If your trust has been betrayed, the thought of forgiving might make you feel vulnerable, not just with that person but with God.
From page 62: Give yourself permission to be honest with God, but with the understanding that there’s nothing in Scripture that condones unfaithfulness. It’s not in God’s plan or His character. And if this same God grieves over the fallen sparrow (Matthew 10:29) then He grieves over your broken relationship.
He is big enough to handle your honesty while leading you to a new level of spiritual joy and intimacy and even tender vulnerability with Him.
Today, write it out. Share your feelings honestly with God.
You can journal those feelings.
You can share those feelings out loud with Him in your place of prayer.
You can write a letter to Him.
Now, release it.
That doesn’t mean that you try to feel a certain way.
You open your hands and heart and release it to Him. . . so He can begin to take up residence in the raw and wounded places.
It’s one small step toward an omniscient God whose been waiting to take those feelings for a very long time.
Is this the end? Does it mean you’ve forgiven and will never feel this way again?
But it does mean that you know where to go when your “temple” is battered and bruised so He can fill you up all over again. And again. And again, until there’s little room left for anything but Him and the peace that His presence brings.
Yes, but I s long for freedom from the bruised and battered unfeeling that so color my life. It’s a slow process but God is faithful…
Its so reassuring that all that I have been reading about forgiveness is really supportive of each other. I actually talked to my pastor today as to why I can’t seem to forgive my husband et al that have so deceived me with their unfaithfulness? He said exactly what you, Suzie, says: that if you fill up the void and empty spaces with trusting God that I will be so filled up with peace that I will not be wrought any longer with the feelings of betrayal and the pain of it all! It takes time. even maybe a full year to find that peace that surpasses all understanding. please continue to pray for me and I will pray for al of you!
I should start this post as I chose to forgive my computer for shutting down and taking away my post as it made me feel sad, LOL…it was a good post. My computer is back up and I will rewrite this post. I have walked in forgiveness since 1995 when I attended a conference by Neil Anderson and learned about forgiveness. His book Victory over Darkness and The Bondage Breaker were life changing books. The choice of unforgiveness was to continue in bitterness or and the choice to forgive was to release those who had hurt me. I was chained to each of them through unforgiveness. The cost of unforgiveness was high, migraine headaches, bitterness, unrelenting pain, harsh words, unhappiness, need I say more. The choice of forgiveness lead to peace and it still works to this day. I so related to Karen’s story. My dad walked away from the ministry when I was two and lived the life of a functional alcoholic for fifteen years. Then my dad nearly died and he rededicated his life. In my senior year, my father returned to the Lord. This is what my grandmother, my mother and I had prayed for right? I had to change churches, everything I did was under a microscope. I rushed into marriage right out of high school. Life went on and I returned to school as an adult, I was 35 and convinced that marriage was like a prison sentence. I made it through nursing school in 1989 with the sole purpose to divorce my husband. I separated but then later I reconcilled and chose to stay married in 1989 but I was still bitter It takes two to reconcile and it only takes one to be bitter and angry. When I attended the conference in 1995, I made an appointment where three women gave up their Saturday to walk me through Neil Anderson’s Steps To Freedom. Step Three is the hardest and most rewarding step, Forgiveness. That day I visited the pain of my father’s betrayal, his alcholism. I forgave my father for being robbed of my spiritual heritage. I forgave my mom for staying in the relationship and my one irrational forgiving was I forgave my mom for dying. And yes I forgave my husband for every felt betrayal. The hardest person I had to forgive was myself for the choices I made that were not Godly, the choices I had made from being the adult daughter of an alcoholic, the choices I made to be angry, the choices I had made in the discipline of our sons that sometimes was too harsh. I would like to tell you that I felt like forgiving but I did not feel like forgiving. However, once I made the conscious choice to forgive, my damage emotions began to heal. Today, I still am involved as an encourage in the Freedom In Christ ministry at our church, where I pray with a woman as a witness to the freedom that Christ gives when we walk in obedience. My marriage is solid. My dad is still preaching to this day.My sons have families of their own. I have such sweet memories of my mother. Over the last eighteen years, I have had some big hurts but I have a big God. Daily, I search my heart for who I need to forgive. Suzanne your book is so precious. God is using it to reinforce my life time job to lead women to walk in forgiveness. I chose to forgive _________for _________and it made me feel ______________. Visit the core of your pain with your trusted friend Jesus and let him heal your damaged emotions and release you from the bondage that unforgivess causes. Blessings Diana
This chapter was poignant to me and made me reconsider what I thought I had already handled. I am 33, but can relate to these women’s stories as they somewhat mirror my own. My biological father left when I was 2, but my mother remarried and that man is my father and he adopted me when I was 6. I didn’t think I should have any issues because I was better off anyway, right? I married at 21 and wasn’t ready spiritually or emotionally. I figured it would work out okay, but unfaithfulness and unforgiveness ruined the relationship after seven years. I swore off men and marriage, but somehow I managed to be married the next year without a lot of thought. I didn’t think I wanted children, but my mind was changed on that subject, too. (Thankfully so!) My current husband and I have had our marriage rocked by unfaithfulness, but not to the extreme like before. We have been to counseling and rededicated our lives to church, and I thought I had forgiven everyone I needed to. But, I still had a very short fuse, unresolved anger and hurt that I just didn’t want to deal with. People have lives much worse than mine and I have so much to be thankful for because I have been blessed. But the test at the end of this chapter made me think that maybe I wasn’t as healed and free as I assumed I was. I don’t think I know how to truly forgive, which is the kind of forgiveness I am learning about in your book. I realized that I needed to truly forgive and stop holding on to things that were done to me by using them as a weapon in arguments. There comes a time when you look at yourself and really don’t like who you see or what you’ve become. That’s my stage in this journey right now. I’ve been a Christian all my life, but only recently really got that it’s all about a personal relationship. I am now thinking that all this past hurt and unforgiveness has clouded my view of God as a Father, and maybe I don’t really know how to do this life the way God intended it. But I would like to. How strange to be at the beginning of a road that I thought I had lived all my life. Thank you for your book and for putting yourself and your past out there in the hopes that it will change someone else’s life. It is changing mine. 🙂
Nicky, thank you for being so open and sharing your story. I too am learning that unforgiveness from things WAY back that are still unresolved cloud my reactions today . I too am at the beginning of the road. Thank God for the journey and for Suzie who is so strong to lead us.
I love the probing questions in this digging deeper section. Suzie your thoughts really hit home for me…
“It’s one small step toward an omniscient God whose been waiting to take those feelings for a very long time. Is this the end? Does it mean you’ve forgiven and will never feel this way again? No.
But it does mean that you know where to go when your “temple” is battered and bruised so He can fill you up all over again. And again. And again, until there’s little room left for anything but Him and the peace that His presence brings.”
I have spent the past year and a half trying to forgive my son in law for mistreating my daughter. His abuse led to their divorce. Now my daughter has become bitter and turned her back on God. I blame him and get angry at him for all that he has put her through. I have tried to forgive him and tried to release it to God…but as I watch her struggle and hurt, it stirs up those raw emotions in me again and again. I am learning that forgiveness is a process and hearing Suzie’s words this week are such an encouragement to me.
I have invited my daughter to do this study with me but so far she is not interested. My heart breaks for her. Please pray that she will have a change of heart and join me. I know the only hope for her and me to destroy this bitterness…is God!