We all live lives of great adventure. Most of us may not recognize it until we look back, but I am sure you are stockpiled with memories of every emotion imaginable.
Whether we know it or not, each encounter we face can change how we respond for the rest of our lives. For me, I have lived with a lot of fear of the unknown.
This beast of fear has robbed me and my loved ones. It steals our peace. Without peace, we are restless and anxious. I am done living in the prisons of bondage and I bet you are too.
I don’t know what has happened in your past, but it’s been hard to forget the hurts of mine. What I didn’t realize is that with each letdown or scary experience, I carried it with me.
After being so sick, G-d has shown me his healing power by teaching me how to forgive those who have broken my heart (including myself). Another thing he taught me was not to look at those hard times as a punishment, rather a learning tool.
G-d doesn’t expect us to be perfect. The only failure we have is when we don’t learn from our mistakes. I am actually learning to be grateful for these difficult places. They are what have shaped my compassion, increased my prayer life, and helped me to persevere.
These words put into action helped save my life.
I have listened to countless sermons on forgiveness and all of them have said, it’s rarely something you feel like doing. It’s a choice. Jesus shared a parable in Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT) about the Unforgiving Debtor.
This is the story of a servant who owed an enormous sum of money to the King and was going to be put in prison. But when the servant begged for mercy the King forgave him. Then once the servant was freed; he turned around and went after someone else who had owed him much less money.
When the King finds out about his behavior he replies:
‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
The Lord opened my eyes that I was the unforgiving servant. I had pleaded with G-d so many times for grace but was unwilling to give it to those who had wronged me.
This is a tender area for a lot of us. It’s easy for us to spot this sin in someone else, but very easily hidden in our own heart.
In these past few years of healing, I have realized that some of my sicknesses came from carrying years of unforgiveness. It weighed heavily on my body and brought me to the point of death.
It was when I was at my sickest I watched Ed Dobson’s series at :http://edsstory.com/. If you haven’t seen these, I would strongly encourage you to watch.
He shared about forgiveness and gratitude. As I listened, I could feel the walls around my heart come tumbling down. If this man with ALS can find reasons to be grateful, who am I not to search out such things.
And I did.
For the first time in years, I finally see the younger untainted girl who had been imprisoned in the chains of bondage of unforgiveness, shame, regret, and guilt.
As I began to be more grateful, G-d sent His grace to free me from these chains that had held me back for so long. I now see forgiveness isn’t letting them off the hook; it’s there to give me peace.
As my pastor had truthfully preached, “Healing most of the time isn’t instantaneous. More times than not, it’s a process.”
I still have my days where the enemy likes to strike me while I am weak. On those days I ask others for prayer and open my Bible and focus on scripture to refocus.
As soon as they come up, I realize how dangerous these poisonous morsels can be.
I have learned to grieve deeply. But because I have walked those hard roads, I have noticed that I have joy on a scale I haven’t had since I was a child.
Are you feeling weighed down?
What things are you holding onto that are keeping you in chains?
It’s time to taste sweet freedom, and joy to flood your heart!