Thursday, June 28, 2012

on forgiveness.

i try to keep it real in this little tiny portion of the blogosphere that i call my own, so today is one of those days that i get a bit - uh - vulnerable.

there is one thing that i'd consider my big 'life' struggle. that one thing that when i do beth moore's breaking free, it comes back to haunt me every. single. time. and i'm pretty open about my struggle. 

it's a nasty thing called bitterness

oh goodness, bitterness is nasty.

and it's only been a few years since i recognized what it was. when the Lord found me where i was and convicted the heck out of me. the bible talks about not letting sin take root in your heart, but man this was a deep root. and it took some time to figure out all the places it was coming from, but the main place that bitterness stemmed from in my life was unforgiveness.

not of one person in particular, or one instance. just a whole lot of harboring stuff. you know, the hurt feelings, the wrongs, the mean girls. all that. and i was always taught to just 'walk away'. and i did. for 25  years. but walking away does NOT mean to harbor. or to not forgive. i didn't get the whole "let it go" thing... and what that meant for my heart not just for my actions.

anyway. i dealt with it. and i now try very hard to recognize this unforgiveness immediately when it happens so that i can talk to the Lord about it, make anything i've done wrong right and let the Lord worry about the rest. sometimes it's a daily thing. sometimes it's a monthly thing. but it's definitely a choice. 

i remember a while ago, i met a precious friend in bible study who had been through an ugly divorce. she had been wronged in almost every way that you could imagine. i remember her telling me that she had to wake up every morning and say aloud, "i choose to forgive him, Lord." sometimes multiple times throughout the day. and for years, y'all. but she harbors NO ill feelings. like, none. i think i would be paralyzed with bitterness if i had been in that situation. but she lives a very healthy and happy life with her two beautiful daughters and a wonderful new hubby. i'm not trying, at all, to glamorize her situation, because she would be the first to tell you about all of the consequences she has had to suffer, but my point is that she has been a great example to me in forgiveness.

but i've got that thing down, now, right?

well. i got slapped in the face this week with another big realization. 

sunday, our pastor preached on forgiveness. he taught from luke 6.
"but i say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you... treat others the same way you want them to treat you. if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? for even sinners love those who love them... but love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men." Luke 6:27-28, 31, 35
i kept nudging the hubbs. "this message is for him!" i kept thinking to myself. he's never 'struggled' like i have with unforgiveness, but man, does he have a LOT to forgive right now during this campaign season.

but what i didn't realize was that i needed the message. that i, too, needed to forgive. even though the hatred and cursing and mistreating isn't necessarily directed toward me, it is, however, directed toward my husband. someone that i love and want to protect with all of my mama bear might. and apparently, i've been choosing to be angry about it.

it's amazing how the Lord points out stuff like that. stuff in my heart that i didn't even know was there. the ugly stuff. stuff that i don't want to admit to nor want to pay attention to. but i'm so thankful. because living with bitterness, unforgiveness and anger is no fun. and it seeps into every other part of our lives and ruins them. just like a new red shirt ruins every other shirt in that washing machine. it renders it all useless.

so. are you encouraged today? ha... sorry for my honesty this morning. i kinda just laid it all out there. no sugary post today.

but truly, be encouraged that the Lord is working all around you. in your life and in your heart. and if you have ears to hear, i promise He'll point it out to you. it ain't gonna be pretty, i can also promise that.

a verse from Jesus Calling yesterday that i loved, wrote out on a post it note and taped it to my computer:

"let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You i lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

isn't that beautiful? lifting up my soul to Him today... He does a much better job than i could ever do.

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