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“Forgiveness is a choice we make.  Not for the benefit of the other person.  It’s not so they can skip away merrily into the sunset.  It’s for ourselves.  So we don’t have to carry around hurt, bitterness and anger.  They weigh us down, blur our vision.  Make our own journey slower and painful.  Forgiveness allows us to drop all of these things.  To no longer carry them with us.  To continue our journey lighter and more at peace.”  (Source)
Today I did something that I’ve needed to do for a decade…
I forgave TJC.

My life hit a major turning point ten years ago when I found out he cheated on me. It was right around this time that I told him I forgave him only as a way to try to keep him, but he wasn’t mine to keep any longer. That forgiveness wasn’t real and it did more harm then good to me over the years.

I have held onto some bitterness from that time in my life and just that small ounce of negativity has eaten away parts of me. I have allowed it to overshadow positive things in other relationships and it has held me captive to his power of making me feel worthless.

Tonight, a question out of curiosity was posed to me by him on Facebook regarding my small business and what I do. My answer was sent in a matter-of-fact manner, but I decided to also say that I hoped all was well with him. The conversation then took hold as we “caught up” on the goings-on in each of our lives. We’ve both gone through some crazy and life-threatening things over the last ten years. We’ve grown up and turned into mature adults. Our conversation was civil even though it ended on the note of him getting married since his 3rd child is on it’s way. I congratulated him and even suggested a way for them to go about a civil union without going before a judge.

And then I left my parents house and began to brush the inch of snow that had fallen on my car and I pondered over how strange it had been, but nice, to be able to talk to him; to be able to have a conversation that didn’t lead to hurt feelings, jealousy or self-loathing. And then I had one of those, “Should have had a V8” moments from God saying, “Bree, this would have been the perfect time to forgive him.”

You see, when I went to Winter Jam in Columbus a few weeks ago, Matthew West sang a song called, Forgiveness, and after that song, Nick Hill, the speaker for the evening called upon us to reach down deep in our hearts and find who we needed to forgive. He called upon us to call these people up and explain to them our change of heart and tell them that they have been forgiven. Immediately TJC and JM (another ex) came to mind.

In the last week, I drove home one night wondering how to even go about doing this. Do I just send then a Facebook message or write a letter or call them on the phone?

So after I finished brushing off my car, I got inside. I fished my phone out of my pocket and sent another response to TJC, even though we had both said goodnight for the evening.

It read, “One last thing…I want you to know that I forgive you for the past. I know that I’ve said some hurtful things years ago and I hope you forgive me for those as well. I am happy to chat with you civilly as adults now. I wish you nothing but happiness and great success in your life and it looks like you’re well on your way. Keep up the good work and I look forward to talking to you again some day. Good night.”

A great weight has been lifted and God has said, “One down, one to go.”

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