Be Willing to Be Willing

willingThe other night, through a series of circumstances (that I now see were God-orchestrated), my sister spent the night. As we were lying in bed chatting, one topic led to another and we ended up with a deep, serious talk about deeply personal things that we’ve never talked about before, particularly regarding our childhood and some things in our pasts.

One thing that came out of this conversation was a realization I had that I was still holding on to some deeply rooted bitterness and hurt toward someone I needed to forgive. It wasn’t really something I’d ever thought about forgiving. I knew it was there. I’ve studied psychology; I knew how and why these things affected and influenced who I am today and how some of the things I struggle with are directly caused by this childhood experience. But I’d never really thought about the fact that I had never forgiven this person.

As we talked, my sister said to me, “Think how much better you’d feel not having that in your life anymore. You have a legitimate right to be hurt, those are your wounds and it’s understandable that you may not be willing to let them go, but wouldn’t you rather be free of that? And if you’re not willing to let go of it, be willing to be willing.”

It sounds funny when you say it out loud, and it sounds like maybe you’re just saying the same thing, but it is a distinctive concept. If you’re not ready to let go of something, if you’re still holding on even though you want to be free of it, whether because it’s familiar, it’s ingrained, it’s legitimate, it’s comfortable, whatever, be willing to be willing.

The Scripture that came to mind was when Jesus healed the boy who was demon possessed and told the boy’s father anything is possible if you believe, and the father said, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” Similarly, if we want to be willing but have trouble, Christ is willing and able to help us overcome those strongholds. I am willing, help me to be willing.

There were things I was holding on to. Things I wanted to release into God’s hands, but a part of me still wanted to cling to. Thoughts, feelings, struggles–I wanted to let go, but couldn’t. I wanted to be willing, but couldn’t quite get there. But I could be willing to be willing. I could tell God I was willing to be willing and ask for his strength to be willing.

I am willing to be willing.  Are you?

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

19 comments on “Be Willing to Be Willing

  1. This one essay alone makes me glad I’m following you.

    I have many reasons to appreciate and be thankful for your story, not least the coincidence of a heart-to-heart talk with my own sister under similar “serendipitous” circumstances – one which revealed more to both of us of our own childhoods, and on top of that some issues in the here and now I face, than I could’ve possibly foreseen.

    Thank you for sharing this. I know how much sharing such a thing potentially can cost an author.

  2. Reblogged this on The Hind of the Dawn and commented:
    This sounds very much in some ways like the results of a recent visit to my own sister…

  3. It took me a long time to let go of some of the things in my past, but oh the freedom! I’m still working on letting it all go, but that phrase is definitely key: be willing to be willing. Thank you for sharing, Avily!

  4. That was awfully deep. Who are you and where’s your sister (seems awfully deep for her, too)? Allowing yourself to healing is probably preferable, but if you want, I can have my Cousin Guido “take care of things” for you.

    • Don’t worry, Mark, I’ll do a Cricket Warfare post next week that will be nice and fruity and non-deep.
      It was awfully deep. We have layers. And it was two days before she left for Abu Dhabi, so there was occasion for depth. 🙂

  5. I sincerely appreciated your comments and had written a blog on this subject many years ago and basically said it was our choice. If we hold on to the unforgiveness, we are the only one that suffers – the other person may not even be aware. I released my memoir a few months ago as I was a victim of rape, cancer, suicide attempt, jail, marital abuse and several huge financial losses as a result of fraud and theft. One of the reviews recently said they not only could hardly believe the story but that it was even harder to believe that I held no bitterness against anyone. It just isn’t worth it, I encourage you to read Battered Hope. You will cry and rejoice with me as it is a story of victory over insurmountable odds and coming out victorious. Attitude is important. My recent blog is called Are You a Victim or Victor? The choice is Yours. http://bit.ly/16BG2Q8

  6. This is good. I had 2 people in my life whose evil intent was not something I could escape–but yet I did, through forgiving them, and it was a job that took weeks and weeks. The influence of each keeps me wary of people. That remains, but the former animosity on my part is not. It was not easy to forgive, not at all. My sister was one. She just died suddenly this year, age 71. Not long before that, she wanted to know why I never remarried. She asked, is it because of (X)? I said yes, and she burst into peals of laughter. Let me tell you, there is nothing funny about somebody threatening your life. My husband made me suffer in many ways. Yes, he was the second person. I’m sorry my sister was the kind of person she was, that he was the person he was. But they both are in God’s hands now, and I will never see them again in this life. If you want to forgive someone, you have to lay down a piece of your own life, the part the others “own.”

    • Thank you so much for sharing that! I know how hard it is to get to a place where you can talk about it. God bless you for sharing your story to help others!

    • I agree and appreciate your comments. I understand the pain and how to deal with it. I watched my husband go to jail because of someone’s lies. We lost everything we had because of fraud and theft by a devious plan to destroy us. My ex husband had me attacked and raped…. the list goes on and on and that is precisely why I wrote Battered Hope — to give the hopeless and the hurting hope and a clear perspective. The hardest person to forgive is yourself — we beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make. My heart goes out to you.

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