Tuesday, September 3, 2019

When You Need to but Don't Want to...Forgiveness

I settled into my seat. Since the divorce, I had been seeking. I was after healing and restoration for all the broken pieces of my life. I needed it for myself and for my kids.

The course promised closeness to God and healing.

I was excited and nervous but I knew this was the place God wanted me to be. So I settled in with my small group and book and waited for the video to start. This was the beginning of my next chapter.

My heart was still raw, I was still angry and hurt.

I needed this class to help me process my emotions in a healthy, spiritual way that would move me forward.

The stagnate waters of regret and hurt were growing more repugnant by the day. I wanted to feel His breath breathed into my dry bones and make me come alive again.
And then Rock, the leader of the class said it, the words that made me sink in my seat rather than sit up and yell, Amen! 

Forgiveness.

Ugh, really? I paid for this? This was the answer to my broken heart and the key to healing?

The one thing I wasn't sure I could do. I had made a list in my head of all the things that deserved to be paid back and how I was the victim. I felt like God should side with me and take care of business and vindicate me.

His daughter had been hurt after all!

I sat through the hour-long video half tuned in and out. I didn't want to hear it and wasn't looking forward to 10 weeks of being told if I wanted to heal and move forward I had to forgive.

I deserved repayment. Right? My trust had been broken. My heart torn into pieces. That certainly felt like I deserved some kind of justice.

But over the course of the weeks, God began working and softening my heart. I saw how holding onto my hurt was blocking intimacy with Him and was making my heart toxic.

Rock (the founder of Transformation Ministries) gave an illustration of a waterfall and the water is the Holy Spirit, moving down the falls and into the river below. But hurt, anger, unforgiveness can become boulders in the water, blocking the flow of the Spirit. And when the Spirit is blocked it can't move in our lives freely. We become stopped up and can't see or experience intimacy or blessings.

God gave me a vision of a prison cell. This is where my prisoners were who had caused me pain. I wanted them to hurt too, it wasn't fair that they could hurt me and then were allowed to walk around scot-free.

I wanted vengeance! Doggone it. ( and I may or may not have prayed for such immature things like their car to run out of gas and make them late for work, or for them to smile in a really important meeting with broccoli in their teeth (ok, I'm kidding...kinda) ).

Unforgiveness makes you into someone you're not.

I wanted the guilty to stay locked up in my prison.

And yet, they seem pretty unfazed. Unfortunately, in reality, I was the one in the jail cell.

That's just what unforgiveness does. You think you're punishing the offender when really it's you who pay the price. What's so ironic is that we even have the key to let ourselves out. God gave it to us!

But will we use it?

It's not a joy-filled way to live.

I realized I needed to use my key and step out of the cell I'd locked myself in.

I wasn't saying what they did was right or acceptable. And I wasn't saying our relationship would be restored-though it could be (in some situations).

But what I was saying is that vengeance wasn't mine. Because you know what? God says when we forgive, we are handing over that person to HIM, and vengeance will be His. He will repay them for the evil they've done according to His will.

And that, friends, brings me great peace :)

The boulder that rolled over into my holy spirit stream got hit with a blast of dynamite-forgiveness- and now the flow is allowed to do what it does best...flow.

Pray, forgive, release, repeat. As many times as needed.

Praying for you friends.

Reference Verses:
Matthew 6:14-15 
Luke 17:3-4
Ephesians 4:31-32
Romans 12:19


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