To say I’ve been blind-sided by most of them would be a very big understatement. I don’t know what I’d do if my faith in God wasn’t a reality in my life. I think I would be an absolute mess, and I would have no clue how to handle some of the things I’ve experienced.
I’ve watched God guide me, direct me, and give me words to say when I didn’t know what to do or what to say. He’s given me patience, grace and the strength to get through extremely tough days. He carried me through one of the most extremely challenging times I’ve ever experienced.
And now that I’ve come out on the other side of much of this mess, with a big sigh of relief, I am very grateful. But to be very open with you, I’m struggling with something that is staring me straight in the face.
I’m struggling with forgiveness.
God’s Word is very clear that we are to forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 16:14-15). How can we expect God to forgive our sins when we refuse to forgive others? I know the many reasons why we are to forgive. And it’s not that I’m refusing to forgive those who have sinned against me, but I’m having a very difficult time in doing so. I can say I forgive, but if I’m not able to do it in my heart, am I really, truly forgiving that person?
I have example after example of offenses that I’ve relived in my mind. And if I could share them with you, you’d agree with me that these are some major ones. They have grieved me, and I have come to the conclusion there wasn’t one thing I could have done to prevent them from happening. And the only thing I can do now, is to let them go… and forgive the offenders. Holding on to them will do me absolutely no good.
Have you ever experienced a time where it was difficult to extend forgiveness? I pray I’m not the only one who has ever had trouble with this. Yet, on the other hand, I pray I am the only one. Because living with unforgiveness isn’t the most pleasant or comfortable thing.
I have started to be intentional in praying specifically for those who have offended me. (God’s Word also says we are to pray for those who persecute us.) I feel that’s a start. And I’m praying for God to heal my heart and help me forgive.
I’ve also been reading a book by Anne Graham Lotz on forgiveness…it’s called, Wounded by God’s People. I’m finding some healing through it, but I feel I need to read it through a second time to really grasp some of what she’s written. It’s a book I highly suggest for anyone who has been wounded by another.
And I’m allowing myself time. Time for God to heal my heart. Time for me to work through some of the difficult emotional aftermath. Time to soak in God’s Word. And time for the bitterness to be replaced with forgiveness. I know it will come. I know God will help me. And once my heart experiences and extends true forgiveness, I know freedom will follow.
This certainly can be a very personal thing to deal with, and I thank you for allowing me once again the freedom to share it here without condemnation or judgment. And I pray if you’re struggling with forgiveness, that you allow God to help you extend His forgiveness to experience freedom in His mercy and grace.
Blessings to you,
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