It's later when I'm trying to forget and I can't shake the hurt. I tell myself she doesn't know me very well and there are a hundred reasons why she might've said those words. Maybe it all makes perfect sense, but I can't let it go. There's a sick feeling in my stomach, or maybe just my heart, and I don't understand why small words have lodged this deep.
I'm thinking it over while tears make silent tracks and it's not long before I start to see what's going on. And I breathe a little faster when I realize why I'm struggling to let go. Because it isn't her I need to forgive. It's me.
Harsh words cut deepest when they echo what we already believe about ourselves.
She spoke without thinking and she forgot who I really am and maybe she'd have found a different way to answer the hard questions if she'd only taken a moment to remember. But me? I know my own story like I know my own skin. This story, it's in every fiber of my being and I can't forget even when I try. Yet still I've hurled accusations at this body of mine and I've whispered the things I fear the most.
Because I might finally carry a diagnosis and I might finally be on the long road to healing, but this one year of slow and painful progress, it hasn't erased the eight that came before. And I might've spent those years fighting against everyone who didn't believe, but underneath all my brave resistance, I suspected they were right and I was just this foolish girl trying to believe the impossible.
Yes, harsh words cut deepest when they echo what we already believe about ourselves.
Maybe I've dropped the biggest rock into the ocean, buried soul-wounding words in the Grace Waters of my Healer, and maybe I finally believe that this woman I am is worth something after all. But maybe it takes a lifetime to undo all the lies we've spent our years believing and it's a long, slow climb to discover all the ways we've done the wounding to ourselves.
It's not hard to forgive careless words when we realize it isn't they who've done the wounding. No, they've only uncovered the places we're already broken and isn't it really a gift to find a place in need of healing? Because God, He binds up the broken and He comforts those in mourning, but He'll leave our wounded places alone until we realize it's Him we need to heal them.
Yes, I'll count her words a gift. Because I see it now, how I'll never be strong again if I spend my days believing the worst about myself. Forgiving myself might be the hardest thing of all, but it's time to stop inflicting wounds and start believing the One Who only speaks the truth.
I might live my story in a body laced with illness and I might wonder if what I've got is enough to make a life. But He's the One Who's doing the writing and He says it's enough.
Now I have a choice. And I choose Him.