Kat Mills on how to forgive when we've suffered an injustice.

Kat Mills
Kat Mills

If you mention the phrase 'let it go' to a person of a certain age, that someone may well burst into the well-known song from Frozen! It's a song that has grabbed the attention and imagination of many young children, and not so young!

I have tried to write a song on this type of theme for a while, but always end up with this tune buzzing round my head, but this is what I want to blog about today - letting go.

As I wrote last month, I always love the new year - the feeling of a fresh slate, and a time to do things in a new and better way. It's always then frustrating when something happens right at that beginning that can drag you down.

On 2nd January this year I had a rather upsetting incident. I won't go into the details as that is not the focus of this blog, but I will simply say my family were treated in an unkind and wrong way and it left a mark.

It took me several days to build my confidence back up and be ready to face the world again, but that took a lot of processing and an inner battle within myself.

When treated unfairly there is the need for justice; something that is wrong and should not happen and needs to be righted.

When you have been hurt it is easy to keep reliving the situation, talking about it, replaying the scene again and again so that the pain feels as fresh as the moment it happened. Each time the sense of injustice and anger grows.

As this was all playing out in my head, I was reminded of a very important yet challenging conversation I had with a mentor a few years ago.

A situation had arisen where I had a run in with a mutual friend and I was replaying the falling out, but could not get out of the cycle of rewind and replay. Quite rightfully, my mentor had had enough and told me so. She told me that I had to choose to drop it and that it wasn't helpful to just keep going over it. I needed to come up with a plan, but I had to make the decision to let it go and move on.

It's never fun to be pulled up when you fall short, and although it was hard to swallow at the time, I am grateful that I have the sort of relationship with my mentor that means that we can have those difficult conversations that bring change, conviction and accountability. I began to realise that letting go was a necessary choice I had to make.

Fast forward to this year when I was struggling with this recent injustice.

It was important that I needed to make a formal complaint to ensure that the situation I was put in would not be repeated, so that no-one else would have to go through the same upset, but I knew that I would have to decide to then let it go and trust that my husband was dealing with the complaint and would help work it through for me. I had to realise that the only outcome of continually reliving the situation would rob me of peace and to stir up a bitterness in my heart.

As a Christian I have first-hand experience of the beauty of forgiveness and grace. I don't deserve God's forgiveness, mercy or the grace He freely gives, yet He still lavishes it on me and forgives me.

I am only human and when I get hurt or am treated badly, my instinct is to be hurt, angry and get bitter, but I am learning that when I ask for God's help, He gives me the strength to forgive others. This allows me to surrender the pain, so that I can move on.

Maybe there is an area in your life where you are finding it hard to let go of something and you can't move on to a life of peace and joy.

Learning to let go has been an important lesson for me, and I want to encourage you that not only is it healthy and important to know when to let things go, but that you don't have to do this on your own. God can help us with this, if we simply ask. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.