This post is all about forgiveness. That wonderful word that people have heard time and time again, but may not truly embody the action. Yes, I said action of forgiveness. It isn't just a word, it is a feeling, an acceptance, and a freeing of guilt. Let me explain how I came to understand this action and how I knew I was truly embodying it!
Several years ago, while still living in Ohio, my Husband and I went through the worst time in our marriage. So bad that we actually found a marriage counselor just to help with the conversation between us two. I remember the counselor worked at a Community Church and was this laid back, khaki shorts, socks and sandals kind of guy. Real chill, if you will.
During our first session, he listened patiently to my Husband and me give our side of the story on why we felt our marriage was in trouble. After we had our chance to speak, he simply said; "You two must forgive one another in order for the healing process to take place. You have both hurt each other in ways neither of you could understand at this point, but I promise you that if you practice forgiveness your marriage will work." I immediately asked, "HOW?" He told us that forgiveness requires never bringing up the wrongs someone has done to us once we have decided to forgive. Now, yall know this would be difficult because what's the first thing we do when we get into an argument? We bring up old stuff and remind our love ones about how horrible of a person they were. This is not good, says Pastor Khaki shorts (protecting his name). He says we are to ask for forgiveness from our love ones and if they decide to forgive, they must never bring up the past again.
OMG! This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life! And I know some of yall are going to think, that's super easy to do Dreamer, what's the big deal?! Well friends, I want to challenge you to think about something you are holding onto or about someone who you haven't forgiven. Now tell me how would you feel if you were asked to never bring it up and to let it go. Don't you feel like looking up at God and asking; "How come you are going to let them get away with that?" LOL! I know it sounds bad, but God knows our spirit and he knows what's in our hearts, so you ain't hiding anything from Him.
I believe when you pray for help in a certain area of your life, God presents you with opportunities that allows you to practice and demonstrate how much you have grown in that area. For example, there are people who pray for peace, so in return, I believe God gives them situation to practice having a peaceful mind. I remember when I first started my Spiritual Journey I always prayed for God to help me with letting go of Control. And let me tell you something, He definitely helped me with that one because I was constantly shown that I had no control over anyone or anything other than my own mind and even that Monkey got out of control! HA! So, in my experience with forgiveness I was presented with many situations to practice.
For example, my Husband did several hurtful things to me that I wasn't expecting and I had to forgive and let go. Also, my daughter became a teen and boy oh boy, did I practice forgiveness like a champ during this time! The only way I knew I was getting the hang of things was when one day my 13-year-old told me this; "Mom, I think you are doing an awesome job in raising me. I know I have made plenty of mistakes and lost my mind several times, but I am truly blessed that you forgave me. You are such a good person and I have no doubt that when you pass from this life you will become an angel. If Jesus was still around, you would definitely be a disciple."
Now yall know I was ready to cry like a baby! That was the sweetest, unexpected, rewarding thing you could hear from anyone, especially your child. All I have ever hoped and prayed for was to set an example for people on what it means to be loving and Christ-like. It's hard and I am definitely not perfect, but it is so worth it to know people are inspired by your actions rather than your words.
So, put yourself to the test and see if you are able to forgive a fellow brother or sister in God and see how people react when you walk the walk of a true FORGIVER!
Love and God Bless!