• Jai

Forgiveness

Lately I’ve noticed I haven’t been reading my Bible enough or making personal time with God. So I decided to reshuffle my focus and get back to my relationship with God.

I found my true spiritual self three years ago when I was pregnant and felt all alone. Things were bad in my life and the person I cried to the most was God. I used to recite verses like I was spelling my name. I started praying like I never prayed before! I had to change my life to live like this. The trials I was facing would have anyone not wanting to live life anymore. Things were bad, REALLY BAD!

So with prayer and relying on God I’ve moved on and started to feel happy again. My family is blessed, my child is happy and healthy, and I have a job to support us. God definitely pulled me through!

A few months ago I was on Instagram and stumbled on a story that triggered me. I found myself upset and annoyed. A woman came out and decided to finally say she found her courage to leave her abusive relationship. The backlash this woman received was disgusting.

I have never been physically abused, but I can definitely attest to the emotional, mental, and verbal abuse in a relationship. As the woman on Instagram fought through tears to speak her truth, I found myself reliving my own traumatic hell I experienced three years ago. I thought I had forgiven and let things go, but hearing this woman’s story helped me realize that I’m not as over it as I though I was. I still get emotional and feel unsafe at times.

I would like to think I’m a pretty forgiving person. But sometimes things happen where I realize that I’ve tried to forgive but I haven’t fully. I was a pregnant woman who wasn’t only in fear for her own life, but also in fear for the safety of her unborn child. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone!

I used to get prank calls, sickening text messages saying all kinds of unruly things. It went as far as people making fake profiles on sexually based sites with my phone number included. When I tell y’all I was living in hell, please believe me!

I was scared to walk to my car alone in fear that someone would run up to me and stab me! I used to think I was being followed, and that there would be a bomb under my car. It was a nightmare.

The woman on Instagram stated that once she spoke about her abuse, a sex tape of her was leaked. How awful is it that when a woman is finally brave enough to leave her abusive relationship and rebuild her life, she now has to deal with people shaming and embarrassing her??

Before I became pregnant, I left my engagement and relationship of almost three years. It wasn’t easy but I realized I had been crying way more than I was laughing during those three years. I was emotionally drained. The manipulation, the emotional stress, and the back-and-forth was not serving me. So I decided that I would no longer be misused and uncared for by someone who claimed to love me. I walked away and started living my life.

My pregnancy was not planned. Although it felt absolutely amazing to be pregnant, it was for sure one scary experience. My ex fiancé and I reconnected while I was pregnant and the shame and name calling began again. He was hurt and pissed it wasn’t his child. He made me feel lower than dirt for actually moving on after I broke up with him. In hindsight, although I did understand his feelings about my pregnancy, I found his disappointment annoying as he wasn’t ready or willing to be what I needed while we were together. He was dating other women while we were trying to figure us out. So after I had enough I moved on.

The father of my child turned his back on my child and I the second month into my pregnancy, and I haven’t heard from that man since. But here I was, still pushing through my pregnancy, working twelve-hour shifts just to provide and save for my child. So getting to my last trimester and having to deal with slander and threats was not on my list of things to do!

But there I was: afraid and alone. Thank God for HIS mercy because through Him, my family showed me that they were the best support system I could have ever prayed for. They were also receiving explicit text messages about me. The people behind the text messages wanted me to be shunned and alienated from my family. But God had other plans!

So when I was reading and listening to the Instagram post, those feelings of fear resurfaced. I felt rage and anger. I felt like I was reliving what happened to me three years ago.

That’s when I decided to pray and get closer to God again. And in true God fashion, the first devotion I read, titled “Hearing the Voice of God” by Rick Warren, states “Some of you have been hurt badly, whether it happened this week or years ago, and you’re still holding on to it. I want to tell you that you’ve got to let it go. Not for their sake, but for your sake. The resentment is killing you! Resentment is a self-inflicted wound that allows people from your past to continue to hurt you today. You need to let it go, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you need to get on with your life.”

Reading that statement really blew my mind. I felt so convicted! I realized I never healed. I never forgave. I never got past the hurt! I was still stuck. I can honestly say I hated the people behind the messages. What made it worse, was that the people behind the messages were people whom I loved and trusted the most at one point in my life. They were the people with whom I was most vulnerable; they were the ones I would go to bat for, no matter what. That’s why it hurt so much. That made the pain unbearable!

This is where the motivation for the blog started. I wanted to heal and release. But I was still holding onto the pain. I wanted to empower and uplift other women and make this a safe place. But I have to be honest with you all, my sisters: I’m still scared, and there are times that I feel unsafe. Sometimes when I get a text message from an unknown number, my heart skips a beat.

But now that I’ve realized this and have sat in this for a few days now, I’m ready to release and heal. I hope you are too, ladies.

Your betrayal may not look like mine. It could’ve been an ex-husband who betrayed your union; an ex-best-friend who betrayed a deep and genuine bond; a family member who turned their back on you; a coworker who threw you under the bus for their own selfish gain; a company you gave your whole life to, only to be let go at the very worst possible time. No matter what, or who did it to you, ask yourself these questions: Have you healed? Have you forgiven fully?

If “yes,” then great job Sis! Pray for those of us who still need help In that area. If the answers to these questions are “no,” that is perfectly okay, too. Hurt takes time to heal from. Do the work. Talk about it. Write about it. Cry about it. But make sure you acknowledge it and deal with it. We women are pressured directly and indirectly to put on a brave face and suppress our emotions. But, I call this BS! We are women. We are emotional beings who feel and think in order to grow. We need to trust our gut and listen to our intuition. It won’t steer us wrong.

We also need to forgive and heal. Not just for others, but more importantly for ourselves. Holding onto that hurt and pain keeps us in bondage. It stunts our growth! We may think we’ve healed and forgiven. But have we really done the work that requires this healing? You don’t have to reach out to those who have hurt you, but maybe you can write a letter? The letter can be as mean as you would like. Just get all of your feelings out using a pen and paper. Afterwards, read it out loud as not only a narrator of your episode(s) of pain, but more importantly as a SURVIVOR of your pain. Pray and mediate on the pain and speak out loud your passion for healing and forgiveness. Once you have made peace, rip up the letter and/or throw it in a fire and begin the living the rest of your life.

Sisters, please believe I’m going to follow my own advice and do MY work towards my healing process.

I love you all and only want greatness for all of you Queens.

Remember, it may have stirred us, but it has yet to shake us!~~~ Jai

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