Forgiveness Looks Different

F

2 Kings 20:5

“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.”

I was sexually abused as a young child.  I grew up in a Christian home but freedom in Christ and His Holy Spirit wasn’t truly taught.  As a child, I knew what had happened to me but had no clue how to process it. I mean, we were Christians, went to church twice a Sunday, my father was a deacon, we were all involved, maybe this isn’t real? It tore at me. To the point where even as a young child, I questioned everything about myself. If I was good enough, what I looked like, so much depth of pain started to sit inside me.

As I got older, I could feel the pain and anguish I had when I was around my abuser. He was a family member so he was around often. It was so uncomfortable to say the least. There was a few times I needed to run to the bathroom to almost throw up.   Images would start to pop up in my head of the past. As I began dating, I picked out some winners…NOT! I was abused one after another cuz I assumed being loved equaled giving what they wanted against my will. Coming into college I knew that this deep rooted secret was slowly destroying me but needed to be kept just that, a secret, in order to protect everyone.  After college, the cutting got bad and the pain inside was so overwhelming that an attempted suicide took place. After ALL this (cuz I mean come on! Pretty sure God was like, I’m right here. You ready to heal already? HA) I knew I needed to learn to forgive him so that I could move forward in healing.

As Christians, we do believe that forgiveness is a true gift from God and should be also given to others. Agree. BUT forgiveness for some situations such as this, is a process.  Many believe there should be forgiveness and then just get over it. Ummm…yea no. Not when the sin of another was a crime and also ripped your soul out. Just saying. We need to allow ourselves the grace to process through the path of forgiveness. No matter what, forgiveness needs to begin inside of our own hearts. It was the only way I could begin my journey of peace, my journey of letting go of the anger, my journey of finding who I truly am without being the victim.

God’s power shines through with forgiveness but there can still be boundaries in your life throughout the process or forever. He is a God of love and a God of grace, for you and for those who have wronged you. I had to come to a place where this forgiveness path was about my healing and that I had to believe Christ would handle the path moving forward. It’s not always a one and done deal but it is a one and keep moving forward kind of a path.

Is your path of healing at a stand still because forgiveness looks impossible? Can you look at forgiveness as an act for YOU instead of letting them ‘off the hook?’ God will heal your heart towards them and He will also heal them. Let God take care of the rest, you just work on YOUR healing heart

“It took me a long time to understand what it means to forgive someone.  I always wondered how I could forgive someone who chose to hurt me? But after a lot of soul searching, I realized that forgiveness is not about accepting or excusing their behavior.  It’s about letting it go and preventing their behavior from destroying my heart.”

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