Being a part of someone’s pain is real and the worst.

I think if I lacked the desire to be truly transparent I would name this post “To the One That I Hurt”. I highly doubt that many people want to admit they have hurt more than one person, let alone admit anything at all. It isn’t easy to say “I’m sorry” or to take the blame for some kind of disaster that tore through your life or especially the life of someone else. But it isn’t honestly relatable to say that you don’t need to take the blame for something. We all need a little forgiveness and grace. We all feel pain, we all mess up.

But let’s be honest here.

If we all dig a little bit into our past or if we are blatantly real, we would probably say we’ve done some damage in life and it’s our fault. No one is perfect, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Everyone has some sort of conscience and we all know it can be easy to push the guilt aside and point our fingers to someone, anyone, anything.

Personally, I know that my gut and past speak to me. They both sit in my memories and pull out the gut-wrenching thoughts. They both enjoy reminding me every now and then, just when I think maybe I am doing alright. It’s like, “Hey remember when you did this terrible thing? Do you really think you’re a good person when you managed to do this to someone?” Gut check.

Gosh, saying that you are the reason someone is hurting is an awful thing. It’s so easy to think someone deserved it or that maybe you were wronged first, but does it even matter? At the end of the day I don’t think it does.

The truth kinda sucks. Okay yeah it really sucks.

We have all hurt more than one person, whether we realize it or not unfortunately. There are days though where I know that some event took place and I threw the blame on someone else or I passed terrible judgment and that I was the one who crossed the line. It is hard to swallow while I write it out. The worst part is that when you’ve realized what has happened, it seems too late. Forgiveness seems so far gone.

Finishing college and moving was eye-opening. When things end, you tend to go over them in your mind, the good coming hand-in-hand with the bad. I got a lot out of those moments alone where I went through every big and little moment of the past two years, and those that passed through my life. While I made some people love me, there were some people who had a lot of reasons to not like me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am a “bad” person, but I think I have definitely made some mistakes in my life that I regret. I walked through a painful season of life that caused me to not even recognize who I was anymore. It plain sucked. And saying “I’m sorry” never holds enough power or meaning the way I want it to. I wish it fixed everything, but it doesn’t. It certainly isn’t easy to just forgive someone either, it takes a lot of effort and time.

So this is what Jesus says

I would definitely say I have a lot of faith and that Jesus is awesome, but sometimes I don’t always love what Jesus says.

Jesus said that if “your brother or sister has something against you … First go and be reconciled to them” (Matthew 5:23-24).

Whoa, no thanks. If you’re like me then confrontation is very painful, especially when I know I am wrong. When you’re confident you did nothing wrong it’s easy to confront someone, but knowing that you messed up makes it very different. It’s a struggle to admit what you have done, understanding that you caused some pain and discomfort.

So like I said, I messed up a lot. I went through a couple of rough patches in elementary school and in college where I was possibly the worst version of myself and I despise it. But I’ve learned a lot and my only goal is to move forward. To not be selfish, or rude, but to just be nice. No matter what.

I can only ask for a second, third, or hundredth chance at this point, and I know some of y’all can relate to that too – hoping someone is willing to give you a chance to start over. No matter how much you’ve wronged others, it’s small compared with the wrongs we’ve committed against God. And yet He still loves us, and Christ has already forgiven us thank GOODNESS. Pain is taken away by his love.

Everyone hurts, even the one who hurt you.

This idea was hard to grasp until I was sitting in church learning about Nelson Mandela. He had a sketchy and complicated past, yet he came into high power, becoming the President of South Africa for a period of time. Nelson Mandela was a strong believer that the past belonged in the past, and that it was important to forgive and reconcile to move forward. (Read more awesome quotes here).

“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela

He felt so much pain because he knew he had so much to overcome. Mandela spent 27 years in prison due to conspiring to overthrow the state. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Four years later he becomes the president, and worked towards bringing peace in a torn country. He received more than 250 honors, even the Nobel Peace Prize.

There were so many times where I felt as though I was the one hurting, and that I deserved an apology. But do we ever consider that everyone is human, trying to maneuver through life? We all have once been the worst versions of ourselves and have all done things we regret. Hurt people hurt others. Lost people hurt others.

Sometimes we have to struggle and feel pain in order to grow in life.

After a lot of self-reflection, I’ve decided to make sure that the few years I spent lost in college become a lesson of the past while moving forward. That those years only help mold me into a better person I know I am today. I know that I am not who I was, and I am going to prove that anyone can find themselves again.

So here is to second, third, seventy second-chances. Here is to forgiveness and reconciliation, and to grow into the best versions of ourselves, leaving the past on the cross where Jesus took it all for us. Down a new road I go, leaving all past and pain behind.