Well, months and nearly a year later something clicked. We were riding in the van to Armagh today, it's about an hour and a half drive. Driving always seems to shut me up and open my mind. I always look forward to car rides where I can sit, look out the window and think. This particular rainy afternoon, my mind ventured to places of my past. Some great memories danced across my mind and some not so great. Regardless, I knew I could sit there and go through the normal "woe is me, I'm still bitter, i want them to be sorry" thoughts. Instead I remembered something my dad said to me about a week ago, "you were not put on this earth for yourself" and something my mom said a few days ago, "not forgiving someone is telling Jesus, who already died for all your hurt, that His ultimate sacrifice wasn't enough".
It all sunk in. It is so easy to claim our hurts and wear the "victim" badge. The fact is, I'm never going to be fully "victim" as long as I'm still human. There is always that element of being no better then any other person. It's when my pride seeps in and I attempt to entertain the thought, "but they hurt me, they could care less and now they have to be sorry". Which really is just an emotional way of saying that I'm not content with God's sacrifice. Believe me, there is definitely something unsettling about an offender who doesn't care that they offended you. Nevertheless, its not a problem for me to try and make my offender see is there's. I'm sure that statement can be misleading, I admit that there are times when an offense taken is merely just a misunderstanding, but the point is that there was an offense made in someones mind. Conflict is never solved if both people can't come to terms that the other person matters.
All this mumbo jumbo is to say; as much as I would like to prove to all of my "offenders" that I matter therefore the issues that plague me do too...I have to come to terms that they too, matter and treat them like it. Can you imagine what it must have been like to die on the cross for all the past and future hurt?! That is insane, I can barely handle my own hurt, let alone other's simultaneously. He died for the offender and the offended, and the pain was the same. This remarkable truth never ceases to amaze me. It's interseting that we tend to feel like the one who hurt us should pay when Jesus, who never hurt anyone, already paid for it all. Why is that such a difficult concept to live by? Who do we think we are?
Well being in Ireland has not always been peachy, but silly me...growth is never easy. I always seem to learn that over and over again. I guess it really is true, they don't call it "growing pains" for no reason.
(pictures from the rainy day in Armagh)