In my current book idea, a book called, “The Lonely Musket Man,” one of the main characters is a man who has escaped the United States Army in fear. Unable to leave France in WWII because of fear of getting captured due to him being a traitor, he saunters off, appearing like a ghost to dying or ill soldiers in the fog and gun smoke of war. They find him intriguing, but they don’t know anything about him. He’s a man who has been in the Army for five years. He’s lost everything, though, which is why he is lonely in the wilderness of France. Not only is he lonely, though, he’s dealt with a thorn in his side for far too long: anger. Anger is what drives him forward, to seek revenge for everything he’s lost. But then he meets someone who teaches him that anger is not healthy, that one shouldn’t seek to find revenge.
Every time we are so angry that we seek revenge, it is immediately a un-Christian-like motive that we don’t even realize. Those people that hurt us in the past, the situations that should’ve been dealt better, the chances that were given to us before they were snatched away – anger comes in all shapes and forms. There are good and bad ways to handle anger. Today, I’d like to talk about anger through not forgiving the person or event that hurt you, let go, and move on.
I’ve dealt with a lot of anger these past several months. Sometimes, I’m surprised at how much anger I am capable of. Something can make me so angry that without remembering it’s a sin, I carry a grudge against that thing or event for a long while. Anger is healthy as long as it’s handled right. When it’s not, it’s unhealthy and basically a sin. I’ve harvested angry resentment for the past. Why couldn’t that have been different? Why had this failed? Why am I the one who always gets bad stuff happened to?
Almost five months ago now, I lost a career that meant the world to me. It was snatched away from me, and because of that, I carried resentment and anger for the people responsible. Yes, maybe they deserve the anger I had. But that didn’t help my own emotional and spiritual development. If I was going to live a truly happy life, I needed to forgive – not by letting them off easy or anything, but for a reason that had nothing to do with them. I needed to forgive to give myself peace. I needed to let go of the past and trust God with my future. I was really unhappy with how things had turned out. But since I’ve chosen to forgive, forget, and let go, my life has been a lot more peace-filled and I’m able to fully concentrate on God’s will and plan for my life better. Only through forgiveness is beginning to let go of that anger possible. No, it doesn’t happen overnight. But gradually, over time, once you whisper to yourself, “I forgive you, so-and-so,” then it becomes much easier and life is much happier.
I’m one of those people who has dealt with a lot in my life. A lot of people I’ve loved have died as most people have, a lot of relationships have been tested, some destroyed, as most people also have. But how many of these people actually have peace in their lives through letting go, choosing forgiveness instead of anger, and moving on? Probably not as many as you think. I credit my husband for being my best friend and always reminding me how to let go. God’s love is amazing. I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!