forgiveness and… Forgiveness

I ran into my ex today… well, sort of my ex. This is a girl who I kind of dated a little over a year ago, and by kind of dated what I mean is that we dated for about a month, but she was never willing to make it official and eventually she stopped talking to me. After a couple of weeks of me bothering her trying to find out what was wrong she finally told me that she just wanted to be friends, and then jumped in bed with another guy a couple of days later. That hurt more than a little… kind of a lot actually. Still, it was necessary for healing from something else… not important at the moment… I’ll probably talk about that eventually. This was one of those relationships where she stopped talking to me. I tried everything I could to stay friends, but she wasn’t having any of it.

So, I ran into her today. Apparently she’s working at a bookstore I go to every now and then. I was there a couple of times, and the first time I noticed her and deliberately avoided her. Honestly, at the time, I wasn’t sure why I avoided her, I just knew that I didn’t want to talk to her. After that I took a long walk to do some praying and some thinking about why I didn’t want to talk to her. The thing is, I’ve forgiven her. And this is where I rant for a moment about the complete inadequacy of the English language, because the word I want to use here doesn’t exist. I haven’t Forgiven her, because Forgiveness is two-sided. The scriptural model of Forgiveness is the restoration of relationship, it requires two willing parties, one to repent and the other to Forgive. God does not Forgive our sins without our repentance and reliance on Christ, because until that repentance is made, the relationship between man and God can’t be restored.

So, when I say that I’ve forgiven her, what I mean is that I bear no grudge for the hurt that she caused me. I’ve let that go. I’m sure that she had reasons, and I have no doubt that they were not good reasons, but really our reasons for hurting others are rarely good. However, sometimes I’m not entirely sure of that. It took me a while to forgive her, and when I first saw her I honestly wasn’t sure how I felt or why I avoided her. I thought that maybe I was still mad at her, that I hadn’t actually forgiven her for hurting me. I thought that maybe I was afraid that I would say something or do something to try to hurt her, and I was half right about that. I was afraid, but not of what I would do. My ex is a girl that lashes out as a defense mechanism. When she’s scared or uncomfortable she says and does things to hurt people. This is part of the reason that I was so hurt in the first place, and I was afraid that on seeing me she would say or do something to lash out.

Well, eventually I went back to the bookstore, there was something I needed anyway, and I made sure that I saw her face to face (she was my cashier). I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I still kind of thought she might lash out or say something cruel, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t even look at me, and just pretended that she didn’t recognize me. This made me sad. I’ve forgiven her, but I haven’t had the chance to Forgive her, because she doesn’t appear to have any desire to restore a friendship or relationship.

I thought about that as well for a while. If I would want to restore a relationship with her, and I don’t. Honestly, even if I didn’t need to be single right now, I don’t think I’d want to try dating her again. However, I would like to be able to have a conversation with her without pretending that we don’t know each other. However, I think that is up to her. As I said, Forgiveness takes two parties, and if she doesn’t want a restored relationship, then I’m not going to try to force it. I could try to reach out to her, to say or do something to spark the conversation that we would need to have to actually begin a friendship again. I’ve considered the fact that it’s entirely possible that I’m just being a selfish bastard by not taking that step, but I don’t really think that I am. I’m not entirely sure how to defend that, it’s just a gut feeling.

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