn took hold in my life. It was always there, making me feel like I fit in, never rejecting me.
After that rush of endorphins subsided, shame and guilt settled in, and I just knew nobody would want to be my friend if they knew what I did on the computer when no one was around.
It wasn’t until I started to reach out to trusted mentors who helped me realize I wasn’t alone in my struggle that the rejection I felt was a lie from the enemy of my soul.
They showed me that I could take another step towards walking in freedom through forgiveness.
Honestly, forgiving the middle school kids who hurt me was easy. For you, that might be a different story.
The difficult part was forgiving myself.
I’ve had to forgive myself for countless hours wasted, relationships lost, and so much more.
Thousand Foot Krutch has a song called “The Part That Hurts the Most” the lyrics sum up how I felt about my relationship with God during that time of my life –
“The part that hurts the most is me
The most is you
It’s everything I do without you.”
I felt I had hurt and broken my own life too much for God to use me.
If I were God, I would have been finished with me a long time ago. Thankfully, God didn’t feel that way about me.
He chose to become human and experience the hurt we feel every day. Jesus was physically, verbally, and mentally abused before his torturous death.
Yet, He chose to forgive his abusers and murders so that He could bear the consequences of all of humanity’s sins.
He chose to forgive us, even though it was our sins that held Him to the cross.
If He did all that for me, if He can choose to forgive me, then I can choose to forgive myself.
And I know you can choose to forgive those who have hurt you.
Forgiveness can be a hard process to walk through alone. Do you have questions about what the process of forgiveness looks like? Would you like to talk to someone about what or who you need to forgive? Email our Family Pastor, Shane Pass or our Women’s Director Nancy Thomas to chat with someone today.
ClearView Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor, Jason Cruise took a deeper look at forgiveness in his latest sermon. You can watch that sermon HERE. This focus on forgiveness is a component of our latest churchwide initiative called Keys to Freedom by Mercy Multiplied.