When scrolling through my facebook feed, I usually come across one or two links to odyssey/uloop articles that are entitled, “A thank you letter to the boy who hurt me” or “to the father who left me – thank you” or “To the boy who broke her heart – thank you” etc.
The premise of these letters are to thank the person for hurting/leaving/treating them badly. Because the results of that hurt and brokenness and feeling of abandonment made them the person who they are today. The other person’s actions made them better in the long run, even though it brought pain and hurt into their lives.
While this is not a bad mindset to have – the mindset that difficulties and trials are a part of your story, shaping you and refining you into a better person – we shouldn’t thank the person who hurt us. We shouldn’t condone their actions or their mistreatment of us. We shouldn’t give them the idea that THEY are the reason why we are better, stronger people.
No, it’s not because of them. It’s not even because of what they put you through. It’s because of trials and storms that God has allowed you to walk through, and by His grace and strength you’ve overcome. It’s because of your courage and your bravery that you recovered from the hurt and pain that others have inflicted. It’s because of your endurance and determination to become better and to overcome.
It’s because of God’s grace. It’s because of your refusal to be defined by someone else’s actions. It’s because your identity is rooted in Christ and His great love for us. It’s not because of their actions.
So, I urge you to stop writing thank you letters to the boy who left, the parent who let you down, the girl who broken your heart, the person who abused and misused you. For they aren’t the ones you should be thanking. Instead, thank God for being with you every step of the way during the healing and recovery process. Thank Him for giving you strength and grace to get through the aftermath of the hurt. Thank Him for sending His son to Earth so that we might be able to experience this grace, to experience this great Love that allows us to move on from the past and become better.
Psalm 147:3 // He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.