christ follower · Uncategorized

forgiveness

I did something today that was long overdue. I have been carrying a burden and when I finally released it, I felt freedom.

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew there was something between you and another person that just wasn’t quite right? Maybe there were words spoken that you regret. Maybe there was tension. In my case, it wasn’t so much those things but something that happened a few years ago that was left unresolved. We both got caught in an awkward situation and I felt like I never said what I needed to say out of fear of being misunderstood. Neither of us were at fault but because of some issues beyond both of our control it drove us apart. It’s a complicated story and I will not share all the details here. Fear kept me from saying a word and it was there in that place that I felt trapped. This really burdened me from time to time and when I would think about it tears would fall.

Since the beginning of the year I have been asking God to shine His light on every area of my life and show me the things that needed to be pruned so I could bear more fruit. I wanted Him to show me areas that were not like Him. It was a real awakening when He did it. I realized how yucky my human nature can be and it compelled me to change it. I am not a perfect being. I fail and fall and make mistakes and sin but the Lord’s kindness leads me to repentance.

I want to be like Jesus. In the book of John Jesus talks about being the true vine and I am the branches. It goes on to say that He prunes every thing off of me that doesn’t bear fruit.  Why? So I can be more like Him and so He can work out His will in my life. He doesn’t require perfection. He knows I am flawed but He loves me anyway….and I love Him.

I know the Lord kept speaking to my heart to take care of this situation between me and this person and I felt like I did not have the courage to do it. I kept praying and that urge to make things right only grew stronger. I knew that I needed to do it and if I didn’t I would be being disobedient to the heeding of the Holy Spirit. I had been reading the scriptures in Mark about faith. In Mark 11, Jesus urges us to have faith in God. He says that if we speak to any mountain that it will be removed if we don’t doubt in our heart. In the very next verse He says, and when you pray if you have anything against anyone forgive him so your Father in heaven will forgive you. 

What does faith and forgiveness have to do with each other? Apparently something. Jesus is talking about faith and he says…Oh yeah, you know that thing in your heart against someone? Yeah, you’re gonna need to take care of that. I think what Jesus may have meant was that our faith and maybe even prayers may be hindered  if we are harboring unforgiveness in our heart. SLAYED. This straight up messed me up! I knew that in order to move to the next level of what God had for me that I had to take care of this little mix up  and I had to do it fast! In addition, I truly love and care about this person. I missed the friendship between us.

Fingers shaking and heart pounding, I wrote a message on a social media website, poured out my heart and asked for forgiveness for anything that I may have done or said that hurt. I pressed send and placed it in the hands of the Lord. For a few days I received no response and the enemy would whisper to me that I had made a fool of myself and that there was no hope. Then, I remembered that I have been reading in Proverbs to not jump to conclusions that sometimes there is a perfectly good explanation for things. I talked to my husband about it and he suggested that the message may have been unseen and suggested texting to see if my message was received.

With my hands shaking so much I could barely text, God gave me the words and strength to type out something and press send. Turns out, my husband was right and the message on social media was simply overlooked. We texted for a few moments and decided to meet and talk some more. I cried at how gracious this person was to me and then I cried some more and thanked the Lord.

No longer do I carry this burden, I laid it at the feet of Jesus and He brought the restoration my soul and spirit longed for.  I’m excited to see what the Lord does. I’m thankful for a friendship restored.

I’m not sharing this today just to tell you my story. I’m sharing it because you may be in a similar situation. If you are carrying any ill feelings or unforgiveness you don’t have to carry it anymore. Lay it down at the feet of Jesus. You may have been hurt. Jesus knows all about it. He doesn’t want you to carry this burden anymore because you can’t carry into the place where He wants to take you. It’s a place of restoration and peace. I pray that God gives you the strength make things right. Do it today! You may never have another opportunity.

Ephesians 4:31-32  

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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