Small Lessons in Full Forgiveness

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I’m stewing. I mean, boiling with anger.

I’ve gritted my teeth and threw out three curse words in the privacy of my car. I felt guilty and prayed about it. Basically, I had to leave the house, drive around for a few moments to rehearse what I wanted to say, and it still did not come out right. Did the words hurt? No. Was the delivery aggressive? Nope. It was the facial expression my husband made and his nonchalant stroll out of the room after I calmly expressed, for the millionth time, my frustration towards one of his actions that drug the red tip of my patience across the matchbox and lit my you-know-what on fire.

I am not a fan of the more adult way of approaching conflict. Growing up, I did not acquire positive coping skills with negative emotions. If I could not shake the hurt with dance or creative writing, I would hold it all in. Shockingly, it would combust at the most inopportune times, leaving me grounded for weeks on end. Look, there is a cathartic experience that occurs when you really tell someone that they are being the nomenclature for a donkey and disrespectful for going against something you told them repeatedly was an issue. You don’t agree? Well, pooh to you, too. Yes, my arms where crossed and I stuck my tongue out, thank you very much.

Obviously, I advocate for hissy fits every once in a while, but I hit that max capacity for exerting them within my marriage some time ago. We are in a healing period; and striving towards full forgiveness means that your partner’s actions no longer adversely get under your skin. It is a far cry from what I understood forgiveness to be, but if there is room for an exception then the finish line has not been fully crossed. So, my first step towards running more effectively, if you will, was pre-preparing my responses and comments regarding some my husband’s actions. I just want to extend a little grace and tenderness. God knows it has not been easy for me, but the word of caution sent to me yesterday on Facebook was clearly divine foreshadowing: Don’t judge others simply because they sin differently than you.

Now, I’m smiling. I mean, I’m still upset but I’m laughing.

He just stepped out of the bathroom and shot me this inappropriately flirtatious look and I’d like to throw something at him so that he fixes his face. He’s trying just as much as I am. The little moment we’re experiencing? That was a breakthrough.

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