Collect: When We Collect Hurts

A cup of tea

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—COLLECT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

COLLECT

What do you collect?

I used to collect tea cups—one from every country I have visited. I’ve collected stamps, scrapbook papers, and other things that I would use or hope to use.

I’ve recently discovered I’ve been collecting something else.

Hurts.

I know, it sounds horrible. But I have. I’ve stored up in my mind and my heart those painful memories, hurtful words, and spiteful actions others put upon me.

God’s recently been showing me that I have a tendency collect these things.

Though collecting tea cups can add beauty to a shelf or a space, and stamps and scrapbooking paper can create beauty and reminders of special times . . .

Collecting hurts? That only promotes a whole lot of ugly.

Broken leaves

Unforgiveness.

Bitterness.

Painful sores on my heart.

God is reminding me that I need to let go of those hurts. To forgive, which is a hard, hard process.

Those hurts? They keep coming up to the surface of my thoughts. Different nuances of the conversations and situations reveal themselves.

The only way I can truly forgive is to make the decision I’m going to, and then ask God to enable me to.

Forgiveness is a choice made over and over again.

For the people who have hurt me, and I’m still holding onto those hurts? I’m asking God to give me a heart that genuinely loves them. Yes, LOVES them.

Each time a memory comes up and an acerbic word slips from my mouth? I have to confess it to God. Which reminds me to pray for that person, and for my own heart.

Some hurts can only be forgiven with God’s help. Some wounds can only be healed with God’s touch.

white flowers snowy backdrop

For me, the first step is admitting I have a problem. With the person. The wounds of the memory.

The next step is confessing my own sin of withholding forgiveness.

The third step is choosing to let go of the hurt and ask God to change me (before I ask for change in the other person).

I’m tired of collecting hurts, and them taking up space on the shelves of my heart. I want beauty to replace the ugly that’s been on display.

What about you? What do you collect? How do you work through forgiving the hard to forgive?

Click to Tweet: Forgiveness is a choice made over and over again.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Collect

By the way, Susan Shipe has coordinated The FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY BOOK with a number of Five Minute Friday posts in it. It released on Monday, September 26th! If you choose to purchase one, all the funds go to support two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar TribePlease consider helping these ministries and being blessed by the words of many wonderful writers!

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22 thoughts on “Collect: When We Collect Hurts

    • Yes, Annette. I like the way you put that—minding what we collect. 🙂 I’m so glad God helps us to stop collecting things like hurts. 🙂 He’s in the business of completing those works He begins in us. Thank you so much for stopping by! It’s so nice to “meet” you. 🙂

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  1. Love this! I had similar thoughts when spying the word collect.
    Have you ever heard of Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word?
    I purchased it this year after dealing with a lot of wrongs I did and were done to me. A lot of negativity from me and others. There’s a chapter on tearing down the stronghold of unforgiveness and it includes praying blessings of scripture for that person. There are many prayers and the whole book is excellent. Even though I don’t pull out the book every day I have picked up that practice. Of praying blessings and nothing more on people that I’m at angst with, or hate me or perhaps I’ve hurt or they have hurt me.
    I may never know if I’m forgiven but the people on the list I’ve forgiven. Praying blessings lifts off the shackles. It helps so much.
    Great post and I agree!

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    • Somer, I haven’t read this book by Beth Moore. I appreciate the recommendation. It’s sounds like one that would be good for me to read. I love the idea of praying blessings of Scripture for people, especially those we need to forgive. Thanks so much for sharing this, and for stopping by. 🙂

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  2. What a profound post (and I love the pictures).

    I’ve never really collected anything – including hurts. And I’m pretty forgiving, except in extreme cases; usually those requiring prejudicial solutions. In those situations God will provide the forgiveness, and it’s my job to arrange the meeting. So to speak.

    But now I find it hard to forgive myself, and I realize that I don’t have to push it. God has forgiven me for my heinous negligence, and I can let healing take place at its own pace. There’s no need to try to run on a compound fracture of the femur.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/09/your-dying-spouse-213-lethal-lessons-fmf.html

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    • Andrew, I think sometimes it is harder to forgive ourselves. Sometimes it takes time to accept God’s forgiveness —His love and grace given to us. And I believe you’re right. Healing needs to take place at its own pace. I’m continuing to pray for you, my friend.

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  3. I collect dust bunnies (my husband tells everyone I collect baskets, but I have no idea what he’s talking about). Seriously, though, I’m guilty of collecting hurt feelings. Thank you for reminding me that I need to extend forgiveness and forget.

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  4. It takes a lot to forgive those that have hurt us. In time, it’ll come. I collect nativity scenes. I’m over in the 11 spot this week.

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    • You’re right, Tara. Sometimes, it takes time to forgive those who have hurt us. And that deliberate choosing to forgive. 🙂 I love that you collect Nativity sets. I have one little statue of a Nativity scene that I keep all year around to remind me of Jesus’ love for us throughout the year.

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  5. Great reflections on forgiveness! It is easy to collect hurts, sometimes without even realising it. It’s not always easy to hand it over to God and, as you say, it’s often something we have to do over and over again.
    I love your insight that “Some hurts can only be forgiven with God’s help.” and I’m grateful it is not something we have to do by ourselves.

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    • You’re so right, Lesley. Some hurts I collected and put on that display shelf without even realizing it until years later, when the memories kept popping up, reminding me of the pain. I’m so glad God’s willing to forgive us and help us to forgive others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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  6. Beautiful. I used to (wrongly) think that once I’d made the decision (very big of me, of course!) to forgive, that some magical spell would come along and make all the baggage of the hurt go away. I’m still learning the hard lesson of “seven times seventy” and I remind myself constantly that I forgive because He has forgiven me.
    Visiting from FMF#41

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    • I’ve been in that place too, Patricia. I’ve learned forgiveness is a process God works in us when we make the decision to forgive and lean hard into Him. It’s humbling and freeing, isn’t it? And yes, definitely seventy times seven. Yes indeed. We forgive because He first forgave us. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  7. Yes… I understand this. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Jimmy and Karen Evans. He has a message series he calls “The Hurt Pocket”
    Click here to see about it:

    It could be helpful for you. Happy Friday friend. =-)

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    • Ahh, Kimberly. I’m praying for you right now. It’s hard to begin the process of letting go of the hurts, but as we do, God frees us up in ways we just can’t conceive of at the beginning of the letting go. Thanks for your transparency here today. So glad you stopped by!

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  8. great post jeanne! this is one collection we don’t need isn’t it? well, unless we want to be truly miserable. one book that was helpful to me in this area that i found to be very difficult, was by louis smedes. i think it was the one called FORGIVE AND FORGET. (he didn’t encourage the belief that we can truly forget at least the historical fact that we were sinned against. but that we can move beyond the pain of that memory.) i was loaded up with a collection of hurts when i came across his book serialized in christianity today many, many years ago…before he published it. so helpful! not a quick read, but not a thick book. very thought provoking !

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  9. I collect coffee cups. Not on purpose. But because people know I like coffee, I am gifted with new cups. I have a growing collection, but I enjoy each of them because of the giver and the richness their friendship provides.

    When a painful memory reminds me that my heart is still unhealed, I have a choice to make. I can stuff it or deal with it. In dealing with it, I acknowledge the hurt to God and ask him to heal my heart. It is when God is there with me in my pain that He gives me the strength to let go of an offense.

    Great post. Profound.

    I’m visiting from fmf.

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    • Cheryl, it sounds like you have a good way of working through those heart hurts. I’m so thankful that God is right there with us in our pain. Thank you so much for sharing how you are able to work through those hurts. I’m so glad you stopped by!

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