True Forgiveness

When my boyfriend and I broke up over a year ago it was messy. I was angry. He was (probably) angry. And we were both heartbroken. I had mixed feelings. I held bitterness towards him for the longest time. He wanted to become friends and I just did not want to hear it. I could not comprehend how he wanted things to go back the way the way they were before our romantic relationship. I thought that I had truly forgiven him.

My graduation from Syracuse University was this past weekend and I saw him. We were heavily involved in the same Christian organization and had a similar friend group. It was hard to avoid him. But something was different, over a year later. We conversed with one another and I was laughing at his humor. It was a strange, yet comforting feeling. I felt as if we had always been friends and nothing traumatizing happened between the two of us.

During graduation weekend, he had come up in conversation with just my sister and I. She had confronted me and said, “It sounds like you’re still bitter.” I denied it, but a part of me knew she was right. My pride got the best of me.

After graduation and driving from Syracuse back to my hometown, I felt exhausted and it was late at night. I took a shower and got into bed. The room was dark and my sister had already fallen asleep. I reached for my phone to do a last look through my social medias. I had received a LinkedIn notification that I wanted to get rid of from my screen. As I scrolled down the newsfeed, I came across my ex’s family photo at graduation. They all looked happy, and immediately I felt sad. I knew each one of them. They were so kind and I missed my interactions with them. It was so unfortunate those relationships were cut off after the break up.

I thought about my ex and I– our history and the fight and the afters. I realized how stupid the arguments were and realized how dumb it was to have been so angry. I regretted wasting an entire year not being friends with him. Pride told me that I did not need to be friends with him and that we did not really have anything in common. I heard a voice in my mind say, “If I can forgive you, you can forgive him.” In that moment, I felt a heavy conviction on my heart. I recognized my selfishness, my bitterness that still resided, and the unforgiveness in my heart. I had not truly forgiven my ex. I wept in bed and said quietly, “I forgive him. I truly forgive him.” Immediately, I felt this unbelievable peace and a stillness in my heart. Tears flooded my eyes. When I thought about him, I did not think of the ways he hurt me or the bad memories. I thought only of how he helped me grow and that while we were not together anymore, I do not need to bad mouth him to those who did not know him.

It was late, but I did not care. I went back in my texts to find him listed under “unknown.” I sent him a text and apologized. I asked for forgiveness and wished that we would be able to reconnect in the future if he was willing. He texted back just a few minutes later and sounded ecstatic. I did not realize before that there was no true closure, but now there really was.

Since then, I have been texting back and forth with him. We plan on meeting up sometime in the near future and catch up on lost time.

I am so thankful for a God who forgives a prideful and sinful being like myself. And I am so thankful for the restoration of this broken relationship. This story may sound weird the the world, but in the eyes of Jesus, this is true freedom and true love.

Thanks be to God.

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