Pain Points: Forgiveness

FORGIVENESS IS “A PROCESS AND NOT AN EVENT”

In my book, “Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption,” I wrote about the forgiveness process in my own life. It was not easy and actually took many years of counseling and prayer before I could truly forgive the people in my life who hurt me. Now as a counselor and life coach, I can look back through the rear-view mirror and understand from a different perspective how very important it is for our spiritual and mental health to begin the process of forgiveness.

It is unhealthy to keep those hurt feelings locked up deep inside our hearts. If we harbor resentment for too long, it can turn into bitterness and rob us from living a joyful and peaceful life.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4: 31-32 (NIV)

There are many examples of forgiveness in the Bible. One of my favorite passages is the story of King David and his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. That sin led to further sin as David manipulated circumstances and misused his power so that Bathsheba’s husband would be killed in battle. In the end, the Lord used the prophet Nathan to confront David with his sin. Thankfully, David repented, which we can read about both in Psalms 32 and 51.

When David repented, the Lord forgave him completely. It is clear in the New Testament that David’s sin was not mentioned, but instead, he was referred as a man after God’s own heart. That is true forgiveness and redemption.

There are two parts to forgiveness.

The first is admitting our sin, repenting, and asking the Lord to forgive us.

The second part is receiving the Lord’s forgiveness, which can be very difficult for many people.

In my case, there were a couple of sins that took me quite awhile before I could forgive myself. In order to get past that block, I needed to truly accept, at the heart level, Yeshua’s (Jesus’) death on the cross that covered my sins and set me free.

It’s also important to remember that forgiveness is not “forgetting” the wrong perpetrated against us (which could
include abuse). Most of the time, it means we need to seek and receive professional help, set healthy boundaries, and ask loved ones to pray for us. I tell my clients, that in time, we remember our painful past in a healing way so that the Lord can use us to help to others who might be stuck in their forgiveness process.

In my book, I talk about how the Lord helped me in a very specific way to forgive my mother. It was God’s grace that I was able to make peace with her before she died. We need to be “willing to be willing.” The Lord will do the rest as we allow Him to heal and set us free from the bondage of anyone we have not yet forgiven.

I will close with this Scripture that David penned after he was forgiven by the Lord:

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”
Psalm 32: 1-2 (NIV)

Remember, I am here for you…

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book. Thank you!

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Here is a link to Goldie’s video on Pain Points: Forgiveness

Pain Points: Loss

Death of Loved Ones, Dreams, and Desires

 

In my book, Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption, I wanted to share my life story with vulnerability and transparency. Perhaps one of the most difficult areas we face in life is loss, which is universal and comes in many forms. This side of heaven, we lose many people we love to sickness and death, which at times is untimely and unexpected. We grieve deeply and must come to terms with how to navigate our daily life without our dear ones. It’s important to give ourselves permission to take our time with the grieving process. It is different for everyone, and we need to be gentle with ourselves for however long it takes.

But other losses aren’t so tangible. Perhaps you have hopes and dreams for a particular career, finding your soul mate, difficulty conceiving, divorce,  or having to come to terms with the deepest desire of your heart remaining unfulfilled. This is when we need to lean into very deeply into our relationship with the Lord and cleave to Him.

I wrote in my book about some very difficult losses I experienced in my life. But perhaps the one that hurt the most and took the longest time to grieve was the loss of not having children. Without getting into the whole story which I detailed in Rainbow in the Night, my husband and I came to this decision together. However, for me it was a very deep loss. There were times I felt despair, loss of identity, and even struggled with suicidal ideation.

How did I get past this dark season? First of all, I needed to get it out in the open. I sought professional help and asked many dear friends to pray for me every day. I made a decision I was going to view my loss through the lens of the eternal perspective. Once I recognized that what mattered most is how I trust the Lord on earth even when my heart was broken, I began to feel hope again. I engaged in “life giving” activities and allowed myself to grieve what “might have been” if I had become a mother. I listened to Godly counsel, read my Bible and prayed every day. Then I earnestly sought the Lord to reveal His plan for my life. I was surprised when He revealed His will for the next season, but I embraced it and came to see that His ways are higher than our ways.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:8-9) NIV

It comes down to choice and trust. Will we allow the Lord to heal the wound so we can move on and fulfill His purposes for our life, or will we allow bitterness and unforgiveness to rob us from experiencing joy and freedom? I am deeply grateful I chose to surrender completely to the Lord and allowed His transforming love to heal my broken heart.

I know you can do the same, and please know I am here for you…

“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3) NIV

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book. Thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

Here is a link to Goldie’s video on Pain Points: Loss.

Pain Points: Abuse

In my book, Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption, I shared my life story in a vulnerable and transparent way. I felt that the reader could better relate to me if I was willing to be brutally honest. The “pain point” I want to focus on in this blog is abuse, which many of us have experienced, whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual.

My father was a renowned psychiatrist and many people looked up to him not only at the hospital where he was the superintendent but also throughout the country as well. His public and private personas were not the same, and this was especially confusing as a child.

Behind closed doors, he was physically and emotionally abusive to me and my older sister. I wrote about the abuse in more detail in my book, but suffice it to say, it was hard to pretend in public that we were the “perfect family.” That was definitely not the case.

For me, it greatly affected my self-esteem, and since I was not allowed to openly express anger or hurt, those feelings turned inward and I became depressed. I went into denial for many years about the abuse and idealized my father because he was highly regarded by so many, and I could see all the good he was doing for the mentally challenged. It wasn’t until many years later when the past abuse got triggered that I came to terms with what really happened and sought professional help to process and heal.

This later allowed me as a therapist and life coach to empathize with clients who also have experienced abuse in their backgrounds. Most people who have abuse in their past feel shame and sometimes blame themselves. It’s important to remember that you are never to blame for someone else’s abusive behavior towards you. It is a violation of your personal boundaries and is never acceptable under any conditions.

If you are struggling in your present day, I highly recommend you seek professional help so you can “face it, trace it, erase it, and replace it.”

When we see ourselves through the eyes of our loving Heavenly Father and know that He identifies with our suffering, this gives us hope that His desire is for our total healing and restoration.

I am deeply grateful for the Lord’s intervention in my life, and now I am no longer held hostage to my painful past. My hope is that you will experience this freedom in your life as well.

John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

Here is a link to Goldie’s video on Pain Points: Abuse.

Pain Points: Anxiety

In my book, Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption, I share my life story with transparency and vulnerability. My hope is that the reader can be encouraged that with the Lord’s help we can heal and move forward to a life of freedom and joy. One of the “pain points” in my life was anxiety. There were so many challenging issues in my life, and fear usually was  the motivating factor. I couldn’t stop worrying about what might happen in the future. Sadly, I made many poor decisions because I allowed fear and anxiety to dominate my thought life.

In my private practice as a therapist and life coach, many of my clients presented with anxiety. I was able to empathize and provided my clients with helpful homework assignments. One of the most successful exercises was to ask the client to write down every “what if” scenario that was causing concern. For example, “what if I don’t get the job of my dreams,” or “what if I can’t pay my bills next month.” As you can image there can be many “what if” scenarios in life.

I tasked my clients with writing out a list of all the “what if” scenarios and then instructed them to cut the paper so each scenario was separate. I suggested they design a “what if” box and place all the pieces of paper in that special place. Once a week they were to spend 30 minutes going over every “what if” scenario and then surrender each one to the Lord. Once it was surrendered, they could not take it back. You might ask, did it work? I’m happy to report that indeed it did! Once we externalize our inward anxieties and get them into the open, we give the Lord permission to take these concerns away from us and place them in His capable hands.

The Lord gives us much guidance in His Word for coping with anxious thoughts.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

It’s paramount that we stay in the present. Anxiety takes us into the future and the world of unknowns, which we have no control over. We only know we have today. I always “prescribe” what I call the anti-anxiety portion of Scripture to my clients: Matthew 6: 25-34.

Verse 34 sums it up beautifully: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

The reason why the Twelve Step program for alcoholics and addicts is successful is because it totally focuses on taking it one day at a time. It is easier to commit to not taking a drink or drug just for today than for the rest of their lives.

Will you trust the Lord that He has all your tomorrows safely tucked away?

 

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

Here is a link to Goldie’s video on Pain Points: Anxiety.

Pain Points: Depression

I wanted to begin talking about pain points that I experienced in my life and wrote about in my autobiography: “Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption.” When I was a child, I suffered from depression, and my mother always said I would carry around a pocket full of tears wherever I went. In our family of origin, we were not allowed to talk about our feelings, so I buried them down deep into my subconscious mind. Anger turned inward is depression, and because anger was definitely not acceptable, I became depressed. I remember there were times I wanted to die, and at times it felt debilitating. But I was good at masking my depression, and I escaped reading Bobbsey Twin books and pretending I was in a different family. I also slept a lot and wrote in my diary what I was really feeling deep inside.

When I came to know Yeshua (Jesus) as my Messiah in 1974, He immediately gave me the gift of joy. I knew it was a miraculous sign that Yeshua was real as the transformation was unbelievable! The joy of the Lord truly became my strength. However, there were times even in my life as a Believer that I experienced depression during rough patches. I have since learned that even though this Scripture is true, we can get triggered in our present day life and need to protect our vulnerable past hurts: 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (NIV)

I liken it to someone who may have diabetes and needs to make sure the disease is managed by taking insulin, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. Otherwise, the disease can flare up.

So how do we manage our triggers with emotional illness, you might ask?  It’s different for everyone, but for me, I needed to set appropriate boundaries and not allow emotional abuse in my life ever again. I surround myself with positive people, stay grounded in the Word, have accountability partners to come alongside me when necessary, and most importantly, daily prayer. Another very important principle is to stay grounded in the present. Depression likes to take us back into our past so we can obsess with “if onlys”: “if only I had done…, if only I hadn’t done…”

We only have today, and that is where we must stay, in the gift of the present.

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

Here is a link to Goldie’s video on Pain Points: Depression.