Forgiveness Is Not Acceptance: How to Forgive Without Becoming a Doormat

Story by: Jordyn Taylor | Feb. 21, 2019

My last story left some readers asking how to forgive without falling back into the same love trap. 

But, forgiveness is not acceptance.

You can forgive someone while still showing them the door!

Having grace does not give the person who hurt you a “get out of jail free” card. In fact, forgiveness is not about the other person at all.

Having mercy is more about personal growth.

The only way I could grow through my situation was by surrendering all of my pain to God.

Forgiving was a process.

I didn’t know what my spiritual leaders meant when they said: leave it in God’s hands.

I didn’t want to see my ex, speak to him, or even pray for him.

The hurt was too deep. 

How could I just forgive my estranged husband for abandoning me and our kids?

Little things like Facebook memory notifications, would break my heart all over again. 

We were married. I thought we had a lifetime of missions to complete—together.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” is what he’d always say.

But, raising our kids alone is a frequent reminder that my partner-in-crime forever is gone.

It’s tough being a single mom.

It gets lonely not having a teammate to pass the baton to.

Life is a marathon, not a race. And, anger was too heavy for me to carry along with two babies.

So, I followed God’s word.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32

Having mercy doesn’t mean all of Mr. Dean’s dirty deeds are dismissed.

It just means I decided to make peace with him.

Forgiveness for me was letting go.

It had little to do with feelings for my ex, or trust.

I’m still hurt.

But, I had to forgive because punching him in the face was unacceptable.

Forgiveness freed us both.

Often women like to remind men of how much they’ve hurt us when they don’t measure up to who we wanted them to be.

And if we’re betrayed, we want to be vindicated—immediately.

“Oh, I’m going to teach him a lesson,” is what hurt women holler.

But, who’s schooling you?

It can’t be God, not with that attitude.

Besides, we can’t fix people. We struggle to fix ourselves.

I’ve made the mistake of playing Captain Save ‘Em, when I am the one who needs saving.

So, I’ve given my disappointments to the Lord and I’m asking Him to cleanse my heart, daily.

When I talk to my ex, I make an effort to use soft words. The bible says it turns away wrath.

And if things go left, my attention leaves. Our conversation is over. 

If you’re having a hard time letting go, here are four things to try:

  • 1. Don’t worry about anything
  • 2. Pray about everything
  • 3. Tell God what you need 
  • 4. Thank Him for all He has done
Philippians 4:6-7

When I follow these actions, the peace of God shows up.

And if you’re afraid that forgiving will leave you open to being hurt again, it’s a sign that you have more work to do on yourself!

Like me, you need to sit with your thoughts and feelings. Write them down and ask yourself: what did I learn from this experience?

“Who am I, and what do I want?” Are the things I tried to define in my journal.

My reluctance to forgive meant I needed to become more familiar with myself. I needed more time to understand my thoughts, feelings, and needs.

One day I was watching “Iyanla: Fix My Life” and I remember Ms. Vanzant saying: when you know who you are, you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.

Those words sat with me.

I needed to hold myself more accountable.

I believe self-love and respect means setting boundaries for yourself and others. It teaches people how to treat you.

I’m still working through my feelings and learning how to honor myself more. And, how to have MY needs met.

Despite what anyone has done to you, you can choose to stay offended or choose to get the lesson.

My betrayal is teaching me to take better care of myself, now and in the future.

I’ve embraced this process. I’m forgiving and I’m moving on.

You may be hurt, but that doesn’t mean you have to be held back.

Glory to God!

I Had To Forgive a Person Who Wasn’t Even Sorry!

By: Jordyn Taylor| February 7, 2019

Let me tell you how hard this was.

I was going through an entire pregnancy alone.

While also trying so hard NOT to see my newly estranged husband living a glamorous life – globe trotting with his “rich” girlfriend.

The family I was building was gone.

You ask friends and family not to share the details of your spouse’s social media page with you, but many can’t help themselves. They are now more astonished and angered by the blatant disrespect than you are.

On top of that, strangers are bombarding you with screenshots, DMs, and questions about the husband you no longer know.

More mistresses were coming forward with their confessions & apologies, hoping to mourn the loss of “your” man together.

Maybe I should have logged off for a while. It could have protected me from being more hurt while pregnant.

But, I needed to see the truth for myself.

I needed to know who I had really married, so that I wouldn’t fold if he ever tried to come back!

I accepted the truth. He didn’t love me anymore.

But, there was still so much more work to be done.

I had to forgive!

This was a bigger pill to swallow.

How do you forgive someone who keeps disrespecting you?

And, how do you forgive someone who isn’t fucking sorry?

I get it. People fall in and out of love all the time. But, what I couldn’t grasp was the disregard for my feelings, the disrespect to our family unit, or the anger towards me.

It felt like I went from being his queen to becoming his nemesis within a blink of an eye.

Suddenly, everything happening was my fault.

I got myself pregnant.

I caused the media circus.

I’m seeking fame and attention.

Meanwhile, he was posting pictures and tagging “The Shaderoom” and other entertainment blogs. Plus, filming a freaking reality show as Salt N Pepa’s bodyguard and as Pepa’s lover!

Clout chasing.

I wonder if men ever take the time needed to reflect on their own actions.

Why is it so hard for some men to take accountability for their actions.

Even after the fire is out, they will not admit to igniting it.

I’m so tired of the “crazy ex” or “crazy baby mama” narrative men use to deflect where they went wrong.

Still, we must forgive them and heal, right?

Well, me forgiving was allowing the man who had treated me so badly to come to the hospital after our daughter was born. That was the first step.

Did I receive balloons, flowers, or a push present? Nope.

Did I expect it? Yes!

I just had a natural birth, buddy… without an epidural.

I want all the respect!

But, single moms don’t get much respect; yet the high road is one we must always take.

As I swallowed my pride and aimed to keep the focus on Legacy, I was glad to see her father loving on her as she deserved.

No matter how much we don’t like our children’s fathers, it’s important for us to support their relationship with the kids.

Children need both parents.

God created it this way for a reason.

Co-parenting

I remember praying:

Lord please remove all the anger and hurt from my heart. Help me to forgive him. I want to be a good role model, a great mother, and a loving-kind woman of strength.

But, life doesn’t care about your prayers. You can pray all day and still get beat up until your broken.

There is no magic potion, prayer, or fairy dust that’s going to make your life just happen the way you want it to.

You have to put in the work and activate your prayers.

Things often got heated between me and my ex, as we tried this new co-parenting thing.

Two hurt and stubborn people can be a recipe for disaster.

But, as my faith grew, I learned how to deal with conflict better.

When I felt disrespected, I would try not to react at all. Instead I’d ask myself: will your actions line up with your prayers? If not, be still.

Don’t give away your power.

It was hard separating the hurt and just parenting. The tension between us was palpable.

I don’t feel like he truly understands what he put me and the kids through. Nor did I believe, at that time, that he was genuinely sorry.

He was so blind and self-absorbed. It infuriated me.

I remember one day my spirit told me: pray for him.

But, because I wasn’t all the way healed, I resisted. I didn’t want to do that.

Stubbornly, I stood my ground: Pray for him?

I’m all prayed out on him, Lord.

No thanks!

So, we struggled to get along a bit longer.

Exhausted, I finally accepted that only God could deliver the peace needed for me to be a great mom.

So, I had Legend join me and together we prayed for his dad.

Video of Legend praying

Something beautiful happens when you pray for your enemies.

It stops you from seeing them as the villain and gives you a sense of peace.

God’s Word reminded me that we are in a spiritual battle.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Ephesians 6:12

The devil is an expert at destroying families. Don’t let him use you.

Whether you’re separated, divorced, or a single parent, you should always be praying for your children’s father/mother.

Your kids need you both healed and whole.

During my pregnancy, I wrote this prayer:

“Lord, when I am wronged, help me to relinquish my right to clap back!

Help me to remember the truth of your word in Psalms 135:14 that says you will vindicate me.

And when I am tempted to repay evil for evil, please help me to remember that my struggle is not another human being, but with myself.

My desire is to be a woman who is mature, wise, and who has a sound mind. I want to be a woman who possesses the fruit of your spirit.

Please, help me!”

Oftentimes, my actions didn’t line up with my prayers.

I failed numerously by saying harsh things to my ex. Sadly, I would yell and cuss at him whenever he disappointed me.

But, nobody wins when a family fights, especially not the children.

Our babies look to us for security and guidance, regrettably I wasn’t always the best role model.

But, now I remind myself that God is love.

And, His love should be reflected in your family in spite of your marital status.

So, the next time your ex drives you to the point of calling him “a piece of shit.” Pray for him instead.

Give people a piece of your heart and not your mind.

And learn how to fight in a way that will make a difference: on your knees, in prayer!

Let forgiveness flow, my friends.

Family video co-parenting

God bless us all!