img_4671-1Hatred is ugly.  It has the power to destroy. It lurks around our hearts, and turns them into stone.

Sometimes, we are able to love others unconditionally, even though the hatred has crept in.

Sometimes, we store up hatred for one person, without immediately knowing why.

Sometimes, we’d rather let the hatred settle in, because its easier than evicting it.  We know its there, and we just ignore it.  It is happy, as long as it has a place to stay.  We make excuses, we call it self protection, and we let it get comfy.

I have done this recently. Regretfully, and ashamed to admit, I have allowed hatred to take residency in my heart.  Just in one small corner.

There were unforgiven moments in my life that opened the door to, and welcomed hatred into my heart. I didn’t recognize the moments as unforgiven, until today.  God nudged me, and lovingly showed me what to do with it.

When I was married, my life was full of hatred. It overtook me. It became me. I remember my pregnant belly being so tense, due to my hatred of the situation I was in, that it felt like a rock.  In those moments, I released the hatred for the sake of the baby.

Hatred is deceitful though, the way it finds other ways back in… It doesn’t even knock! Just returns to where it can stir up the stone.

It used moments that I had forgotten about to keep that door to that corner room open. It stirred softly.  It masked itself.

God would often show me that the door was open, and I would pretend I didn’t hear him.  I would rebel, make hatred comfortable, feed it, and let it stay… so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

Until today.

The door flung open.  Hatred confronted me.  I stood tall… brave… strong. I called it by its name, and told it to leave my heart!  I yelled that it was not welcome anymore.  I slammed the door, released my unforgiveness, and welcomed healing (again!).

In that moment, I felt like I was standing in the ocean, with waves rolling over me.  The waves were not fierce, they were not in a fit of rage.  They were peaceful, and refreshing.

God brought me peace in my restored heart.

As the waves rolled back out, they took the hatred away.

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