Forgiveness

The hardest thing to give away, and the last thing on your mind today. It always goes to those who don’t deserve it….

That is one of my favorite songs. The music is beautiful and that guy has a voice like an angel…. but that is not why I love it so much…..

My entire life has been a rather difficult one. I’ve been abused, broken, used, passed around like I was nothing but a rag doll. My heart built up so many walls you would think I would be stone cold by now. My biggest struggle once I gave my heart to Jesus, was forgiveness.

I never heard an “I’m sorry” I never looked for one. My heart was pretty cold for a while there. I lived in hatred of the things that happened to me, and the people whose “fault” it was that I had to endure it. It sort of became me as I let that hatred and fear work its way into my marriage and my life. I couldn’t handle the little things of day to day life because I couldn’t get me pain and my past out of my head. Living in fear and anger was preventing me from moving on and experiencing my new and improved life in all of its fullness. It was also preventing ME from getting the forgiveness I needed for the things I had done out of hatred and anger.

The number one thing that caused me to start thinking this way was having a son. When I was a baby, I was taken advantage of, sexually, physically, and emotionally. I knew that statistics show that abuse is a cycle and it tends to repeat itself throughout generations. I also knew that I wanted something different for myself, and for my son. I wanted to break that cycle. I swore to myself over and over again I wouldn’t let myself hurt my son in any way. You know, I probably wouldn’t have, ever. Even if I didn’t give my life to God. I did notice that the cycle was still affecting me one day, when I found myself drinking at night after he went to bed. Not just a drink to take the edge off, I was drinking a LOT. I was nasty to my husband, I was not the best wife. I had known God at this point but I realized, thanks to him, that I was still letting my anger and lack of forgiveness get the best of me. I would dream obsessively about the things and people who have wronged me, I couldn’t let things go and it was eating me alive.

I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point, I had enough of it all. I looked to God.

Again, throwing myself into the word and praying devotedly began a chain of events that I will never ever forget. I will spare you the boring details and give you the ones that matter.

One by one I would deal with my memories. I would think back to how, as a child, I had no control over the things that happened. I realized that I have control NOW. I realized that in order to break free, I needed to stop letting THEM control ME. I found that by allowing my anger and lack of forgiveness to take over my heart and consciousness it put me in shackles.. I was forever shackled to the people who hurt me. When I realized that, I asked God to break me free. To forgive them, was to break the bonds of that anger and pain. The things they once did to me, no longer controlled me. One by one, I would go over it in my heart, and without receiving a single apology, I forgave them.

I prayed that one day God would touch their hearts and change them, and that I would be avenged simply by not holding on to the suffering I still endured. It sounds so much easier said than done, but it wasn’t. I really just needed to give up that hold they had on my heart. They still controlled me, and above all, I found that keeping that from happening was the best way to “get them back” .

Then I remembered what Jesus went through as told in the bible. I remembered what the apostles had to endure before the end, and I thought, “if they can say to their captors and abusers ‘forgive them father, they know not what they do” then how can I claim to be a christian, and a follower of Christ, and not forgive those who have wronged me?

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
It was one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn so far (right up there with “patience”) but it was the best lesson I have ever been blessed enough to learn. I’m free now, I am free to go where God calls me and to do what he calls me to do now that I am free of my shackles and free of the pain, doubt, despair, and worry. The life I lived before I learned forgiveness was no life at all, it was a tortured life filled with hate, regret, and distrust.
My prayer for you is that you, too, will be freed from the bonds of your past, and that you will allow God to redirect your heart to the path of forgiveness. My prayer is that you will live out the rest of your life in peace, resting in the heart and hands of the REAL father who made you, loves you, and to Christ who laid down his life for you. Allow yourself to be forgiven for your transgressions because nothing means more to God, then to have one of his children come to him in anguish and ask for forgiveness. Why? So he can make you WHOLE again!!! I pray you will be at peace with your past, and eager to live out your lives for the lord our God. In Jesus Christs great name, amen.

Colossians 1:13-14

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
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