I came to my personal faith at a relatively young age of 14. What this meant was that through all the misadventures of my teenage years and twenties and well lets be real...my life since...I have had a deep understanding of my own personal need for the Cross. I am not perfect and have really stuffed up multiple times. So when I contemplate the Cross I would see my own crap decisions and failings right there, nailed to it. I know, that I need the Salvation that Jesus gives us on the Cross. The grace, peace and freedom I experience from the minuscule understanding that I have of Jesus' sacrifice for me is something that keeps me anchored in my faith. The Cross offers us more than freedom from our own sins though.
I, like everyone else who engages with other humans, have been deeply hurt by people at different times. It was in the pain of one of these life curveballs that I encountered the cross in a new way. After 2 years of struggling with hurt and anger towards someone who deeply hurt me (more than just the 'she cut my Barbie's hair' kind of thing) I took it to prayer. I was sitting in my hammock in the backyard and when this person came to my mind for the trillionth time I said out loud, in pure exasperation, 'God what the hell do I do about this? I don't want to think about this person ANY MORE!'
Now God didn't answer in a deep, Morgan Freeman, style voice but He did speak to me. I thought a thought I'd never thought before and I felt like God was saying to me: 'Caitie I didn't just die for your sins, I died for the sins of everyone. When someone hurts you, it hurts me. You don't have to carry the weight of their betrayal. I will. On the Cross.' In that moment I felt such comfort. I felt that God knew my hurt deeply and that He didn't want me to carry it anymore. He wanted to advocate for me and love me by taking on himself the sin that hurt me. I felt such freedom in this. Sure I didn't think of daffodils and rainbows whenever I thought of the person who had hurt me, but I didn't feel the same anguish that I had carried for 2 years. On the Cross not only does God put our sin to death but he wants to put our anguish to death with it. Will you let Him? Will you hand it over to Him? Let Him say to you: I love you. It is finished.