The Truth About Forgiveness

Forgiveness can mean that you must forgive again and again.

choosing to forgiveRecently I’ve had several hurtful things come up to surface again. They were hurtful experiences of betrayal by those that were thought to be on my side. Those that I considered friends. The wound was deep and I must admit caused me to withdraw from relationships once again. My standard in the past has always been to withdraw, build the walls higher, thicker and resolve within to never let hurt come again.

This time God wouldn’t let me build my walls. Instead God came worked on tearing them down. It took a while. He was patiently faithful in helping me see the need to forgive. To forgive not just in this but in past betrayals, past hurts that have caused me to prefer isolation over community.

As I said, He is faithful and forgiveness came. With forgiveness came glorious freedom and healing.

So now as I face this same emotion, remembering the past betrayal and hurt I am faced with a choice. Do I allow the enemy to use it making me angry again and feel the hurt all over? Oh my flesh wants to cry, kick and scream! I want to go back and make this right! I was wronged and there was no apology, no setting the record straight! The emotions and hurt threatened to rise up! In this moment if I would listen to my flesh (my enemy) I would sin.

But I  choose to forgive. Again and again.

Just so you understand, I am not speaking of one who hurt me again but of allowing the memory of a hurtful experience hurt me again. Both would require the same response. That response would be to forgive.  I use to believe that if a hurtful memory came up again and again it meant that I didn’t really forgive the first time. I no longer believe that for I understand that often my enemy will take those opportunities to tempt me to sin.

So when those times of painful memories arise thank our Father for the opportunity to forgive once again.

 

See Matthew  11:25; 18:21-35

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Yet, You are Holy

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy… Psalms 22:1-3

holy

Life is hard. Death is all around us. Nations falling. Power and Greed rule the land.

Yet, You are Holy!

Marriages fail. Children abandoned, broken and murdered. Homelessness. Starvation.

Yet, You are Holy!

Dying Churches. Watered down gospel. False teachers preaching.

Yet, You are Holy!

Sickness. Suffering. Pain. Tears fall. Hearts broken. Sorrow overwhelms.

Yet, You are Holy!

“…O, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.” Psalms 22:3-5

We can find true joy when we realize that no matter what we face in this life the character of God remains constant. He is and will always be Holy, Trustworthy and will never disappoint.

Father may we cry out to you in trust. May You alone be trusted for our deliverance. You alone are Holy and will never disappoint. May we be reminded that no matter where we are today, no matter what the journey entails, that You are Holy.

The Prodigal’s Free Choice

My child I love you,
I know you do not fully understand the depths of my love.
I love you enough to die for you.
I love you enough to give you the most precious gift
A gift you still do not understand.
A gift called free choice.
My beloved child you are mine.
I drew you unto myself years ago.
You loved me, sought me and you desired to follow me.
dreamstimefree_2831598You were on a path that would lead to my wonderful purposes for you.
Then, you looked away; you began to see what the world had to offer.
It looked pleasing to you, and you choose to follow the lies of this world.
Do you see how much I love you?
I’ve given you free choice, even when it breaks my heart,
even though it cost me the life of my Son.
Do you understand how much His death cost Me?
Now you are choosing your own way.
You are not following hard after Me.
My child do you not see the pain you cause?
Do you not see the road of pain your choices will cost you?
My child I will wait for you.
Now you are making choices that cause my heart to ache,
For I long to have an intimate relationship with you again.
But you can not have intimacy with me while you choose to follow another god.
Someday you will stop running from Me, you will see your need of Me.
Do you understand that you do not walk alone in your sin?
In every wrong choice, every sin you commit, I am there.
I chose you before the foundations of the world.
I will not let you go.
Yes I’ll let you have your free choice, but I will continue to work in you,
For you are Mine!
And one day when the world is done with you and you finally believe in the truth
that you already know
You will turn around to come home and I will be there
with my open arms ready to receive you again.

Come to Jesus

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.Psalms 40:1-5

Praise-06-782013_thumb.jpgOh Father I know that I have not always been patient in this process of healing. But you have heard my cries, and in your own time you have continued to work through the “all things” and set my feet on the Rock! You have helped me climb out of the pit, and you’ve dragged me out of the miry clay.

Jesus I praise you!

I worship Your name, for you have rescued those who are brokenhearted. You have healed the broken, the wounded and the hurting. I will trust in You and not fear. I will not give the enemy any more power over my thoughts. I will no longer believe his lies, for now I know truth. Oh God the works that you have performed in my heart are truly amazing. You’ve reached down, held me in your arms, healed my brokenness…nothing compares to Your healing touch!

I praise You with a new song!

My dear precious sisters Jesus can heal all your brokenness. He came to set you free from the bondage of your past hurts.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners. Is 61:1

He will rebuild that which was ruined. He will repair that which was broken. He will restore that which has been desolate for generations.

Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Is 61:4)

My precious sisters – Come to Jesus for healing….

A Father’s Love

a-fathers-love_thumb.jpgEven before I was born I was loved deeply and very precious to my Father. The moment He fashioned me He fell in love. He had never seen anyone so beautiful. His beloved daughter. Tears fell down His eyes as He held me, His precious daughter. He watched me grow; I made Him laugh with the silly things I’d do. My tender heart caused Him to smile. How beautiful I was in His eyes.

There was also a sharp pain in His heart as He watched me, for He also knew what was to come. He knew I would not understand what was to be apart of my life. At such a tender age it would seem that people would want to destroy me. My Father would weep for the pain and suffering I would endure. He knew He had the power to stop my suffering; a suffering that would leave me numb and lost. He understood because His Son had suffered an even greater suffering for the sins of all mankind.

My Father knew I would someday grow to understand the suffering of His Son because of what I would suffer. I would see His suffering and understand the pain and the torment He went through to no fault of His own. He knew I would see the hope, and the beauty in His suffering. His beauty would then reflect in my face.

During my suffering I would feel so alone and abandoned. I felt alone not because He was not there, but because I could not see. I was blind to the truth of Him. I did not see that He had His arms wrapped so tightly around me, loving me.

As evil took over my body tears would run down His face, He would weep loudly and painfully. His groans would be so loud that all of heaven could hear. He would feel all my pain. He would feel the tearing of my soul and the tears that would not come. “Vengeance is mine He’ll cry!” “You will not destroy her! For out of evil I will create beauty. Out of ashes I will create a garland.” “Oh my child, I will not leave you.”

As I sit on His lap tears run down His face. He knows that His precious little girl will walk through years of pain that she will not understand until she is grown. He held her tightly and whispered, “My Beloved, I love you, I will walk with you.”

 

Originally written on Quiet Reflection in 2008.

Why Momma is Angry

He stood there telling me he did not want to do what I had asked. He was three, I was angry. I took him by the arm yanked him toward me. He fell into the wall. I yelled. He cried. Then I cried. I then wrapped my arms around him, hugged him and told him how sorry I was. He wasn’t hurt. He was scared. I was scared.

ID-100104411.jpgMy anger had never gotten that bad. It wasn’t his fault. He was three. I cried to Jesus.

Several years later. Another child. He was four. He was angry. He stomped back to his room and slammed the door. He was a lot like me. He had learned what I had model.

It wasn’t his fault. I was the one who was angry. In fact I was angry a lot. It was always there, somewhere deep inside threatening to erupt. Most of the time I could control it. Most of the time it lie hidden just beneath the surface.

Once again I cried to Jesus.

I began counseling. I needed to understand. I didn’t want to be an angry momma. I loved my children deeply. My boys were my life. They were precious gifts. I wanted to be a good momma.

Here is what I learned. This is what took years to fully understand, come to grips with and heal.

My anger was not about them or my circumstances. It was a heart issue. My heart was yucky. There were things I had not dealt with. Things left unsaid. The past had been buried and needed to be dug up.

There were wounds that were oozing with infection. That infection had spread to the point that it could no longer be contained. I could just keep dealing with the oozing that came out but it would effectually become worse. I had to deal with what was causing the infection. I had to deal with the wound. I need to allow Jesus to go deep inside and cleanse the wound. It was deep and it had years to become rancid. It smelled. It was messy.

It did not matter to Jesus. Patiently, loving and with much grace He began to clean out the infection. It would take a long time to fully heal but the there would be growth. I would be less angry. I would understand that my anger wasn’t directed at anyone but the hurt the infection causes.

I had to deal with my issues. I had to take an honest look at what painful circumstances were causing my pain and showed itself in being anger. As I allowed God to work through these things I grew to handle my anger in better ways.

I still got angry, but I didn’t slam doors. I still got angry, but I didn’t “lose it.” Instead I chose to write, pray, remove myself until I calm down, write, and pray.

Momma do you get angry at your children? An anger that can be hard to control? Do you get angrier than is warranted? Then may I encourage you to talk to someone. A friend, pastor, counselor or your husband. Be willing to look inside to see if there are things you have not dealt with. Ask God to reveal the true state of your heart. Ask Him to reveal those things that may be causing the anger.

Then be willing to work hard through these things. Be willing to do it not only for your children but yourself.

Photo courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici, at www.freedigitalphotos.net

I Cried for You Today

(Originally posted in 2008 on http://www.Quiet-Reflections.com)
Recently God has allowed women to come across my path through this blog world that my heart bonded with because of similar life experiences. Today I sat and read the stories of two more women and my heart could not take anymore.

I sat and cried, for over an hour I cried. I cried for their pain. I cried for their loss of innocence at such early ages. I cried for the fear they felt. I cried for their aloneness. I cried for their loss of childhood. I cried for the tears they could not cry, the security they did not feel and the love they did not know.

LL0000A261I cried and mourned for all of the little girls who have had innocence taken from them so early in life. I mourned for those precious baby girls who would know evil in such a personal way that many will never have to know. Evil that penetrates body, soul, mind and emotions.

And then I became angry. I was angry at the evil these women have had to endure as precious little girls. At the hopelessness they have felt. I was angry at mothers who knew and yet kept their silence or did not believe.

As I sat there unable to sort through all the emotions of these lives I called my sister (spiritual sister). As I sat there talking with her through my tears I was able to see that while I mourned their losses, God had given me a beautiful gift. He has allowing me to mourn the losses of my childhood. I had not mourned quite like this before. This was good. This was more healing, deeper healing.

My counselor has tried to get me to go here. To admit the losses and to mourn them. She keeps telling me it’s ok to mourn, but I could not or maybe the truth is I would not. But today God used two women whose stories are similar to mine to allow me to mourn. There is healing in allowing yourself to mourn.

So today I cry – I mourn for my sisters who have had so many losses along this journey and once again, on an even deeper level, I mourn for my losses.

As I sit here, tears dried, asking God how can I help? What can I do? He reminded me of a truth He spoke to me several years ago when we first began this journey toward healing,hope and freedom.

He reminded me truths from Isaiah 61:1-7 from The Message….

The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace— 
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.

Isaiah 62:2b-5
You’ll get a brand-new name
straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your God is happy with you.

My precious sisters, God gave me today the privilege of morning for you. My heart aches for what you have walked through. But this one thing I know, we were not alone in our abuse and pain. Our God was with us. I believe our Father in heaven mourned for our pain and cried out “you will not hurt my child and not suffer!” (see Matt 18:6-7)

I love you my sisters and I wrap my arms of love around you and I pray to our Father that he will continue the healing process in your lives as you seek HIS face.