Living A Life Of Forgiveness! 

I’ve recently been asked by a young person how I can forgive so easily and so quickly as I do, so often and so completely? My response was , “because my heavenly Father has forgiven me of such atrocious sins, and much grace is extended to me every single day; therefore I can definitely forgive others!”
I have learned that forgiving someone is not as much about them, if at all really; but more about what’s best for me. I refuse to live with the perpetual pain, reliving the hurtful events and still ending up the victim by hearing the poisonous words someone said to me or the abusive acts someone did to me. I don’t want to feel the anguished pain of rejection and betrayal and having my heart-broken and trampled on again and again as I live and retell my story going to that place where my emotions are raw and bleeding with each memory of that person and event.

To hold onto unforgiveness is just that; hurting myself, picking at the scabs and it stunts my growth and harboring poisonous toxins inside that germinate and spread throughout my body, my mind, my life and my relationships. I once heard someone say that to not forgive is like drinking poison in hopes the other person dies. It ain’t gonna happen!

Unforgiveness means I carry that other person, along with the pain they caused me everywhere I go; they’re in my head, my heart, my soul. They might as well be strapped to my back or shackled to my leg. They are with me in my past, but they are with me in my present and they too will be in my future if I don’t forgive and set myself free by letting them and the pain go.

Unforgiveness strengthens the chains and tighten the hold and grip the other person has over me and interferes with my giving my all to Father and my receiving and being all that He has for me. I’m letting them control and ruin all my relationships, and they will continue to bring pain and misery and make me guarded and untrusting. I will close myself and my heart off to any new healthy loving relationships. I could be a cold, bitter, hate~filled resentful and angry old woman if I chose to not free myself and forgive them.

I know from personal experience what suffers the most, by not forgiving, is my intimacy, my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It grieves Him, it hurts Him and I don’t want to do that to Him. Unforgiveness is like bringing a third person into my intimate relationship with Father; and He is a jealous God and is not into sharing me with another. He does not do threesomes! I long to please Him, to love Him with my whole heart, my complete soul and honor Him in all I do and say and think. I long to commune in an intimate way with Him. And to not forgive stands in that way of divine whole and holy communion with Him.

This is what I have personally learned about living a life of forgiveness.

What forgiveness IS NOT:

Forgiveness IS NOT telling the perpetrator that what “you did or said to me is ok”. It’s not giving them a “free pass” or “get out of jail free” card.

Forgiveness IS NOT about forgetting. It’s about the pain, the sting and negativity associated to that person being removed and replaced with a new sense of freedom, a new attitude and a new way of living our best life in-spite of what they’ve done  I’ve heard that the “best revenge is living a joy-filled and lovely life.”! I totally agree!

What forgiveness IS:

Forgiveness IS freedom in the form of a gift we give to ourselves. When we choose to forgive; we are taking the pain that is as real today as it was when the event took place and all the dark memories and all the haunting negative emotions we have experienced and entertained and relived over and over again each time we tell the sordid story and we place them in a bottle, tighten the lid and place it into the outstretched hands of our Father God. And from that gaping raw hole left inside our soul, we allow God to apply the healing ointment of forgiveness, to bring healing to the place that’s been injured in us so we can be a whole and healthier person and be ALL that God planned for us to be from the very beginning!

Forgiveness IS liberating! Forgiveness IS saying, “I will not be hurt anew all over again every single day, every hour of the day, every precious moment I live. I will not give you any more of my time, energy or thoughts thinking and dwelling on you any longer!”

Forgiveness IS empowering! Forgiveness IS taking back control of our own emotions, our own feelings, our own actions and our own life! It’s about not giving away anymore of ourself to that person again! We are in control! That’s it!

Forgiveness IS about being in control of “if, when, where and for how long” we decide to allow that person to ever have a place in our life again. We are in control of it; especially if they are family! I know it’s more complicated if they are; but the same rules apply.

Forgiveness IS also about forgiving ourself for being such an easy target by the evils in someone else; for being so innocent and trusting and open and young and naive. It’s about forgiving ourself for the role we took and the participation for so long. It’s for thinking and believing we could somehow change them and make them better and stop them from hurting themselves, us and others. It’s about forgiving ourself for investing in a fraudulent relationship, forgiving ourself for the wasted time we can’t get back. It’s about forgiving ourself for being flawed ourself, for failing and making mistakes.

Forgiveness IS all about “Letting go and Letting God” do what it is that only He can do in our life, our heart and our soul and in the life of others and in whatever uncomfortable and painful situation we may be in.

Forgiveness is a beautiful gift for you from Father God! Forgiving IS for each of us to do! Let’s love ourself enough, let’s respect ourself enough to forgive. Let’s honor ourselves and our relationship with Papa God and choose to forgive!

Love covers a multitude of wrongs, Love never fails, Love always wins and Love is what we all require and need and have so little of. Love yourself so you can love others!

Tonya Henshaw

April 27,2016