When I was a child I heard, saw and experienced things that no child needs to. It left my pretty confused and guarded as an adult. One of those things was being a victim of emotional abuse by my father. The truth is that when he was a kid, he was emotionally hurt pretty badly by his biological father, and it left him in a place where he wasn't sure who to trust and how to love. But, as a kid, I didn't know that and it surely wasn't my fault.
When I became a Christian at 16, I started understanding what it was like not to be afraid of people. I began to open myself up to some, and though my home life was falling apart, I was able to talk about some of it. I went to a Christian college when I was 18, and when I started hearing about who my Heavenly Father is, I saw a sharp contrast to the man who helped raise me.
I still fear that at some point, God will reach His limits with my "work in progress" status and withhold His grace. I want to know how many times I have to sin before God bans me from His presence. He says that He loves me with no strings attached. He says that His love is patient, kind, selfless, and that it never fails. The hurt and untrusting girl in me is calling His bluff. Don't get me wrong- I am not trying to wreck my life again (#beentheredonethat), but I long to know the fullness of His grace, the infinite power of His mercy, and the depths of His love.
Why do I want to know all this? Because this Sunday at church, my pastor wrecked my life with his sermon about forgiveness. He said that if we are wondering how many times we have to forgive someone before we get revenge, the problem is that we are counting. I have a healthy boundary with my father now. That boundary includes me keeping complete distance from him. I don't think that it's forever, but it is for now.
What I desire is to fully experience and know what it is to be forgiven "no strings attached" by God. I want to be able to say confidently "I am forgiven," and truly understand what I am saying. I want to be able to extend that to those around me, so that they too can feel the fullness of the Father's love.
Grace and Peace.