live free

If you came over from Encouragement for Today titled To Fly Again, welcome! I’m so glad you are here.

Recently I read an article by Erich Bridges that described the top five regrets of the dying.

These were the top five regrets:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish I’d let myself be happier.

All of them are important, but #5 is what captured my attention. That is a sad thing to realize only when your life is about to end.

And yet, it’s not uncommon.

In today’s devo I described how I found a trapped bird in my outdoor light fixture. I don’t know how it got there, but what I do know is that when I reached to gently pull that bird out it pecked my hand like crazy.

It wanted me to let go.

Leave it alone.

That bird had no idea that on the other side was freedom.

As we begin to talk about forgiveness in our upcoming Bible study, the questions have rolled in. Many have shared their stories, and I’ve wept over many, prayed over almost every one, and yet there’s a theme that occured in some.

I won’t forgive until they say they are sorry.

I know it’s what God is asking, but I’m not ready.

Me forgive? Tell them to ask for my forgiveness.

Based on their life experiences, these responses make sense in the natural. Except I also hear these sentiments:

I’m so stuck.

I wish I didn’t feel this way anymore.

I’m angry and it spills out in my other relationships.

Where’s the joy I’m supposed to experience as a child of God?

What I hear is “I’m unhappy”, and “I feel trapped or stuck”, and when we begin to discuss the possibility of a journey toward forgiveness, some start pecking away at these scriptures or this concept.

And yet we were never intended to be stuck because of someone else’s choices or actions or words.

We were never intended to have clipped wings, but to fly. . . even if that means haltingly in the beginning.

If forgiveness means, that at the end, you won’t have lived your entire life waiting for someone else to change, or say their sorry before you’ll live free and find happiness, but allowed God to carve out a path with your name on it instead, why wouldn’t we take that first step?

Yes, it’s scary. Yes, there are unknowns.

But that’s what happens when you fly.

You climb out of the familiar to explore what is beyond the same old horizon.

Are you ready to fly?

I hope you’ll join me here on February 25th as we begin The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness study. I don’t know what your journey has been, or what you will gain, but it’s fluffing out your wings to prepare to fly when the time arrives.

To sign up for the six week study, simply sign up here.

This subscribes you to this blog, and when the study begins, it will offer a Monday video, Wednesday and Friday “Take it Deeper” individual study. You can use these free resources in your personal time, or with a loved one, or in your church.

To win a copy of The Unburdened Heart, my new book we’ll use in the study, simply leave a comment below.

Share one way you might feel stuck, or one way forgiving helped you move forward, or anything else you’d like to share with us today.