“how did you forgive them?”

i had no idea how to answer that question when it was asked to me recently. it’s funny how i’ve become so immersed in the process of healing and recovering and obeying God that  i assume what i’ve learned is elementary to everyone.

hearing that question stopped me in my tracks. it brought me back. back to nights when i wrote words like this:

trying to wash it all the way with all these tears/but the shame inside just won’t disappear

i lie awake here tonight/fighting back the shadows of a past i would sooner forget

hold me, Jesus, hold me close tonight

because come daylight, all this hurt inside will have no place to hide

i had to inventory all those painful, shameful memories of the abuse. and for some reason, the memories were easiest to recollect in the night. in the dark, where they were always hiding.

it was hard having to do this, but i was equipped with the knowledge that i wasn’t doing it alone. that i needed to pull it out of hiding (with Christ holding me) and bring it to the light of day so we could watch it dissolve.

and with each painful memory came the command to forgive. i can’t answer the “how”… i just did. i did because He told me to. beyond all that, i couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it. it was in His hands now. and as i look back, i understand. i see how it freed me, and the bigger picture of Who He is.

for every time the memories won’t go away/for every time I want to curl up and hide

for when I think the hurt is here to stay/Lord, give me the strength to forgive again

when both my cheeks are sore

when i don’t think i can turn my head anymore

give me the strength, Lord…

 

to forgive/to forgive once again

i’m broken and crushed/oh God, the pain is too much

but to give is to receive/again and again, let forgiveness be expected of me

 

for every time the lash fell on His back/for every time they lifted their hands

even as He prayed for His cup to pass/Jesus had the strength to forgive once again

when He hung there, broken and torn/when the sins of the world made it too hard to breathe anymore

He had the strength to hang on just a little more

 

He forgives/He forgives again and again

Christ was broken and crushed/oh God, my pain’s not enough

You gave so i could receive/again and again, let forgiveness be expected of me

there is freedom in forgiveness. whether the one who has hurt us accepts it or not doesn’t really matter. forgiveness releases us from the bondage of bitterness and resentment and allows us the chance to heal. how they choose to respond is their own affair. my abusers chose to deny everything, and that’s fine with me. i don’t hate them, i don’t wish evil upon them. i simply determined nothing will come between me and my relationship with Christ.

“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”(Colossians 3:13)

Christ is our ultimate example in this.

sara

who do you need to forgive?

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how i was disillusioned by “christian” books

i read the books all other christians were reading.

you know the ones.

on finding your purpose. achieving your dreams. claiming your blessings. how to figure out God’s will for your life (as if it’s some sort of mystery). i didn’t realize it then, but i see now how it disillusioned me. it was all wrong. dangerous, even. i overlooked so many things. i sought after what i wanted rather than what i needed. i often crashed from disappointment. i had an unhealthy fear that i wouldn’t be able to “figure out” what God wanted to do in my life.

but all those ideas dissolved in the light of His pure, trustworthy truth.

what is my purpose?

to glorify God (1 corinthians 6:20, 10:31). He is my creator, i am His creation (revelation 4:11). Christ is my Savior, and through Him, i am able to have a relationship with God. a relationship. something that requires time, commitment and effort. like getting to know anyone else, you must spend time with them. i get to know Him by listening (through His word), and talking to Him (by prayer). and what He reveals, i live. and as i’ve gotten to know Him, i can’t help but fall in love with who He is, and truly enjoy Him.

how?

by obedience to His word. i show God my love for Him through obedience (1 john 2:3-6). too often did i overlook opportunities i had right in front of me because i was so focused on my s0-called “purpose.” like there was something better and “more important.”  but really, all i need to do is glorify God right where i am. trust Him, where He has placed me, and let Christ live through me. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” colossians 3:17, nasb

rather than searching for that purpose or fulfilling that dream or desire, His word showed me that anything and everything can give Him glory…which makes every breath mean something. every moment is precious. you know that line in the serenity prayer? it helped to guide me in the right direction:

living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time…

God didn’t make His will a mystery to me. His will for my life is right here in front of me, in His word. He laid out His heart for all mankind to know, and we must make the effort to study it. the Spirit will teach me “all things” (john 14:26). i don’t need to rely on anything else but Him to teach me, and to trust Him enough to live my life as Christ lived His. and that’s it. Christ is my example. His was the life of perfect obedience. i am to be a reflection of Him in all i do. as my life has become lost in His, i’ve found that there’s really no questions left to ask…He is all i need.

“He can crumple me or exalt me, He can do whatever He chooses.” -Oswald Chambers

i’ve  had to learn how to trust Him. how to take what i saw on the mountain and carry it to the valley. how to let go. how to love.  and what it means to have His desires become my own. it has released me from fear. it has released me from disappointment. it has released me from worry.

i am free. i am defined by Him. and there is no greater pleasure…

sara