If forgiveness never comes

“I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive her.”

I said these words to my mom in a video message. I couldn’t say it to her on the phone but I had to get them off my chest. Knowing my heart is still bleeding and carrying heavy burdens from the past four years.

I said these words out loud. Again to a friend. Voicing feelings I have been holding in for awhile.

Scared of the responses. Expecting shame, repulsion, and shock.

Surprised when they were said: Understanding, perceptive, and kind.

Every night (well honestly, almost every night) I pray for forgiveness. Asking God to forgive me and so I may forgive.

I have heard it over and over again.

I need to forgive.

I will never move forward if I don’t forgive.

I have to forgive them.

I need to forgive and get over it.

I will never be happy until I am able to forgive them.

I will never find peace without forgiveness.

The pressure placed upon me to forgive has increased the heaviness. Intensified the pain. Widened the healing time length.

Somehow what has happened has been placed on me. Their actions are my responsibility. The focus has shifted from what was done to whether or not I forgive. The guilt laid upon me for holding on. For not letting go. For not getting over it. For living in the past. For being angry. Still.

Shame on me. Shame is me.

I am drowning in the expectations of forgiveness.

It may be partly my fault. I thought I understood forgiveness. What it meant. How it happens. I have said the words out loud to my former husband. I forgive you. And I meant it. At that moment.

I believed one and done. Even though I knew, deep inside of me, the path to forgiveness is much more complex and complicated.

In that very moment, when I spoke the words, I forgave him for the affair. And I work everyday to forgive him again and again. For that. The unfaithfulness. But lies, deceptions, manipulations, and more that is so tangled up in the act has crushed me.

Growing the list. Becoming more oppressive. Expanding the exceptions. For me.

I desperately want to. I wish to say the words and mean them. Deep within my soul. To speak strong and clear. Firm in my position.

But I am not there.

At a place of forgiveness.

Of one, many, or all.

It may take years. Decades. Of healing, hard work, therapy, prayers.

I may be able to forgive one thing and not another.

I may be on my death bed when finally I am able to.

I may never get there.

And that will be between God and myself.

As I am a mere human. Limited in my ability to have pure, true, holy love. Unable to extend full mercy. Insufficient capacity to do what is asked of me.

In my heart, I know God doesn’t expect me to just hand over forgiveness. I believe He wants me to turn to Him. Asking Him to guide me and help me. Setting my mind and heart towards Him. Knowing I will always fall short. Yet, seeking again. Until one day, I am with Him. Free of sin. Free of pain. Free of suffering.

I am removing exceptions placed on me. Ridding myself of the guilt. To be somewhere I am not. To do things I am not capable of right now. I am turning towards truth. Picking myself up to try again. Constantly working on what He asks of me. Holding His promises close to my heart. His affirmations. His love. His mercy. His grace.

For sometimes there are things only God can forgive.




10 thoughts on “If forgiveness never comes

  1. Ugh! I love this so much. Forgiveness of my ex is a HUGE struggle for me. And the pressure is often too much to bear. And I desperately want to know it’s okay NOT to get there…to that place of full forgiveness…because I don’t know that I ever will. I pray often for it. But in my humanness I cannot seem to get there. I’ve read books and articles and blog posts on forgiveness, searching for answers. I feel immensely guilty for not being able to get to a place of forgiveness with him. Such a huge struggle. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was doing the same. Reading and searching for the answers and right steps to get there. With the pressure increasing and looming. Making me even more angry and resentful for having to forgive when I am still hurting from all that has transpired. I hope one day it comes. But until then, I am not going to allow others to tell me how my healing should look like.


    1. Hello, I am so intrigued by this. I’m wondering if you would be willing to elaborate? I’m struggling with forgiveness, and recently decided to forgive myself for not being able to forgive, and while I felt a little peace, it didn’t quite stick. I’m not buying the idea that I must forgive, but I’m worried that because I can’t I won’t be able to heal. Anything you would be willing to share would be so very much appreciated. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I am learning throughout these past few years, healing and forgiveness is going to take much longer than I ever expected. Understanding this and accepting this is ongoing as well. Some days I have peace and some days I am angry that it is all taking so much time and work. Which circles back to forgiveness and healing which always ebb and flow. I believe God looks not at the final act of forgiving but the process and desire of wanting to forgive. Wanting to heal. Putting in the work. Never giving up. Always moving forward. That, in the end, is what counts.


      2. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, it was so kind of you. I’m struggling and have been searching high and low for some sort of magic to help me forgive and heal, or at least to accept and release. I sincerely appreciate you sharing your story, your blog was clearly a gift from god when I stumbled on it. It’s a source of light on my path, and I am so grateful for that.


  2. Thank you for these words. I can relate so much to that pressure to forgive. I cannot tell you how much your words touched me today. To know that I am not the only one struggling some how makes it a little easier. And to give myself grace – because it is between me and God.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve tried three attempts of trying to put into words on how much I can relate to this . I don’t feel we necessarily have to forgive. We are full of light and love and will continue to shine forward and learn so much about ourselves along the way❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took my many attempts to get these words down correctly. Forgiveness is different for everyone. It has changed several times for me in just these past four years. As my healing progress continues, I foresee forgiveness continuing to ebb and flow too.


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