Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My thoughts on forgiveness

As special as the gift of forgiveness is to me as a follower of Jesus Christ, it took me several years to really "get it" and learn to forgive others as well as myself. At some point in my faith walk I began waking up each morning and sincerely thank God for loving and forgiving me for my sinful behavior the day before. I am sorry to say it was a long while after that when I had my "eureka! moment" and realized if God can give me this awesome gift over and over every day of my sinful life, I must give the same to people I had been hurt by many years ago or just yesterday.

WOW! What a cleansing thing it turned out to be for me to be able to let go of resentments I had carried around like ugly baggage for so many years. Was it an easy journey to learn to forgive? No, it wasn't. It takes lots of prayer and work to learn to forgive and place that load of baggage at the foot of the cross where Jesus shed His blood for me. A question I started asking myself over and over was, "Can I still call myself a Christian and not forgive ________ for ________?" No matter what name or offense I filled the blanks in with, my answer always came up "NO". I eventually got to the point that the question was no longer necessary and forgiveness is becoming a much more natural practice for me. Do I always wake up eager to forgive someone who hurt me the day before? No, I don't. But after I deal with my stubbornness and let go, I feel peace and can go on with my day and not worry about unloading my hurt on an innocent bystander in my life. (I can so relate to the saying "Hurt people, hurt people.") A funny thing about the loving act of forgiveness is that the people we forgive sometimes don't even know they have done something to be forgiven for let alone that they have been forgiven! I have said things like "_____ doesn't deserve my forgiveness." or "I can never forgive _____ for what they did." The truth is that none of us deserve the forgiveness from our Heavenly Father but we are given it anyway. The truth is so simple yet so hard at the same time.

I know I have rambled - I don't have the gift of putting my thoughts into words real well but my heart is as genuine as can be. I am writing this because you may be holding on to a hurt that is eating way at you and coming between you and our loving God. Maybe you have something rattling around in your heart that you haven't forgiven yourself for. My prayer for you is that these words plant a seed in your heart and forgiveness begins growing in you and that you nurture it with prayer and reflection on God's loving act of sending His son to the cross to die for you and me.

Next, I ask for your sincere prayers please:

Tonight, our 17 year old daughter left the house and told Mike & I she has no idea when or if she will be returning. Some of you know what has been going on in our home for the past 3 years or so. It has been a challenge to say the least. Boundaries have been an issue with us. Today she left because of a series of events that had piled up and exploded with a lot of angry and hurtful words being said by all 3 parties involved. I have apologized for my part in the recent incident but she is not ready to forgive. I have to be OK with that and know God has her best interest in mind and is working on softening her heart as I write this. His timing is perfect. I'm praying she remains safe and I have hope that she will return and we will be able to work out our differences and she will come to respect the boundaries we have set.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”- Deuteronomy 7:9

God bless you brothers and sisters!



Carrie said...

You don't ramble at all. Your words are beautiful, true and important for all of us to hear.

I'm so sorry for what you, Mike and Hayley are going through. Know that you are lifted in prayer. I love you, sister friend.

Sandy said...

Forgiveness. Sometimes it is so hard to give and sometimes feels so undeserving to receive. Yet our Heavenly Father offers and gives it generously, everyday. Thank you for your thoughts.
We will lift up your family in prayer asking for hearts to soften and protection for your daughter.

Susan D. said...

My heart breaks for you as you wait for her to come to her senses. Waiting is the hardest thing to do...You've apologized & we wait for God to work.

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word, I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Susan D.

Sandy said...

I just noticed your playlist of songs. That is so cool. I may need you to tutor me in this stuff.

Rachel Winters said...

Hi Robyn - I was just catching up on your latest blogs & I read this for the first time. I have noticed your Facebook posts about needing prayer & I have been praying, I just didn't know for what! My heart goes out to you. I am so glad God is doing deep work in you... what perfect timing as you face this situation.
I won' t lie, I myself already think about/fear the day when I am where you are. On the other side, I can tell you that each and every one of us (my sibs) ran away at some point and we all came back - and we all, as adults, have come to appreciate our dad & know why he did what he did. My prayer is that you can weather through this long season only to be richly rewarded in your adult relationships together. Take care! Love ya ~ Rachel

I am Deb said...

Everyone needs to forgive and come to terms with their own forgiveness. Thankfulness towards God is so essential. Thank you for your testimony.