I heard a pastor once say about forgiveness, that after it’s been given, the burden lays on the forgiver. They must live with the memory of what happened.
I’ve never had a flashback before. I think, to some degree, that term is just a part of psychobabble. I watched a movie the other day however, and there was a scene in it that could have been filmed right out my past. To my dismay, the scene freaked me out because it hit too close to home. It's been years since I last wept over those memories. I silently cried for at least half an hour during the movie. I didn't know I was still affected after all these years. I was unable to think of anything else during the rest of the movie. I kept praying for God to get me through this. I also felt guilty because it made me question if I really did forgive in the first place. I know it’s essential I forgive – if I don’t, then why should I receive God’s forgiveness?
I told myself, surely if I already forgave, I wouldn't be dealing with these memories now. In turn, I became frustrated with myself for being so self involved and neurotic over something that occurred so long ago. But still I couldn’t help but ask; Why am I feeling this strongly right now? How do I get past this? Is God upset with me because I’m upset about this again?
Later that same day, the person of transgression called and we spoke for a few minutes. It wasn’t until after hanging up that I realized I completely forgot about my grief during our conversation. There was nothing between us except love during that talk.
God showed me that I did forgive after all. Although this is my burden forever, in forgiveness, I will continue to heal. Perhaps it’s essential I retain this dark memory. I’d like to think it will help my heart stay soft. I hope a soft heart will keep me from hurting someone else. Forgiveness may not bring a cleared memory, but perhaps through it, one will simply decide to look past the pain and both parties can appreciate a love with more depth.