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Forgive And Gain Peace

April 18, 2016

Greetings,

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

“…and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”  Matthew 6: 12

Forgiveness is a HUGE topic and what we believe and practice concerning forgiveness pretty much impacts our lives every single day.  As in all things how we approach forgiveness can either be a major positive force in our lives or a serious negative millstone around our very own necks.  I have found the best way to approach forgiveness is direct and head on.  For if we do not give our full attention to it…. unforgiveness can blindside us like a runaway freight train and leave us in ruins.

This was my third consecutive fall, winter and spring without a serious PTSD episode. Prior to this positive stretch were 15 years of living hell in those seasons, especially the falls. I am glad to report I haven’t had a significant flashback episode in over three years now.  Many factors contributed to my overall positive mental health this season including prayer, counseling, medication, an awesome positive relationship, and depth of fellowship with Christ and His Body.  However, perhaps the greatest single factor has been my ability to finally let go of the pain, shame and hate that I have held against my father for his horrific rapes and abuse he inflicted upon me as a child.  In short, I just forgave him.

Many times in the last 17 years I thought I had forgiven him, but each time I still held on to minuscule amounts of inner rage and hatred.  Letting all that go has lifted a very heavy burden from my life and right now I feel more open and free than I ever have in life.  Now when judgement against my father rises within my inner being I choose to forgive again at that very moment and the negative feelings are totally released into the care of God.  Because of forgiveness I am now free and the Peace of Christ floods my mind and Spirit and cleanses away all the negative thoughts and feelings related to the abuse.  Oh I still have memories, but the memories are now submitted to Christ and no longer hold any power against me.

I seriously questioned the Lord and myself as to why I had not forgiven my father any sooner, and the answer was that I was neither ready or able until recently.  These things take time and should not be rushed.  In the end it was not at all about my father deserving forgiveness, but rather about me deserving peace.  Plus I finally understood that I am affected by the measure that I forgive others.  Holding back forgiveness for ANY reason, just holds us back.  It does not affect those who sinned against us at all.  If I truly forgive as Christ forgave me…it changes my whole universe for the better.  Like I said, forgiveness is a HUGE topic and I have only scratched the mere surface of it here today.  Give grace, give mercy, give love, give forgiveness, and it changes your whole world.  I know my world has been rocked by it for the better.  Today I choose to forgive and because of that I am at peace, joyful and well.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments
  1. Tom Ball permalink

    To hold on to unforgiveness allows former pain a continuing, ongoing influence in today’s life. Let it go, and be free.

  2. Kevin permalink

    The abuse I experienced with my father is quite a bit different than yours. It came in the form of emotional and verbal abuse, and eventual abandonment. I spent most of my life chasing after my dad, trying to make him love me. I did finally hear the words from him, but it always felt empty, because I never saw that he really loved me. It took me many years to get past the pain, and forgive him. “Forgive” doesn’t really convey what really happened, though. I never came to a conscious point of forgiveness, but a point when I was able to see past his actions, to the hurting little boy that was still alive and well in him. A little boy who was crippled by his own father’s emotional and verbal abuse. A little boy whose father, while physically present, was no more present emotionally than he would have been if he had left the family altogether. A little boy whose physical body became a man, but never learned what it was to be a husband, or a father. When I was stopped seeing myself as his victim and understood that his abuse was an outpouring of the abuse he had received, I began to empathize with him. I knew what he was going through and was able to begin mourning his journey with him, rather than hating him for what he had done to me. While I haven’t seen or spoken to my dad in over 15 years now, my heart looks forward to the day when I can give him a hug and let him know that I hold nothing against him and that I love him. I can’t express the freedom I’ve experienced in coming to this place. Thank you Jesus!

    • Wow Kevin, what a powerful testimony of acceptance and forgiveness. Thanks for sharing bro!

  3. Sue heumann permalink

    These testimonies are so sad to me, but the testimony of what Gods love can do is even greater! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!! Yesterday a friend and I were talking about how our marriages could have been better if we had known more fully the grace and forgiveness God has toward us. The way we see God looking at us (judgementally?) is how we’ll treat others….judgementally….and not with enough grace to make of a difference. What freedom! This is as close as I can get to what you’ve experienced…..but it has sure freed our marriage in the last few years to love and to ‘see no man in the flesh’….but each forgiven and clean before our God. Always!

  4. Sue, great testimony. Grace always triumphs over judgement. In both big and small ways. Thank you for sharing.

  5. janet permalink

    Wow, I am tearing up reading these comments. I have my own story of abuse from my father, and struggled with forgiveness. Looking back I think it was a gift that came over time. I might have mentally “tried” to forgive him, and thought I had, till one day in a church service during singing I literally felt the anger and hurt lift off of me. And over the years I’ve realised that HE moves and acts through us without our effort. I think if we TRY, it more often mucks it up.

  6. Great contribution Janet. Perhaps forgiveness is just like many other Spiritual truths..They are caught rather than taught. More a matter of HIS moving than our response or actions.

  7. Sue heumann permalink

    Beautiful testimonies and truths…..caught rather,than taught👍🌺

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