So, after my first post declaring myself available to serve Our Savior I hit the proverbial writer’s block. Who am I kidding, it was a brick wall. It might as well have been the Great Wall of China. I had a few posts started but couldn’t muster the mindset to finish them. Then, words came to me, for a completely different subject, when I was in the bath one day. Don’t worry, I got out of the tub to write:
Recently I have been praying to draw nearer to our precious King. I have a taste of the love affair He offers and I want more, so much more. I am so excited so see what He brings to my future of service to Him.
The two things he has laid on my heart recently, two things that keep us from being completely engrossed in His goodness and by His side, are unconfessed sin and unforgiveness. That said, I have been praying for God to reveal to me the areas where I have that unconfessed sin and those places in my life where I have yet to offer forgiveness, pure forgiveness, not just forgiveness in lip service and then suppressed the event(s) for which I was to offer forgiveness. I’m touching lightly on unforgiveness and the re-visiting of painful memories in this post.
In that journey so far I have been taken back, so far back, even to my early youth, around the age of 10. I have visited memories that draw feelings of embarrassment, shame, fear, uncertainty, heartache, anger, so many emotions that prove overwhelming at times. He has taken me to places I never wanted to visit again, to things I intentionally have forgotten and suppressed so far down, events my mind never, ever, wanted to remember.
In the midst of reliving this harsh reality it has also provided beautiful opportunities for My Father to unveil to me exactly where He was during some of the worst times in my existence and just some of the ways He was working in my life at that time. He has shown me the sweet, tender moments and profound times He was doing exactly what I needed at precisely the right time. In that, I feel much gratefulness. It causes me to thank Him for what He has done, to praise Him for that goodness, and, in essence, draw nearer to Him.
Our precious Lord is good. His love is the only love that endures. Any and all human will fail you, albeit unintentional possibly. Humans are just not designed to fill the God shaped hole that lingers in all of us. The surefire way to get hurt is to have any relationship with any person. It’s just going to happen.
God wants to meet you right at the source of your deepest pain, as a matter of fact, our sweet Jesus is waiting on you there, arms open wide, just anticipating, patiently sitting, but longing for you to embrace Him there. He wants you to crawl up in his lap and review those events that bother you, with Him. He wants to show you where He was during the most treacherous moments of your life. He wants to show you what real, pure, true forgiveness is and how it will set you free. He wants to wrap His arms around you and offer a Peace that surpasses all understanding. Friend, let Him hold you. All you have to do is ask Him to do that.
Do you happen to have an event that keeps torturing you? Maybe something you have done, something someone has done to you, or maybe a severe event that you just can’t shake? We all have struggles. Everyone. We used to attend a church whose pastor said “You’re either coming out of or going into a crisis.” Spot on! I am by no means a counselor or pastor, but here is what I have been doing when these things come to the surface of my psyche.
- Ask for clarity. Ask God for the reason this even keeps coming to your mind. In doing this I may not always get the answer, at least not right away, but sometimes it gives light to deeper meaning behind the event. It also sometimes gives me the idea of what I am supposed to do with/because of this memory. Sometimes this means I have to ask for recall to fully remember. Sometimes I do not get that recall (just FYI). Sometimes recall comes in small pieces. I feel like this might be so I can process it just a little at a time.
- Ask for Peace. God wants you to pray to Him, often, actually constantly. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) He wants to give you Peace that surpasses any and ALL understanding (Philippians 4:6-7) Ask him to give you peace from the things that bother you.
- Ask God to show you where HE was during the event. Ask for Him to show you how HE was at work and what He did and how He was there for you when you were enduring these trials. Because I know one thing, God does not allow us to suffer in vain. There is a purpose for everything. (Romans 8:28) If you are going through something now ask Him the same, to reveal to you where He is. Chances are He will show himself in a big way. : )
- Offer forgiveness where it is needed (Matthew 6:14). Forgiveness is not only something we can offer to another person, it is something God has instructed of us! This is SO HARD, especially if the person sees no need to be forgiven. I’m not saying I have come up to someone and said, “I forgive you for…” in every circumstance. However, if you are being called by the Holy Spirit to do that then you should by all means visit that further. Forgiveness allows me to love harder. It allows me to love my neighbor, including those committing the offense, more fiercely than I could have without that forgiveness.
Forgiveness = FREEDOM
Forgiveness may not be what you think it is. True forgiveness is taking your hand away from the perpetrator’s throat. In true forgiveness you remove your right for justice. You take away your “right” to hold them in contempt. This does not mean you have to embrace them or allow them back into your life, but it does mean it will allow God to unroot the bitterness in your heart toward them, should you let Him.
Friend, this also means to forgive yourself.
- Ask God what HE would have you do with this memory. Maybe it’s an opportunity to confess unconfessed sin. Maybe it’s an opportunity to forgive. Maybe, just maybe, it’s Him revealing to you how His work has impacted that event and to give you the chance to sit in his lap, lean in to His embrace, and just cry out to Him.
- When the memory is dealt with (which might take some time) I put it behind me. God does not want us to beat ourselves up with our past. That teacher I mentioned in my first post? He used to tell me “Don’t should on yourself.” He’s right. God forgives us and separates our sin from us, as far as the East is from the West. We should have the same compassion on ourselves. (Psalm 103:12)
I’m not saying I am re-visiting every little bad thing I have done or that has been done to me, what I am saying is there have been some key events He wanted me to re-live, with Him, even events where no one is a fault. These are things he has brought to the forefront of my mind. I’m also not living in the past. If something comes to my mind, I am dealing with it and only re-visit it when it comes back, if ever. The same event can creep up time and time again, at any time. That’s ok.
Friends, this is a journey! Just remember you are so loved. Our precious savior is especially fond of you. He loves you enough to DIE for you! He proved it, over 2,000 years ago. There is no pain too big for Him to help you handle.
Let me pray with and for you! Email me if you like. email@example.com
With all my love and prayers, resting in His firm grasp,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, for if you do not forgive, neither will Your Father who is in Heaven forgive you.
Psalm 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.