Consider forgiveness

Most of my life I walked around angry. I was angry at God who I called the Great Abandoner because He did not stop the abuse. I was angry with my parents who abused me. Years after they died I was still angry at them. They had robbed me of my innocence and childhood. Thinking of the abuse I received at their hands plunged me into despair. I felt like I wore a scarlet A for abuse on my chest. The memories and pain remained with me long after the abuse ended. The problem was that holding on to my anger bound me to my past. The only way to break the chains of abuse was to forgive.

The first step toward healing was forgiving my parents. Both my parents were dead. My anger did nothing to change what happened and they were not affected by my feelings. The only one hurt by anger was me.

I felt that if I forgave my parents it meant I was giving tacit approval of what they did, but that is not the case. Their abuse was wrong. Forgiveness is not absolution, it is the release of the emotions from the abuse that bind us. My parents will answer to God for what they did. Whether or not the person asks for forgiveness, realizes the wrong they did, cares that we forgive them, or even is aware that we forgive them, we must forgive for our own sanity.

Forgiveness is a very selfish act. It releases us from the burden of the anger we carry around. Anger only hurts us, it doesn’t touch our abusers. Our abusers are self-centered. They care more for their gratification and less for our feelings. Our anger either excites and encourages them or doesn’t affect them at all. But anger increases our stress level and causes us to hold on to the pain and hurt, binding us from moving forward toward the good things in life.

For me, forgiveness came in stages. The first thing I needed to do was to ask God to make me willing to forgive them. I prayed that prayer for a long time because my hurts ran deep.

Tomorrow we will continue on the topic of forgiveness.

Questions to consider:

Who do you need to forgive?
Are you willing to make the first steps towards forgiveness?

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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5 Responses to Consider forgiveness

  1. Christie says:

    Why is forgiveness so hard? God amazes me that he would ask us to forgive. It is what sets Him apart from all others. It is what makes me what to stick around Him.

    • Christie, thank you for your comment. I am glad that He does ask us to forgive. What is amazing is that He doesn’t ask us to do something He hasn’t done first. Jesus died so our sins would be forgiven. He was innocent, but chose to take on our sins. If He can do that, there is no way I can justify not forgiving others. I too am glad to stick around Him. Have a blessed day.

  2. Hmm, Heather, with such love, yes forgiveness is difficult. Without God I might consider it impossible. And yes, even to Jesus God was that Great Abandoner (‘my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’). He has abandoned many and he has remained silent, and yet ‘we wait upon him.’ There is a moving monologue in the film ‘the Verdict’ which you might consider:

    Goodness and justice? And yet, we wait on him. I have no answer, and anyone who does ‘darkens my counsel without wisdom,’ as God did say to Job in his suffering. I cannot say that God is ‘good.’ As a Christian, I cannot say that our God is ‘good.’ But I hope. Hope that he is at least Immanuel (God With Us). I hope and pray.

    • There is so much in what you say that I also thought. One point I’ve realized is that God did not abandon Jesus on the Cross – Consider this scenario – Jesus is nailed to the Cross, he has to push himself up on his feet, painfully, to get a breath, when that hurts too much he slumps and there is pain in his arms. For him to say anything is difficult. In those days, young boys memorized the Psalms – and knew them so well that one line is enough to bring a whole Psalm to mind. Sort of like we can sing a line of a song and people know the next line – Jesus couldn’t recite entire Psalms, but could easily get out one line – So if He says My God, My God, why have you forsaken me – those hearing would know that was the first line of Psalm 22 – if you read that Psalm it describes what has happened to Jesus down to the gambling for his clothes – For God to be just, he cannot abandon someone who is obedient – and Jesus made that choice.

      Oh I can say God is good – and His mercy endures forever. At some point I will share more of my story here – I suffered a lot in my childhood, but God was able to take that and turn it to good. It is not God that does the evil, evil is done by the free will of evil people. If God stopped their hands, then there is no real free will – we are just robots. Does God like the evil man does? No. But we are not alone in the hurt and God will make our abusers answer to Him. Sadly there are many evil people in the world.

      I look forward to “talking” with you online more. Please take care of yourself.
      Heather

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