Forgiveness

by adustyframe ~ October 24th, 2006

This post on forgiveness will probably not be the most beautiful post I’ve ever written.

My journey to forgive my husband lasted for a very long time. It wasn’t instant and it wasn’t easy.

I still struggle sometimes and have to ask the Lord for his power and strength to help me. When my son cries himself to sleep wanting his daddy, when I don’t have money to pay bills, or I’m so exhausted I could cry, I struggle with anger at my husband.

But I believe that if I am going to happily take the forgiveness offered by Christ, then I must forgive those who hurt me.

My husband as you can imagine hurt me very deeply. The journey to forgive him started long before I knew incarceration was part of our future.

I started keeping a journal several years ago. I wrote down what I was learning and what I needed to work on. This post may just be a listing of those verses and my responses. Much of this was what God showed me. I wrote them down and cried and prayed and begged God to help me take these things to heart and to obey.
I am just writing things down as I find them in my journal.

2 Corinthians 2:10, 11

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whome I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

** I need to forgive so Satan doesn’t have a chance to take advantage of the situation. If I am licking my wounds and remembering the hurt, I’m not praying or seeking God. Satan can see that our family is in trouble and swoop in to make things worse. By prayer, I can begin to heal. I am inviting God to protect my family.

Psalm 139: 23&24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

** I need forgiveness for my sin. Ask God to show me what I have done to contribute. His choices are not my fault, but my actions and attitudes can give him excuses to sin.

Acts 6:8 to 7:60

**This is Stephen’s story. He asked God to forgive them. I need to pray for God to help me to forgive. Forgiving him doesn’t mean it’s ok. It doesn’t mean he’s not accountable to God. But God can use my heart of foregiveness to begin the healing in our family.

Genesis 50

**Joseph forgave his brothers and spoke kindly even though he had the power for revenge.

What would happen here if I chose to hold a grudge?

2 Corinthians 2

**Deals with how to handle someone that has grieved me.

1 Peter 3:9

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

**Not returning insult for insult, but giving him a blessing instead.

To give a blessing, I can

Pray

Speak kindly

Write a sweet note

Thank him for something good he has done

Do something with him that he enjoys

Obey God and let him see Christ in me

James 1:20

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

**My anger (unforgiveness) does not acheive God’s righteousness.

Matthew 18:32, 33

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

**How much has God forgiven me?

Proverbs 14:15

The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

**Forgiveness does not equal trust. My job though is to work on my anger and bittereness and to move toward reconciliation.

1 Corinthians 13

**I can choose to show love. Then I did an excercise. I wrote out the principles and what I could do.

For example for

“Love suffers long” I wrote I choose to love him again even though he hurt me. I won’t expect him to change instantly.

For “Love is kind” I wrote I will treat him with love. I will not try to pay him back or punish him.

This was a very good excercise. I had to concentrate on what God asks of me. Writing some of this down was painful at the time. Planning ways to love him and act on that love hurt and actually made me angry. I had to pray for strength to do this.

Another exercise

**This trial is like being buried under a pile of rubble. I need God’s help to dig out. Focusing on God helps remove the burden.

Write out 50 things I am greatful for about

1. God

2. The person I am having trouble forgiving

3. The situation

(talk about a hard excercise!)

At the risk of sounding like babbling, I’m going to point out that at it’s heart unforgiveness is anger. So reading and studying about anger will be helpful as well.

When I have something to put off (anger) I must put something on. I could put on forgiveness, kindness, charity.

Anger is sin (I John 1:9)

It sets me in direct opposition to God (Galatians 5:17)

It doesn’t acheive God’s righteousness ( James 1:20)

It brings along it’s own vile cohorts (Colossians 3:8)

I wrote after these verses

When I get angry, my heart is not peaceful! I don’t think about or pray about what I’m going to say. I get full of pride. I want to tell someone how awful he is. I act like a brat hoping to get him to see my way. Absolutely no righteousness in any of my actions!

So what would the beauty of forgiveness be?
I’d say it is the obedience to Christ.

The realizing that his forgiveness to me far outweighs any forgiveness I have to extend to any other human.

The absence of the churning heart that unforgiveness brings.

As I look back on this old journal, I am reminded how far God has brought me.

I have forgiven. When I was writing, I knew I needed to forgive but the chasm was so wide and frankly I didn’t want to.

I was justified in my anger. I was the grieved partner. I had a RIGHT to hold onto my anger.

But truly I did not. This act of forgiving took me a long time. It took much prayer and it caused many tears.

And yet, I would not go back to the angry woman I was before. I am so thankful that God loves me enough to hold out his hand and call me to obey him.

He knows that by forgiving I’m not saying it is ok, he knows that forgiving is necessary for my relationship with him.

So if you have gleaned anything from my ramblings, I hope it is something from God’s word. For only because of him have I been able to move beyond my anger to this place of forgiveness and love.

If you’re needing help to forgive ask him. He’s waiting to send his strength to you in your time of need.

Lizzie

4 Thoughts Shared to Forgiveness

  1. PrayerSister

    Thank you – much prayer for you today

  2. Blair

    EXCELLENT! Thank you so much for sharing your private journal entries through all of this. What an amazing plan God has for you! What Satan deamed for evil, God is turning into beauty.

    ((hugs & prayers))
    Blair

  3. Monica - books are our friends

    Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. I’m blessed and encouraged by it.

  4. Chel

    This is a lovely post. I am continually encouraged by what you choose to share with us as you travel this road.

Thank You for Sharing Your Thoughts