We experience a whole lot of horribleness in our lives. Sometimes it's easy to forgive and forget. Sometimes...it...is...not...
We know by trying to live in the shadow of the Cross, we cannot keep hating someone or something that has happened to us. I met a woman the other day who was in severe pain. She was looking for answers to questions, questions of why her step-father had abused her, why her mother let it go on. She said she had tried forgiving and forgetting. But every time she saw him it reminded her of the anger all over again.
I was reminded of the Gospel reading where Jesus says we have to forgive seventy times seven. In other words, it's not a one time thing to forgive. It takes a long time to establish forgiveness. Jesus understood that. He was human, He knew how hard it would be for us to forgive really hard things.
Even when we confess our unforgiveness toward someone one day, doesn't mean we won't have unforgiveness in us the next. That's why forgiveness is a choice we must make EVERY day. We choose to forgive whether we feel like it or not. It's a decision; not a feeling. Many times there are layers and layers of unforgiveness that build up over years. You may find you have to consciously forgive every time you think upon the wrong.
And when you forgive someone it doesn't make them right or justify what they have done. It releases them into God's hands so HE can deal with them.
Forgiveness is actually the best revenge because it not only sets us free from the person we forgive, but it frees us to move into all God has for us.
Sometimes we don't forgive ourselves for things we've done and give ourselves a lifetime of punishment for whatever we did or did not do. Sometimes we blame God for things that happened. Ask God to show you if any of these things are true about you. Don't let unforgiveness limit what God wants to do in your life.