Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gift of Forgiveness

One afternoon, shortly after my second was born, I was resting in my room while my husband was working on some video editing for our church. He was working on the praise and worship service from the previous Sunday led by Chris Stewart. As I lay there resting, the music came to me. It drifted down the hall and into my room. the sweetest feeling overwhelmed me, covered me. It was like someone was literally handing me a gift and in my mind I saw myself opening that gift.

The gift that I received was that I could give up the unforgiveness in my heart. It was like a garment of forgiveness that I could put on. I felt a complete release of emotion. No anger. No...anything. I wasn't overwhelmed with love but I felt forgiveness for this person. It's been that way ever since. I really believe that it was a gift from Father God. How else can I explain it? One day I despised this person who had hurt and wounded me, who had perpetrated a great injustice towards me. The next minute I felt complete and total forgiveness. It was a miracle, a download from heaven. It's like He became this little handyman and crawled inside my heart, started ripping out bad parts and replacing them with new ones. Like that *snap* it was done. No effort on my part. I underwent heart surgery.

There have been many other things and people that I've needed to forgive since then and unfortunately it hasn't been as easy. The point is, the beauty is, Father knows best. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. He knows if it's too big to do on our own. It would have been too big for me, letting go of that bitterness. But He met me, right where I was. It mattered to God that I wasn't walking in forgiveness. It hindered my walk with Him. And that mattered. It's beautiful, this love He has for us.

I started writing this blog months ago. I just didn't feel like it was the right time to talk about it. Forgiveness is such a tricky thing to talk about it. People have experienced truly despicable hurts and pain. Holding on to those hurts, reliving that same situation and burning again with anger seems like the only way to make the pain ease. How do I explain that it's better to forgive. But the truth is He can heal the wound all together.  Not that we ignore it or pretend like it didn't happen. It just doesn't matter any more. That's a hard thing to tell people when they are going through it. If someone would have come up to me and told me that I just needed to walk in forgiveness to this person and the pain would just disappear I would have had a hard time not slapping them in the face. But remember He's all about doing what feels like the opposite thing you should do. It's the inside, upside down Kingdom where you loose to gain. Where being with Him is all that matters. In His presence all those empty spaces are filled.

I've also had a hard time blogging because of this season. Everything I start to type just sounds cheesy or overdone. So as lame as it sounds, a gift you might want to consider giving to someone, or even yourself is the gift of forgiveness, one of the greatest things you can do right now in this, the season of giving. I wouldn't even think to type such a thing if I hadn't myself already experienced the precious gift. And if it feels too big, or too hard, all you have to do is want, to want it. It's ok not to want to forgive someone. Just want Him and He'll give you exactly what you need. There is always enough grace and strength for you, and more love then you can ever imagine.

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