One morning about a month ago, at approximately 5:19 in the morning, I sat down with my freshly poured cup of coffee ready to start my morning devotions before getting dressed for my day at work.
I set my coffee on the side table, cross my legs on the couch, put a pillow in my lap, put my Bible on the pillow, and pick up my coffee.
Then I see it. A big, brown, thick legged spider sitting on the wall above the window directly across from me.
I HATE spiders. My husband and I live on a hill with a good amount of nature around us and these horrid things seem to find every which way to crawl into our house. One would think that I would have gotten used to the appearances of this scary, little creatures since I moved into this house but it has really only increased my fear of them. And my utter detest.
So I watch the creature. I keep one eye on it, keeping track of its location, as I sip my coffee. I need to fuel my body and turn up my energy if I’m gonna kill this thing.
Then it starts moving. My eyes follow.
It starts crawling on the ceiling and stops right above my coffee table.
I grab lots of tissue paper, stand on the coffee table at the perfect angle to not be directly under the spider but enough to let my hand have the perfect amount of leverage to kill it dead on.
I brace myself. I count to three under my breath. Then I shoot up my hand as hard as I can, squish the paper against the ceiling with all my might, and then jump away as fast as possible.
It was a sure shot.
I tip-toe over to the paper. I gently turn it over so I can see the dead spider.
Only, the dead spider wasn’t there. Or anywhere.
There was no sign of a spider, dead OR alive, anywhere.
So, somewhere in my living room, this thing is still creeping about.
“Oh well,” I thought. “Live and let live.” (basically, I was too tired to try again, and I really wanted some devotional time before work. Plus…I still needed to drink the rest of my coffee.)
So, after getting back into position (pillow on my lap, Bible on my pillow),
I started to read my Bible and sip my coffee. I was nice and calm.
WHEN. ALL. OF. A. SUDDEN….
The Spider appeared OUT OF NO WHERE on the arm of the couch right next to me, less than 12 inches from my hand!!
I stand up, almost screaming, my Bible falls from my lap, and my coffee spills over my hand and the couch blanket.
I was NOT gonna let it get away this time. I couldn’t handle the fear of knowing it was around and could, at any moment, appear and scare me half-to-death again!
I cornered it. And killed it. With a remote control.
End of the spider.
Now onto forgiveness. And how it is like killing that spider.
When I was at the Beth Moore conference over a month ago, one of the (many) things that she said which struck me to my core was this,
“You cannot forgive just enough until some of the pressure is released and you can simply manage or endure. You must forgive ALL the way and go through the whole process of forgiveness so that you don’t have to keep dealing with that same issue popping up again and again in your heart.”
Do you sorta see how that was like the spider?
Ok, I will explain.
~I saw the spider on the wall.
~This is like becoming aware of an issue I needed to forgive.
~I watched the spider on the wall. I couldn’t rest until I killed it and knew that it wouldn’t hurt me.
~This is similar to how it feels when you are stewing in unforgiveness but you haven’t taken the steps to actually move forward and forgive.
~I got up to kill the spider. The spider got away, but at least I couldn’t see it anymore.
~This is like making those first moves towards forgiveness. And those first acts of the forgiveness process can really release the pressure. But just like the spider that got away, the issue is still there.
~The spider came back. The scare was worse the second time.
Because the spider wasn’t completely killed the first time, it was able to come back and do more emotional damage.
~That is how it is when we just go down the process of forgiveness “enough” instead of all the way. That issue, or issues, will keep coming back and will keep tearing at your heart until you roll up your sleeves to do ALL of the hard work and walk down the end of the forgiveness road.
I am struggling with forgiveness. As in, struggling, present tense.
I am struggling with forgiving certain people. Certain life circumstances. And sometimes, myself.
And I am finding myself in different stages of the forgiveness process in each item that I need to forgive.
I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now (spider included). But I wrote this today because I need to stop just thinking and start making some progress towards actual forgiveness.
Because that is where the healing comes.
What about YOU?