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!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

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