Lexie Miller from Hopeful Voyages is a college Freshman, taking a year off of college to volunteer in Ukraine this fall. Her hobbies include photography, playing video games, writing and reading. Lexi plans on majoring in History Teaching, with a minor in either European Studies or Geography Teaching. She plans on becoming a history teacher, marrying the man of her dreams in the temple, and traveling the world doing volunteer work and helping others.
The Blow of a Breakup
Many people in our lives will come and go, and they will either impact you positively, negatively, or perhaps, even both. Some of these people will either remain in your life for a short period of time, or they might be there with you till the end. And some people, will either show you great love, or perhaps even hurt you.
I learned this lesson the hard way last year around Easter, after I was hurt by someone I cared about very much. A friendship I thought was going to be for many years to come, suddenly came to an end. I didn’t understand why, and I don’t believe I’ll ever understand why. My best guess is that I was no longer a relevant person in this friend’s life, and for whatever reason they wanted to move on. However, it didn’t mean it didn’t hurt any less. I felt all the emotions someone would go through if they were going through a relationship break up—except this was the breakup of a friendship. I felt shock, denial, confusion, overwhelming sadness, and even guilt.
Guilt, because I felt I had done something wrong. I remember that I stayed in my room for hours at a time, often crying, and feeling horrible because I felt something was wrong with me. And I felt angry at God, for what had happened to me. Not too long before hand, I had received a blessing of comfort from my family, as I had been struggling with anxiety for a while. Now, I suddenly had received a horrible blow. Why would he allow me to be hurt like that, by someone I thought had been one of my closest friends? Once again, I didn’t receive all the answers. I chose not to contact her again, as I knew I’d only toil up more negative emotions in myself, and perhaps make the situation worse. Because that was her choice, and I was going to have to live with that newfound fact, even if it hurt. I was also afraid of the anger I was feeling, alongside the hurt. I was very angry in fact, but that eventually faded. Eventually most of those emotions for the most part dissolved. Meaning these feelings are not completely gone, but not as raw as they had originally been.
A struggle to Forgive
I’m sure my story is not too unfamiliar for many people. So how can you feel healing, and even forgiveness for those who have hurt you. Well. It’s quite often very complicated. We’re only human after all, and Christ knows that. Forgiving others, or yourself, is a process, and it’s often not very easy. However, it is worth it in the end.
It took me months to learn how to forgive. I prayed for answers, and read scriptures, but it didn’t feel like anything helped. Until I decided to write a letter, directly addressing my feelings of the situation, and even her. (Though I never did send it to her of course) Instead of trying to confront what my feelings were, I had hid from them. I tried to pretend everything was ok when it wasn’t. I now wrote down how I felt. I printed it out, and even read it out loud. I realized how much anger I still had, and even how guilty I felt, since I still felt it was my fault. Whether it was my fault or not, was irrelevant. I realized that I was holding onto these emotions and that in the long run, this was only hurting me.
A few more months passed, as I continued to pray. Forgiving her didn’t happen overnight, with some flash of light and a feeling of overwhelming comfort. Rather, I just woke up one day, and I realized, I didn’t feel controlled by these feelings anymore, nor did I harbor negative feelings towards her anymore. I just felt, that I could move on with my life, without feeling like this was weighing down on me.
Steps to Forgiveness
1. Believe in Christ
I can perhaps give tips towards trying to forgive those in your life that have hurt you, or forgiving yourself. But unfortunately there’s so many variables in play that there is no solution that is “one size fits all”. There is one variable, however, that is always constant—and that is Christ, and His love for us. Christ loves all of his children, even the people that we may have been hurt by. He loves us so much, and we can barely fathom how infinite His love is. And it’s often something that we forget in times of trial. But it’s something we need to keep in mind and remember. That we can always turn to him in those times of great need.
For the days where we don’t believe he’s listening—don’t worry, he is. And why does He allow these things to happen in our lives? Perhaps, it is a trial that is needed to help us grow. I can’t tell you how much I have grown, and how much I’ve learned from my experience forgiving my friend. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today, if it were not for this occurrence. I’ve learned how strong I can be, and perhaps the most important lesson of all, how I can forgive.
2. Have a Support System
Another thing that helped me to heal, was being able to talk to other friends, and my family about what had happened and what I was feeling. Sometimes just having someone to bounce your thoughts and feelings off of, can help you to understand and grasp what has happened and how you can confront the pain.
3. Keep a Journal to Write Down Personal Thoughts
Journaling, was another very important step in helping me to heal. I was able to write down my thoughts, and get it out onto paper. I didn’t have to share those particular thoughts with anyone, if they were too personal. But it also helped me to take a step back and see how this had affected me.
4. Take Life one Day at a time
The final thing that helped; I took this one day at a time. It was not an overnight process and it rarely is. I got back into the routine of things, and eventually had to accept what had happened. But I was finally able to accept, and eventually feel the effects of forgiveness. And I couldn’t feel any happier that I have chosen to move on. I suppose if I was to even see my friend, or talk with her again, I now won’t confront her with bitterness and anger, like I once wanted to. Instead, I will now greet her with love, and wish her the best in life.
You Choose your Own Path
We aren’t going to get out of this life unscathed, but we can choose how we handle the problems, the hurts and the issues that come our way. Are we going to choose to become angry and bitter about the bad things that have happened to us? Or are we going to choose to turn our hurt over to God, and find healing and forgiveness? In the end, it is your choice. But I can tell you, that choosing forgiveness and love, will be the better route in the long run.