Forgiveness Road

Have you ever asked for forgiveness from someone? If you’re like me, you have and when you do, you expect all to be forgiven. Turn that around though, and someone asks you for it, are you ready to return it as easily as you ask for it?

When I drive to and from school, it’s about a 200-mile drive. Sometimes that drive feels endless. Sometimes I think I’m two hours in and I’ve only been on the road for 20 minutes.

Many times I wish I could fast-forward to when I arrive and I’m comfortable with the people I love and miss.

Other times, the ride flies by and before I know it, I’m 10 miles from my exit.

This is often how I feel about forgiveness. More often than not, it feels like the first example and usually with the same person, even if it was years ago.

Forgiveness has never been easy for me, and maybe it isn’t easy for you either. I won’t lie and say I’m good at it and I’m the first to extend grace because honestly, I’m not. I feel things pretty deeply, especially the hurtful things and I tend to hold on to them with a tight grasp. One that I know will end up suffocating me if I hold on for too long.

I’m sure you’ve had someone who hurt you long ago or even recently. I think we all have in some way. And despite everything in you, you cannot bring yourself to completely forgive them for the pain they caused you.

Something as simple as seeing their name on your screen can ignite all those feelings in a second. I admit that I get angry. I admit that I overreact. I admit it’s harmful to hold on to the anger, that it does nothing for me. But sometimes the passion that rises up in me is the most that I feel toward that specific person and for once it’s something different than numbing the pain.

Forgiveness is a road we all have to travel on eventually. Sometimes it’s the neverending kind where we pass exit after exit, refusing to get off and let go. Other times, it’s a road we take that leads us to the first exit where we leave and move forward.

If anyone tells you it’s easy, I would challenge that or ask them how they got to that place. If anyone tells you it will set you free, sit down and learn from them.

I look forward to the day when I can lay all the anger and frustration down. Where I can take that exit and come to peace with it all. But, unfortunately, that time has yet to come. I’m learning, and each day I’m getting closer to that exit.

Forgiveness is something we all ask for but are so reluctant to give away. Somehow it’s more important to receive than to give and I’m not sure where that began. All I know is that it ends when we take the selfless route and learn to love others just a little bit more than ourselves. But, like anything that takes time, it’s a process, don’t get discouraged by the long drive.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

 

Long Distance Can Be Good Distance

For anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship, kudos to you. It’s a daunting thing honestly. A lot of people may not recommend it. Some will say it never works. But for me, I say everyone should go through it at least once.

What on earth would make me say that? If you had asked me that freshman year of college I would have laughed in your face. However, experience has given me a new perspective on it.

To fill you in, me and my boyfriend (A.K.A best friend) have been doing this long distance thing for almost three years now. He’s kind of my favorite person ever and deciding to be a state away from him for 9 months out of the year was incredibly hard. BUT. Here are a few reasons why it has been so so good for our relationship:

Long distance? How can that be “good”?

1.) You HAVE to meet people:

As an introvert, if I had gone to school with my boyfriend, I would have never met the amazing people I have. I was forced to put myself out there which -while it was painful at first- was one of the greatest things ever.

2.) You grow on your own:

I found that it was hard to watch him doing his own thing in Michigan, but it also has allowed both of us to grow apart… and not in a bad way. Individually, we have learned to rely on ourselves and God, away from each other. A little bit of space can’t hurt.

2.1) You grow together:

Yes, you grow on your own, but you also get to grow together. You have to learn how to continue to involve the other in your life despite the miles in between.

3.) You learn how to communicate… Wait what’s that?

Communication is so hard in general. However, you learn real quick how crucial it is to keep each other sane and honestly, together. At first, it’s so difficult. Texting can only go so far ladies and gents. You have to commit to Skype dates and phone calls, and scheduling time to actually be together. Oh and boys, you better learn girl code real quick.

Example:  “I’m fine”: NOT OKAY. RED FLAG. ( Learn to speak this unspeakable, inconsistent language and you’ll be set!)

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You really have to try. You have to put effort into asking how his or her day was, what his or her classes were like. Are they stressed? What triggers that and what can you do to help since you cannot be there in person.

4.) You learn where your identity comes from:

As a believer, I have found that my identity is not in our relationship or in each other. Yes, it’s a significant part of who I am but it’s not everything. This has been so hard to grasp. But, God definitely finds a way to show both of us who should really be at the center of everything.

Saying you put God first is one thing, doing it is entirely different. And it’s SO difficult. I can admit I’m NOT perfect at it. But, the encouraging part is that He is always willing to help. He’s always full of mercy and grace. He’s always there to nudge and help straighten out priorities to put Him at the top of the list.

This is probably the most challenging lesson to learn, sometimes the most frustrating too. It’s hard to balance the two and sometimes you- I- do a really poor job. But, it’s just like anything else in life; you have to get back up and try again. You have to count on each other to point the relationship and one another to The One who holds it all in His hands.

Many times I get discouraged and wonder what God really wants from me. I think I am doing everything wrong and I don’t deserve this relationship. But he says differently. He continually reminds me He is on my side. He’s on our side, working with us and in us to make this relationship even better.

While it’s a challenge, so much good can come from it. I think I can speak for my boyfriend when I say it has all been worth it. ( I guess I’ll find out real soon if he disagrees…)

 

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)