"I'm scared that God is mad at me for not forgiving my family, but I just can't seem to do it. They have done so many hurtful things that seem impossible to forget."
Is this you?
If so, you may be feeling like there is no hope in rekindling your family's once very tight bond. Your family will never be the same as it was in the past. But you can choose whether you take the trials you have gone through as fuel to build the fire, or as a hose to drown out the mess.
Overcoming contention and moving past anger will strengthen your family and actually make your bond that much more incredible.
"But how can I forgive them?"
First, take some time to evaluate yourself. Who are you? What do you want most out of life? Your answers probably involve a spouse, children, pets, a great career, a financial stable life, and let me guess, a supportive family to help you through it all.
Now that you know you need your family in your life in order to be happy, your desire to forgive them should increase.
It won't be today
You're hurt. That pain makes you feel like you can't keep your family in your life. But, because you are a good person, you put on a brave face and walk back into the mess.
Being brave doesn't mean you do things that you don't want to do. It doesn't mean you fake a smile and pretend that everything is all right. Being brave is choosing how to feel. It's knowing when to keep trying and when to walk away from a situation. It is understanding that forgiving your parents and other family members is possible if only you allow yourself to do it. This process will take time, but will be worth it.
Search for help
Pain and disappointment are not easily fixed. You must ask for help. If you believe in God, turn to him with all your heart and allow him to teach you patience, kindness, and grace. Let him remove the hate and judgments you have placed on those you love.
A counselor, or role model is also someone to turn to for understanding and additional guidance. Seeking help from a professional can provide us with new insights. These figures in your life can help quiet your pain and replace it with love and understanding.
Have you tried serving your family? Have you considered doing something crazy and inviting them to your next party or concert? When was the last time you flew down to see them?
Sometimes taking a leap instead of a step can make a big difference. It will show your family that you care about being unified and you are putting forth the effort to do so. This could be the gesture that changes everything.
The journey to forgiveness is rough, messy, confusing, and long but it is one that you can get through.
Tana is a student with a passion for words. She believes that written words can touch people in ways unimaginable. In her spare time she enjoys singing, hiking, cuddling in a fuzzy blanket, and spending time with her friends and family.