I feel like I had some sort of a breakthrough this week.
I appreciate that forgiveness takes time. I can appreciate that forgiveness is between myself and God. I understand that forgiveness is required by God. I understand that I am a sinner and that I was forgiven by God. But I tangibly struggle with the idea of forgiveness. If I still feel pain, if I still want justice, if I still get physically ill when specific individuals are mentioned, how can that be forgiveness?
In my conversation with my friend, something particularly resonated with me: the thought that yes, without a doubt, I need to work out the whole forgiveness issue with God. But the negative feelings that I have--the thoughts that come to mind when I consider what happened to our family, the thoughts about what Patrick did, the thoughts that come to mind when I realize Eddie is still in hiding, and the thoughts about all the other individuals that we loved and trusted that were involved in the betrayal--those feelings are righteous anger.
That righteous anger has a purpose. I think I'm learning to be OK with that.