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An Open Letter to Anyone Who’s Been Hurt

I’ve been hurt many times, by people who’ve meant to hurt me and by people who didn’t mean it in the slightest. I also realize that I’ve hurt people. Sometimes because I didn’t know any better and sometimes because in anger or pain I can forget to treat people as they should be treated, even if the treatment isn’t reciprocated.

Some years ago I got together with friends and in our conversation they mentioned someone who was bothered with me because of a previous experience. I do not know what experience it was exactly that led this person to feel this way and mention it but I do know that it made me feel bad. The joke of the night was “Watch! Emily will not be able to forget that” and knowing me all too well, my friends were right. I wasn’t able to get it out of my head that night.

That night basically inspired this blog post.

Mostly because I had a thought

Of course, that isn’t always going to happen because sometimes you don’t know to apologize but I wanted to start here…

If I have specifically hurt you in any way, this is for you. However if I haven’t I’d like to serve as a “stand in” in place of those who have. I have met so many people who have been deeply hurt by family, friends, co workers, church hurt, the list goes on. I hope that you can find some freedom in my apology because if there is one thing that we have in common it’s that we’ve all known some kind of pain.

I am so sorry.

I’m sorry if I was not careful with my words or actions or if I excluded/ignored you. I’m sorry if I reacted in anger or if I didn’t say the things I probably should’ve said. I apologize if I wasn’t present when I was expected to be or if I didn’t reach out at a crucial moment. I am sorry if you didn’t feel like I listened or cared. I’m sorry if I judged you unfairly or if I assumed things about you based on what I had heard. I apologize if I was sassy, rude or insensitive. I’m sorry if I didn’t honor you or your time, if I took things for granted or if I didn’t help you when I could’ve. I apologize if I let you down. I’m sorry if I didn’t think of your feelings or if I was selfish. I apologize if I saw your gift more than who you are as a person or for anything else that I could’ve done. 

I AM SO SORRY!

I am human. 

It is never my intention to hurt others but because I am not perfect it happens. 

My heart is for this to reach you and for you to genuinely receive my words. 

BUT….

Forgiveness is a decision, an everyday choice. You most likely will not wake up tomorrow and feel better. And I cannot make the choice for you.

So you have an apology (or a stand in one) and now you have a choice…

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

-Proverbs 17:9

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

-Colossians 3:13

You can choose to let go, you can choose to forgive, you can choose to heal. And when you do your heart feels lighter. You weren’t meant to live in unforgiveness and if you allow it to fester in your heart it will hinder you from living the way you are called to.

I pray that you may choose the courage to accept the apologies given and not given. I pray that your heart may find the freedom that comes with forgiveness and that in this new found freedom you will thrive like never before. May you make forgiveness an everyday decision and rid yourself of the toxins that it brings to your life. I declare that you feel God closer than ever before in this process, may He lead you towards His heart. In Jesus name, Amen!

Toodleloo, Em

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