Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lent journey: FORGIVE kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

Personal reflections:  I'd really rather not share what's on my heart.  Not that this post will contain some big confession or anything, it's just that I'd rather keep my struggle to myself.  However, this Lent journey is not about me ~ it's about Christ and what He is teaching me through this practice.  I don't want to waste anymore time being stuck in my life, so here goes... baby steps...

This is a very difficult word for me to address...  Being hurt by countless people in my lifetime, when I became a believer (accepted Jesus as my Savior), I had a really difficult time learning this biblical concept as I usually wanted (and sometimes want) justice.  People who have done wrong to me or others should be held accountable; have to pay a price.  Right?  As my years have gone on, I have learned and experienced that when someone hurts me there may be more to the story or I don't understand all the components involved in the situation, there is evil in this world and, finally, God alone is the only one who knows all the details; the whole story.  I am to leave vengeance to God and because He has forgiven me through Christ, so must I forgive others.  Afterall, do I want to be held accountable for everything I have done wrong too, whether I was intentional about my words and actions or not?  Therefore, forgiving others has become much easier for me, especially in the past few years.

BUT, there is one person that I struggle greatly in forgiving:  MYSELF!  I remind myself that  if my sins are forgiven (and forgotten) through Christ, why am I still hanging onto them?  Why do I continually beat myself up over what is done?  Why can't I just "let it go?"  

Sometimes the environment we grow up in has "behavioral expectations" that we can't meet.  There are people 'wired' differently than most who choose an evil path and allow themselves to be consumed for the 'sense of power' it gives them.  Some people hear that they are "stupid and a failure" and they can't get past that, so when things do go wrong - whether in their control or beyond their human control - they blame themselves for the bad stuff that happens.  Others are broken and hurting themselves and they see the world with skewed vision.  Longing for love, desperate to be heard, hopelessness...  I could go on, but I think you get the idea of what I am sharing.  I am not placing blame on anyone for anything that has occurred in my life, for as I grow older, I realize there is "more to the story" in each of our lives than what we see on the surface.  It's no different for me either - the majority of people who know me, only know me on the surface.  We are all broken and hurting in some way (even if we don't admit it) and it is Christ alone who is ABLE to heal every one of us, if we let Him.  

There is much I don't forgive myself for.... things, people, choices and events in my life, to name a few broad topics.  This is about me and my journey; my issues - not others.  I am learning to let go of pain from wounds I received at the hands of others; forgiving them.  I am taking baby steps in letting go of the things I don't forgive myself for, as my Savior has already forgiven my sins (that I have confessed to Him).   Some of my sins may have consequences that I must deal with, even though I am forgiven.   And I am believing that others I have hurt in my lifetime that I may not realize, God is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or imagine ~ bless them, heal them and provide for their every need... He is truly an amazing God.

When I fully embrace who I am in Christ, I can LET IT GO!  And then, I will truly walk in forgiveness for others and myself. I am free to be the child of God He created me to be!

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie