Michelle said something powerful on Monday. She said, “I cannot go back and try to fix the past. I can only make amends for what happened and claim the forgiveness that God has for me.”
Why is this so powerful?
Because we cannot fix or change the past, and placing our efforts, our thoughts, our energy there will not produce anything of merit.
Michelle apologized sincerely.
She listened, hearing their perspective, even when it was painful. She did so without excuse, without trying to justify her actions.
She changed, one of the most powerful things any of us can do, with God’s help. She took a new path. She learned from her mistakes. She made choices that were intentional, and not based on feelings.
But having done that, she looked ahead.
She opened her hands, holding the past loosely, so that Christ could take that weighty burden from her.
And she claimed the forgiveness He had waiting for her.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
Are you looking so intently at the past, striving to fix it, that you cannot see the new chapter, the clean slate, upon which God desires to write today?
Maybe it’s time to give the past it’s proper place in your heart, and fix your eyes on today.
I have used the past month, with all the readings about forgiveness you have posted, to help my self move forward. I have forgiven my husband, and now will work on further forgiving myself. I called my attorney and am meeting with him in 2 weeks. I know that God has a plan for my husband. I need to let God work there. I know that God has a plan for me, and I know that plan no longer includes staying in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage. I will always think of you when I look back on the first days of giving up the past and fixing my eyes on today. Thank you.
I will be praying for you. Strength and peace to you. God’s arms are wrapping around you to help you get through this time. Hugs…
Suzie, I have so appreciated your lessons here on forgiveness. There are so many things going on in my life that I have taken a closer look at and asked myself-have I truely forgiven this person? Am I just holding on to the past because it is easier than letting God take it? Letting go of the past and past transgessions to means not holding it over a person’s head. That is one thing that I think people do not realize. In forgiving someone, and letting go of the past-does not mean that you lay down and take whatever it is the person is dishing out. There are still consequences to actions. I have to continually forgive my father. I am 30 years old with 3 kids. My father is on the National sex offender registery. He was also phsyically abusive to me and my mom and brothers. He was shocked when I told him that while I forgive him for what he did to my sister and me and my brothers and my mom, and that I still wanted to try and have a relationship with him, he would never be alone with me or my children. He then accused me of being unforgiving. What he forgets, is that while I have let go of that part of the past and forgiven what he did to us, there are still consequences to behavior. David had an affair with Bathsheba and prayed for God to let his son live. God forgave him, but there were still consequences to David’s actions. Thank you for your words today. God bless!
I can not tell you how grateful I am for finding your month of messages on forgiveness. I like so many others needed them. I especially needed Michelle’s story and this message. My story is similar to Michelle’s. I have asked my children to forgive me, I am on the road to changing, and placing the burdens of the past where they belong. I even see a future that is bright beginning to unfold. It was such a blessing to read Michelle’s story and the others and know that I am not alone.
Suzie, I have learned so much from your blog and book about forgiveness. I’ve also practiced some of your and your guest bloggers suggestions. I finally talked with my dad about our past, and how his absence affected me. He had no idea I was harboring this hurt! We cleared the air and I FORGAVE him! Oh, my heart is so much lighter! Thank you!
I’ve been working on this for awhile and I’m so blessed to know that I’m not the only one. I know God was nudging me to get off facebook and deactivate my account so I can spend more time with God. Also focusing on idolizing. I think we can think of many people and even things that we like to have around or not give up. Just something God has been showing me..
I have a sister with whom I am estranged with. We have always had a rocky relationship. I am 4 years younger and her need to criticize me and tell me what to do all of my life came to a head one summer and I blew up at her in front of many family members both adults and children. I know I was wrong for my reaction to her behavior towards me…so wrong on so many levels. I just lost it. I have since apologized and asked for forgiveness. However, I also shared with her how I felt and have been effected by her criticism of me for years. She did not receive what I had to say and has not spoken to me for 2 years now. I am burdened by this every day. It is very hard to forgive someone when they don’t even think they need forgiveness. I do how ever forgive her for her 2-3 decades of criticism and aloofness but it is really hard to act it out when the relationship is still broken. I get triggered a lot and work through the “renewing of your mind steps” of Capture the thought, confess the sin, practice renewal, renew your mind and transform. I believe that this is the practice of the 70×7 concept. The hurt doesn’t completely go away but we don’t have to hold onto the bitterness anymore. The practice of forgiveness is a process that we me do over and over again. God has showed me so much. However, she is still doing things within my family or origin that is hurtful towards me and my husband and children. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place with this situation. My desire is to put the past behind me, break the dysfunctional patterns of the past and move forward.
O, Veronica, how often my own heart has been laid open to His rod and His staff, just as I read your heart is being laid open. Take courage, my sister in Christ! For the very rod that reproves your heart, is His same staff which draws you close to Him as He forgives and comforts the repentant heart.
So many of His truths about a repentant heart, I would share with you, should time and venue permit. Let me leave with you one Biblical principle and these, words from His Holy word: 2 Corinthians 7:8-10; Psalm 38; Psalm 51. We do not forgive because our forgiveness is sought after, nor because it is deserved, . Nor are we to forgive becaust Christ first forgave us. We forgive because Christ commands us to forgive for His sake. Ephesians 4
Will be trusting in God’s Spirit to be at work in you both to work and to do for His good pleasure!