Tag Archives: faith

Forgiveness is the Key

The Wound

Have you ever been so wounded or abused by someone whom you swore you would never forgive them?

After talking with a close friend of mine recently, I was thinking about our conversation.  Anna (not her real name) is healing from a tragic childhood abuse of the worst kind. Over the past year, she and I have become very close as I have helped her deal with this horrible pain that keeps rearing its ugly head in her life.

Recently, a good friend of Anna’s almost died; Anna was very distraught about her friend. This friend has reached out to Anna just a few months ago. I think it would be good for Anna to work on building some friendships that she has cut off over the years. She fears letting others into her world, because they may hurt her. She has been betrayed by two very close friends. I mentioned not everyone wants to hurt her, and that she is missing out on the friendship and love of others. However, they are missing out on what she can offer them as well. As I was mulling over her fears one day, and through some reading and praying I realized a missing link in Anna’s healing and seeking friendships. Forgiveness . . .

She struggles to forgive the monster who stole her childhood and innocence. I can completely understand. Who would not? However, he is stealing her life now, and he is deceased. She is afraid to live. Her pain doesn’t stop with this one person it seeps into all her relationships. She is on a journey of healing, and will have a story to share with others. There are so many people out there just like her who nobody knows the hell they are living in. She will be their voice one day. God has a plan and a purpose for her, as He does for each of His children.

Open Hearts

Here is the connection I made for my friend to complete her healing. She needs to forgive the monster. Not because he deserves it. Not because he is dead. We forgive, because God has called us to forgive everyone as He has forgiven us (Eph 4:32). This will not happen in a moment, but will take time to peel back the layers of pain, grief and sorrow by releasing it to God. Somehow God has designed it when we quit clutching our pain and forgive those who hurt us then our heart is open to love and forgive others. You see my friend is clutching her pain tightly, and has for so long that it hurts to even look at it. Forgiveness looks impossible, because it has become a part of her like having a permanent scar from a gash 20 years ago, but the pain does not go away. However, God has promised us that if we make the decision to forgive – EVEN if the person NEVER asks for it – He will complete the healing process for us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Resoundingly YES! Ask anyone who has forgiven the murderer of their child, the cheating wife or husband, the prodigal son, or the betraying friend, they would tell you the same. It is hard to describe what God does in your heart when you are obedient to forgive. You are able to look at the pain, and not feel the deep wound anymore. The anger is washed away. Joy and love take up residence where all the poison used to reside. You make room for God to fill your heart with His love that spills over into others even the one that has hurt you the most.

For me, I have someone whom I forgave for a horrible thing they did to me a long time ago. I now just feel sorry for them. To be honest, I don’t feel a gush of love for them, but I love them as a part of God’s creation. I don’t know if they have Christ or not. If they do not have the love of Christ in them, they are missing out on so much life!

So Hard to Believe

Corrie ten Boom had a similar excruciating painful experience as my friend. She and her family were severely abused in a German Nazi Concentration Camp. She watched her sister starve to death days before they received freedom. Her family was put in a prison camp for hiding Jews from Hitler’s regime. After her release, and in the midst of healing from all the torture, she spoke at a meeting in Munich, Germany about what she had been through in the camps and about God’s forgiveness.

Afterwards, a former guard came up to her, and said that he had become a Christian recently, and he wanted to personally ask her forgiveness. She remembered him. She remembered being paraded by him naked. He stuck his hand out in an offering of peace and forgiveness. It was all she could do to shake his hand. She knew that she should, but she had this internal battle raging. She finally extended her hand out to shake his and when she did, she could feel the power and presences of God move from her shoulder down to where her hand met his. She had this overwhelming sense of love for the man. The forgiving power of God overwhelmed her. You see she stopped clutching her pain, and could forgive and love through the power of God.

Forgiveness Is . . .

Forgiveness is more about letting go of our right to be hurt, than it is freeing the other person from their responsibility. Forgiveness frees us to love others more deeply. I know it is hard, because there are times that I struggle with it too. When you are repeatedly hurt by the same person for the same thing over and over again, you want to curl up in your corner to have your pain party. Although, that is not what God designed us to do. Unforgiveness holds us in bondage and keeps us from the pure love that God has for us and the love we could share with others. Forgiveness is the key to get out of bondage.

Is there someone you need to forgive today? Maybe you need to forgive yourself and allow God to heal you. We are to be responsible for own actions, but that does not mean we drag that mistake, sin, or pain with us for the rest of our life as penance. This is the beauty of God’s design. His mercy and grace wash away our sin and our pain to open our hearts to be filled with His love. I pray that you allow Him today. Forgive as you have been forgiven by the Almighty Savior and Friend. He will flood you with His love.

This verse below became real to me during a particularly difficult time in  my marriage.  God revealed to me that He had forgiven me and I needed to forgive my husband just like He forgives me.  Talk about a spiritual 2 x 4!

Ephesians 4:32 “Instead, be kind to each other,

tenderhearted,  forgiving one another,

just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Please feel free to share how forgiveness helped you or any other comments on this post. I look forward to reading what you share!

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JUST QUIT!

JUST QUIT!

Guest Post by Casey Sollock

www.QuitToGrowRich.com

 

Do you ever feel like the only purpose you have in life is to make it through the day…only to wake up the next day to do it all over again?

 

Do you sometimes feel like you are running through life on a high-speed treadmill, going as fast as you can but never really getting anywhere?

 

Do feelings of unhappiness and stress overwhelm you?

 

Does your relationship with God need revival?

                                                      

THEN QUIT GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS!

 

My name is Casey, and I’m the founder of QuitToGrowRich.com.  The question I love to ask my coaching clients is, “What do you need to QUIT to lead your richest life?!”  So, that is the question I am asking you today.  Give that some thought.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

You see, at one point in my life I could answer yes to all of those questions above.  I was just going through the motions (and almost wasted $65,000 on law school because of it…that’s a long story that I won’t get into here!), and my relationship with God did need revival.  I was a wife and mother and had completely lost myself in those roles.  I was just doing whatever I could do to make it through the day.  I still had a relationship with God, but it wasn’t a deep, soul-satisfying relationship.  Things needed to change.  So, what did I do?

I got still.  In this crazy world of perpetual busy-ness, I had to make a concerted effort to BE STILL.  Maybe you need to do this, too.  I began to get into conversation with God again.  I started really listening to what he was saying.  I didn’t do all the talking!  Be quiet and hear his whispers.  They are beautiful.  I asked him what I was here for, what my purpose was.  I desperately needed to QUIT going through the motions and live my life intentionally.

 

So, what were the practical steps I took in order to QUIT going through the motions?

 

1.   I rediscovered my God-given strengths and began to nurture those.  What are your strengths?  How has God wired YOU?  There are multiple strengths assessments on the market.  The one I love is The CALL, a faith-based, life-purpose and vocational assessment.

 

2.  I realigned my priorities in life, and now nothing will knock them out-of-place Do you know what your priorities are?  Think about this and write them down.  If you let your priorities get out of line, nothing feels quite right.  Chaos ensues and so does unhappiness.

Note from Joyce:  We plan vacations and retirement with great detail.  Why don’t we create a life plan?  Isn’t how you spend your days more important that a vacation? Michael Hyatt has a great e-book (It’s short) that helps you get your priorities in order in  “Create a Life Plan” – Click on the title to learn how you can get this e-book for FREE!

3.  I focused in on what was truly fulfilling for me.  What is it that fulfills you and makes your heart sing?  WHO ARE YOU?  And, I’m not talking about all the roles you have.  Who are you deep down in your soul?  What brings you joy and happiness? God places natural gifts and abilities in each of us that we can explore and expand by learning how to be a better writer, singer, teacher, mom, wife, husband, father, create furniture, design buildings, photography or whatever that makes you get all giddy when you get a chance to do . . . . If you could have a day to do whatever you wanted, what would it be?  Is that what you are passionate about? Most likely it is your passion.

One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  To me, this says it all!  Throw off everything that hinders you (QUIT!).  Anything that makes you feel like you are “just going through the motions” should be tossed aside.  God has given you a very unique and wonderful race to run!  He wants you to be purposeful and intentional.  Remain in prayer and conversation with God so that you stay on the right path…and, persevere! 

QUIT TO GROW RICH!  Quit whatever you need to quit so you can lead your richest life…a life rich in purpose, rich in happiness, rich in health, rich in relationships, rich in God!    

From Joyce:  Thank You Casey for this great reminder to BE STILL.  God must be telling me something, because in the past 12 hours I have read three different things about being still with God.  Hmm. . . . I think He is trying to tell me something.  How about you?  How hard is it to sit still and do nothing or think of nothing for five minutes? Take five minutes to focus on God and listen to His voice.  I encourage you to try it.  Not as easy as it sounds!  May God richly bless you in this time with Him! 

Please check out Casey’s Blog and send her any questions or comments through the Leave a Reply below or directly to her website.  I know it this busy phase of my life it is hard to know what to quit.  What is hard for you to quit? We look forward to hearing how God is moving in your life today!

About Casey Sollock:

Casey understands the power of Quitting, and she loves to share her message! She is a Christian women’s speaker, life-purpose coach, and author. Casey is passionate about developing women leaders so they can create their RICHEST lives.  She teaches women of all ages how to “lead their life,” even in the midst of the multiple roles every woman holds.  Her book, Should, Could, and Would, encourages leadership thinking and taking action! While its rhyming style, fun words, and engaging illustrations capture the attention of young children, the inspirational leadership message speaks to all ages!  Casey invites you to visit her website, www.QuitToGrowRich.com, for more information about her coaching and speaking, and to find out about creating your personalized Quitness Plan!

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