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songs for the soul: healing + forgiveness

These were supposed to be "mini-blogs", but this is one of the heaviest topics that I've personally had to walk through, so this won't be a light 2 minute read. This is going to be ugly, emotional and raw for me, but I see no other way to express my heart from the healing and forgiveness that I've have had to walk through other than just rolling up my sleeves, grabbing my Kleenex and starting from the beginning.

Before I dive in, I want to disclaim that, yes, these are my own personal experiences. You may know of whom I write about and/or you might have even been there when these all happened. I ask that you please not think too harshly of them. They were all my friends: I once loved them, cried with them, laughed with them and have now forgiven them. I see no reason to hold on to bitter and painful feelings when this whole topic is about how I have forgiven them.

Okay, with that said, let's move on...

In January 2015, I was just a senior dating her co-worker trying to finish high school.

That month, my boyfriend at the time confessed to me that he had been cheating on me with two of our co-workers since the previous summer. Like any young 18 year old girl, I felt all of the feelings. My world ended, honestly.

I loved him so much and I wanted to prove my devotion to him, so I forgave him.

He continued to stumble and mess up and I continued to pick up his broken pieces and my broken heart and tried to carry the weight of both of our emotions.

I was determined to prove to everyone that I loved him more than life itself and I wanted to love him through all of his pretty and all of his ugly.

Now, we are in October 2016. I was still dating that boyfriend and we were close friends with a married couple that we hung out with regularly. The husband was in town one day and asked if I wanted to go on a walk before I went to work, so I said sure. On that walk, he began confessing that he had feelings for me. He told me that he saw how my boyfriend was treating me and that I deserved better. He also told me that he wished he could divorce his wife and marry me. Shocked, hurt and stunned, I didn't know what to say. I knew my boyfriend wasn't Superman, but I knew running away with a married man wasn't the solution! It got pretty messy, I told my boyfriend and he wanted the husband to tell his wife. The husband said he would in his own time.

Now, a few months later, we are in January 2017.

I had just been hit head-on by a drunk driver that left me in a wheelchair for 3 months.

When I was in the hospital right after my surgery, I knew this recovery needed to be about me. I couldn't pick up any broken pieces, I couldn't be strong for anybody else...I had to focus on my own healing.

I broke up with my boyfriend and started a slow recovery, which was now at this point both physically and, finally, emotionally.

Over the next 10 months or so, my ex-boyfriend had told the wife some sort of version about what happened between her husband and I, and she ended up unfriending me on social media and blocking my phone number.

It took me a while, but I eventually noticed that we weren't friends online and she wasn't responding to my texts. I began reaching out to other people, desperate to find out what happened, and nobody would respond.

By the end of 2017, I eventually found out through the grapevine that they were getting a divorce and nobody (still applicable to this day) talks to me or reached out to get clarification about what happened.

Now, let's jump ahead to January 2019.

My husband (Payton) and I had found out that we were pregnant, and in March of 2019 we went to see a specialist OBGYN in Birmingham to make sure that I was safe to carry a baby to term and deliver naturally. (Because of my car accident injuries, we wanted to be safe.)

Well, we discovered that my body wasn't pregnant with a baby, but pregnant with cysts that were turning into cancer. I had an emergency surgery and they removed all of the cysts.

Then, about 7 months later, they discovered a mass on my uterus.

I had another surgery to remove it, and they determined that it wasn't a form of cancer.

That was two surgeries in 7 months, both in the same area and both cancer scares.

*Deep breath*

Okay, that's a lot of information and it is probably very heavy to process, so I will digest it a little more slowly:

Since 2015, I have done a lot of healing.

My heart had been shattered over and over and I spent delicate hours, no, years putting each piece back together again.

I felt alone in the middle of my world, struggling to breathe from all of the hurt going on in my heart: My boyfriend cheating on me, being asked by one of my good, married, friends to run away with him, being the victim to a life-altering accident and then by some crazy-odd statistics, my body was producing cysts instead of babies.

That's a lot of hurt.

That's a lot of disappointment, blaming, embarrassment and unworthiness.

But, I learned in those seasons of putting my hearts' pieces back together that forgiveness was the key to fully healing.

I wrestled hard with that.

I definitely didn't like it.

They didn't deserve my forgiveness! I felt like I had just been thrown into all of these crappy situations because of choices that they made, why was I the one that had to do the forgiving?

But, I heard the Lord remind me that all of the broken pieces of my heart were His to heal and put back together, not mine. HE was the defender of my heart, not me. All of the injustice that I felt was valid, but it wasn't mine to keep.

All I had to do was forgive and release.

It's n o t as easy and glamorous as it sounds.

It's ugly and hard as you let the tears flow and yell into the void from all of the hurt you've experienced.

But, it's the most freeing thing to experience.

It's the experience that you need to feel in order to heal properly.

First came the yelling and the anger. I yelled at everyone (alone in my room, of course) and I think that's healthy to get your burst of pain and frustration out.

Then came the tears. My real, raw pain. I wept over how unfair everything was and how I had been thrown into these situations against my will.

Then, I took a deep breath and said -out loud- "I forgive you. I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you."

One of the hardest people to forgive was myself.

"If I had just been a better girlfriend."

"If I hadn't said 'yes' to going on that walk with him that day."

"If I had been 15 minutes faster or slower, I would have missed the girl who hit me and been a regular person on this very day."

"Maybe I shouldn't have broken up with him, then nobody would judge me now."

"If only my body had been normal, I could have carried children instead of cysts. Stupid body, stupid girl, stupid uterus."

But, just like the hero He is, Jesus met me in my brokenness and helped heal me of my wounds and then helped me forgive them...forgive me.

To forgive and be set free from other people's words or actions towards you is the greatest feeling of freedom.

I still forgive them even to this day. Things will pop up: a memory, a rumor, whatever it is, and I find myself wandering down that painful road of history.

Forgiveness is a process just like healing is.

It's going to take some time and some tears.

Here is my list of songs that I listen to to help me release the pain I feel towards them and focus on my healing:

Just Be Held-Casting Crowns (release your pain, stop holding on and just be held.)

Even When It Hurts-Hillsong United (even when it hurts, sing louder... He is with you)

Run to the Father-Cody Carnes (your burdens aren't yours to carry alone, run to the Father.)

Catch the Wind-Bethel Worship (you are strong and full of life, not what they've said/thought about you!)

Good, Good Father-Chris Tomlin (despite the injustice that you've been through, He is still good)

Praise You In This Storm-Casting Crowns (even when the rain doesn't stop, He is with you.)

Defender-Francesca Battistelli (Jesus is defending your heart, you don't have to.)

Sovereign Over Us-Shane & Shane (what Satan used to try and defeat you, Jesus is using it FOR you!)

Each of these songs means a lot to me and the healing that I have had to do, both emotionally and physically. Healing can leave you feeling isolated and alone because Satan wants you to forget about hope and focus on the loneliness, so feeling like God was with me was a huge part of my healing.

Now, let's pray together, for whatever healing and forgiveness that you need to do in your life:

Heavenly Father,

My hurt goes deeper than I have words to express.

The words people have said or the actions that they have taken towards me leaves me feeling alone, hurt, wounded and angry.

I've been carrying this hurt with me and it has affected my life and my heart.

Jesus, I ask you to meet me here in my brokenness and my ugly tears to help me forgive those who have wronged me. Pick me up from my bathroom floor, my bed, my couch, wherever I am, and hold me. I can't be strong anymore, my pain is too much. The fire in their words, actions or assumptions is too much. I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed, I'm angry.

Please pick up all of my pieces and defend my heart, I have no words to fight or defend on my own anymore.

Lord...I forgive them. I forgive them, I forgive them, I forgive them.

I forgive and release the pain I'm holding on to; Their words that I'm holding on to.

Help me to love as You have loved and forgive as You have forgiven.

Help me to forgive those who have wronged me and changed my life drastically. Help me to not cast blame on them, but instead pray for them and love them.

It's hard, Lord. It sucks, Lord. I hate this, Lord.

I'm just a person with limited sight of the bigger picture that you're doing, all I see is the pain I'm in right now. Emotional waves that they started and that I'm now victim to.

Holy Spirit, be with me. Help me to find my footing in the waves and victoriously rise above them!

Give me strength to keep forgiving, every day, as long as I need to.

I thank You that You are here with me, in my pain from people's words or actions.

I love You, Lord.

Your Beloved Child

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