Heartbreak to Strength Blog

Forgiveness Part 2

It is truly hard for me to not have my boys home; they have been up north with their dad for the last 3 days.   However, one of the positive things is that I get to read and journal without interruption. I truly embrace this alone time to dig deeper and God has been so faithful!

This morning, I have been reading Sheila Walsh’s book, ”The storm inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are.” An amazing book and I highly recommend it! I read the chapter on forgiveness today and it was amazing! Here is something I wanted to share with you from that chapter:

“Forgiveness is not about removing someone else’s liability, but about setting your own hearts free. Did you hear that. It’s not about the other’s person’s sin; it’s about your freedom. Satan would love to keep each of us in a prison of unforgiveness, bound forever to the one who sinned against us. The enemy has many finely honed darts aimed at the hearts of all who love God- but hear this: he has nothing in his arsenal to combat forgiveness!”

Wow- this is powerful!! I love that Satan has no ways to combat forgiveness. So when we choose to forgive and give grace to someone that has wronged us and hurt us, Satan is at a loss.   Not only are we freeing ourselves from bitterness and resentment but we are sucker punching Satan at the same time! Now, that is amazing!

However, I know this act of forgiveness is not easy! In fact, it is truly hard to do it; we naturally want to hold onto the anger we feel from the hurt and pain and the thought of letting it go does not come naturally. I have been digging deeper into forgiveness lately. I just finished the book, “The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom From Forgiveness” by Suzanne Eller; another great book which I totally recommend. One thing that I am coming to terms with is that this is not a one time thing.   I think forgiveness is a daily act of laying your hurt and pain at the feet of Jesus and asking for strength to relinquish it!   This is a very difficult thing and I don’t know if you are struggling with it too. I would like to encourage you and pray for you and me as we try to forgive someone that has hurt us.

God, you know the pain that we have experienced and you know the hurt we are still feeling. By your power and strength, help us move to a place of forgiveness where we lay these hurts and pains at the foot of the cross. I know it is not easy but I know that it is important. God, meet us where we are at- help us take the next step toward forgiveness whether it is to begin to entertain the thought that we can forgive or whether it is daily surrendering it to you. God, we can do ALL things through Christ that gives us strength and I honestly believe this statement to be true! Thank you for your unconditional love and comfort through these hard times!! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Love you all,

Jodi

Forgiveness

The month of December was super busy- I cannot believe it is almost over and we are about to start a whole new year. At the beginning of December, I was emailing my family some gift ideas for the boys and me so I looked up my favorite authors on amazon for book ideas for me. As I was searching, I came across a book on forgiveness, and it was written by an author that works with Proverbs 31 ministries. I love their devotionals and have ready many of their recommended books. So instead of putting this book on my wishlist, I ordered it immediately. I have been reading this book called “The Unburdened Heart” by Suzanne Eller this past month and it has been a phenomenal book! I just finished reading it this morning and I highly recommend it.

There are so many nuggets of truth in this book. I honestly am hoping to back chapter by chapter to dive deeper into the book but I want to share with you something from the chapter called Live as a Forgiver. In this chapter, she talks about being intentional! She says, “You grasp the art of responding rather than reacting as you perfect the art of the pause, giving your emotions a chance to simmer down before you say or do something, because you have discovered that words and behavior matter.” Well, I love this statement because this is an area that I have been working on for many years now. Sadly, there are still times that I do not exercise the art of the pause but instead let my emotions get the better of me. Can anyone relate to this?

Well, this happened the year at Christmas for me with my parents. My emotional tank was low and my patience level was gone and I just snapped. I am not proud of how I acted. I am always tell my children: your response is your responsibility. No matter what, I have the choice in how I am going to respond so my poor example became a great teaching moment for both me and my kids! The good news is God gives us grace when we mess up!   By asking for forgiveness, we can repair the rupture with whomever we hurt.

I love what Lysa Terkeurst says in her book, “Unglued.” (Note: another one of my life changing, favorite books) She talks about “imperfect progress.” In her book, she says, “That one of the things that kept her from trying to change was knowing that she could not do it perfectly. She said that sometimes we think that if we don’t make instant progress then real change is not coming.” That is when she came up with imperfect progress. She says, “imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace… imperfect progress.”

I hope this encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!