This coming January, a few women and I have been asked to give a testimony on forgiveness at one of the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups where I live. Of course, I've been praying and pondering on how to approach such a sensitive topic.
Well, my thinking led to how strong emotions erupt when speaking about forgiving and my mind wondered to other "f" words who conjure similar reactions...
The point hopefully
See if this list of F-words make you wince or evoke a bad memory (If you feel nothing, you might be a psychopath. Just saying).
Feminine (ugh, right)
Fashion (I grew up wearing 80's clothes)
Fumble (including the football term)
Foreign or Foreigner
So how did you do?
Oh, there's more annoying or negative "f" words. Perhaps you even thought of one I missed, but you get my point. Some of those words are just downright painful for me. See the words in bold.
So this got me wondering if these words alone bother me, does it mean I need work on forgiveness?
No, actually that is a terrible myth. Forgiveness rarely leads to instant restoration of a relationship. Sometimes a relationship has to be severed for safety, but sometimes it is only temporarily. Forgiveness never means that the emotions disappear or even the memories.
I am no expert so how can I write this to you as truth? I grew up in a hard family with a lot of different kinds of abuse, and that is only the beginning of my journey of extending mercy, forgiveness and grace. I could write a year of blog posts on who or what I have forgiven, but that isn't what I need to share today.
God wants me to share this...forgiveness never ends. It runs deep and overflows daily. It is a choice. And without meaning to sound cliche...it truly frees us of hurt. Frees us from bitterness and resentment. It liberates us to focus on healing, on moving onto what God wants to do in and for us. Yes, sometimes forgiving is super easy, other times near impossible, but only happens when we surrender the hurt, the unfairness, the person or circumstance to God, our Father...the ONLY one who truly understands and experienced the greatest act of pardoning.
He knows what happened, he has seen what was done, he knows if we were at fault (which leads to natural consequences) and he allowed it to happen whether we were a victim or a perpetrator.
Yet, the Lord promises deliverance and restoring if we trust him.
It is worth it, I promise!
Happily linking up today with wonderful sisters in Christ here: