I have written about this before and I will write about it again. Forgiveness. Forgiving someone who has hurt you IS NOT about letting your abuser have a free pass on what they did to you. Forgiveness is about healing within yourself and letting go. You don’t have to go and speak to the person that hurt you, you don’t have to verbally tell them “I forgive you.” You don’t ever have to ever see that person, ever again. It isn’t about them. It is about you and your relationship with the Lord.
When we are one in Christ, we want to be as He was. We will never be perfect, but we can strive to live the life that Christ has laid out for us. One step at a time. He states in Psalm 119:105 that “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” He lights our path, one step at a time. That is called trust and being obedient to walk that path. This path is not easy, we were not promised an easy path, but we have the assurance that He is with us.
You see, Jesus died on the cross, at Calvary, with our sins on His lips. He died. He gave His life with our sins being spoken. He forgave completely and totally. If my Lord can do that, who am I not to forgive?
Forgiveness does not come easy. It is a process. I won’t say that you will wake up with day and say “I forgive so and so for physically abusing me as a child.” Okay, now I’m done, I’m over it and it will never come back to my mind. That, my friends, is not reality. Reality is the Lord places on your heart those that you need to forgive. Then He extends grace and mercy to help you come to peace with your past and heal. It may take counseling with your pastor or a trusted friend. You might need to seek Christian counseling from a therapist and that is all okay. Never think less of yourself for needing someone to help you muddle through the pain of abuse. When it is time to forgive, then it is simple. You can say “in the Name of Jesus, who died for our sins, I CHOOSE to forgive such and such for….then name out the abuses if you have too.” Then I remind myself, when instances of remembrance come up that, In the Name of Jesus, I have forgiven this person and I will hold this thought captive and ask the Lord to take the thought from me. I will not allow satan to have a foothold on my memories and distort what I know as Truth.
My daughter, Gigi, was faced with a picture of them man who abused her, so severely. This is the first time she has seen him in several years. I showed her the picture (in therapy) and we began to talk of her abuse and her pain. We began to identify the emotion and the feeling. She was very stoic and very rote in her remembrance of this pain. She has a hard time showing emotion and this time was no different.
At one instance, I was sitting at her left and her therapist was sitting on her right side. She was holding the picture of the abuser and she looked at me and said “mom, do you think he knows Jesus?” I said that I couldn’t begin to know his heart and that that was between he and the Lord, but we can judge his fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 says 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” According to this list, I’d say that he had no fruit based on what I knew of her abuser.
She sat there, the therapist completely silent. I could see her processing everything in her head. She asked “if he knew the Lord, would he still have hurt me.” I explained that once we know the Lord, our desire is to be more like Him and less like ourselves but we still fall to sin because no one is perfect. If I were a guessing girl, I’d say that he probably wouldn’t have abused her if he were a believer.
I could see sadness sweep across her face. I try to answer questions, as she has them. I don’t want to overwhelm her with a bunch of jabber. The therapist remained silent and let us talk. She said “you know, mom, I never want to see him or talk to him ever again.” I agreed and I told her that she would not have to worry with that because my job, as mom, was to protect her. With her head down, looking at this picture and emotion sweeping across her face….her voice got quiet and she said “mom, can we send him a Bible with the plan of salvation and forgiveness highlighted?” **Bear in mind my daughter is only 12** I can hear the therapist gasp for air and she put her head down. Gigi never looks up from the picture. I assured her that we could do that and that I would arrange it to be mailed from somewhere else so he would never know who sent it.
She said simply “I have to forgive him for hurting me, so I can move on. I can’t bear the thought of him never hearing about the love and forgiveness of the Jesus…please let’s do it and send him a Bible…just so I know that he has it, whether he reads it or not.”
Therapist is crying because she is so angry about what he did to my daughter yet she has been so humbled by the faith of a child. I’m sitting beside her, in silence and agreement at her decision.
This, my friends, is the beauty of forgiveness. Since that day, Gigi has been a different child. The lying has stopped, the manipulation has stopped, the RAD traits that has plagued her for so long are not there. I could say that this is due to me being proactive and getting her in therapy and the right concoction of medication. I’d be lying.
The Lord deserves ALL the praise and ALL the honor. Period. The End.