Friday, August 27, 2010

BK2HK: Day 3 "Forgive Your Foe Friday"

This is no small thing. Today will take more effort than any other day this week.

I have mentioned this so many times, but I am and forever will be grateful for my amazing Mother-In-Law. One thing that she has taught me is the value of forgiveness. It has changed my life!

When we hold on to feelings of pain or hurt inflicted by the choices of others we are locking ourselves in a cage. The cage limits our own personal growth. Not physically, but certainly spiritually and emotionally. Most times we believe that the person who may have inflicted the wrong needs to apologize or correct their actions, maybe change their lives before they can be forgiven. Sometimes we hold on to the anger and pain because we feel it will serve as a protection. A way to never allow such things to happen to us, or hurt us again. And even harder, sometimes it is because we feel that if we forgive they get a free pass for the wrongs they committed or we are condoning their actions. Remember that the Lord knows all things. Leave it to Him to handle the consequences of others actions.

Eventually holding on to the burden of the pain weighs us down until the burden is to heavy to carry. The cage is too limiting. We want to find a way out. The cage can mold us, by restriction, into something that is less than our potential. It stops progression. It stops you from moving forward.

The most important thing to remember about this cage is that it is YOU that has the power to release yourself from it. The lock is on the INSIDE. The key is in your hand. The choice is yours to use it or not.

Sometimes the things we need to forgive are small. Sometimes they are impossibly big. Sometimes they are one or two things and sometimes they are so many you don't even know where to begin.

Begin here....

Say OUT LOUD to yourself, "I forgive (name) for (the wrong done)". Then you can forgive yourself, if you had any role in the wrong-doing. Or simply forgive yourself for holding on to the anger.

At first the words don't feel right coming out. The emotion of forgiveness may not even be anywhere near ready to come out. However, if you will repeat, with as much detail as possible, the "I Forgive...." as often as you feel the pain associated with it, or as often as it comes to mind, before long you will feel a shift. One day you will hear yourself repeating these words, but you will also FEEL yourself believing the words.

I also must add an essential ingredient to this process.....PRAYER!

I have, in my own life, experienced a physical feeling of forgiveness many times. For wrongs done to me and for wrongs I have done. I remember an exact instance where I prayed over a couple of years...YEARS to be able to fully forgive. I prayed that the Lord would help me love this person the way He loves them.

I remember the exact moment when the feeling came. Where I was standing. Who I was talking to. What was happening, which actually had nothing to do with the person I was trying to forgive at all. Then all of the sudden it was like a bucket of warm water that washed over me. I felt it from my head to the tips of my toes. A complete renewal and a TOTAL love for this person.

The person did not change anything, or even acknowledge the wrong. They didn't need to, for ME to be able to experience Forgiveness. It has been many years since that day I had that feeling and I am telling you there has not been one moment since then that I have not loved this person completely. THAT is the power of the Atonement! It is amazing!

I just finished reading the book "The Hiding Place". Have you read that?! Oh if you haven't YOU MUST! It is one of those that you want to read with a highlighter. One that you will want to read at least once a year. I LOVED it!

It is about Corrie Ten Boom. She was an extraordinary Christian woman who risked her life to help protect and save the lives of Jews druing the Holocaust. She is certainly a hero of mine!

{Corrie Ten Boom}

She talks about forgiveness a bit in the book. One of the parts that I loved so much was when her father taught her how to handle the pain of having the man she loved so much (Karel) show up at her home with his new fiance'. She was totally crushed. This is what her father taught her:

"Corrie, do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.

There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.

"God loves Karel--Even more than you do--and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy.  Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way."

She then said:

"I did not know, as I listened to Father's footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this--places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.

I was in kindergarten in these matters of love. My task just then was to give up my feeling for Karel without give up the joy and wonder that had grown with it. And so, that very hour, lying there on my bed, I whispered the enormous prayer:

'Lord, I give to You the way I feel about Karel, my thoughts about our future--oh, You know! Everything! Give me Your way of seeing Karel instead. Help me to love him that way. That much."

When I read that I already knew it was true! I had experienced that very feeling myself! What a great lesson!

Alright my friends! I hope that this helps you move forward with Forgiveness today. Remember you can always go back and watch THIS if you need more motivation!

AND....while you are doing all your forgiving :) NEVER forget to forgive yourself! Don't be to hard on yourself! Be quick to forgive and slow to put yourself down!

Have a Great Day!


Lombardo Family said...

Amy, I just love you. You have a spiritual depth about you that I long to have. I know it has come with much practice, but I admire you so much. Thanks for this amazing post.

Just Us said...

I need to read that book. I loved that.


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