Guest Post by Kathy Dobyns on the topic of forgiveness.
At age 68, I have finally learned the secret of not stuffing pain and hurt deep down inside to form bitter roots.
God brought a counselor into my life who I could trust to share profound hurts and sins from early in my life, dumping 60 years of tangled netting. Therefore, I am going through a type of inner rotor rooter service to remove the things that have impacted me. The trust and safety this counselor offers has effected changes in me, allowing me to overcome the bitter roots that had wrapped themselves around my heart.
You see, my spiritual growth could only go so far, and then sputter out. I longed for more of Jesus in my life, but there was no room for expansion unless those almost physical roots were pulled out and removed. It was kind of like using a power winch to remove tree roots, only not as severe.
Forgiveness is a type of Holy Spirit power winch.
For me, the secret was to say, “Father, I choose to forgive (name them) for (say what they did to hurt you), even though it makes me feel (and name all the feelings such as hurt, anger, alone, abused, etc.)” Then pray that the Lord will not hold anything against (name them) any longer, and thank God for setting you free. This prayer was adapted from Neil T. Anderson.
Forgiveness is a process.
I thought I had forgiven everyone before I began counseling, but so many things came out from my depths that were still hanging on, there is no way I could have forgiven each person. I knew because so much pus and poison popped to the surface when Holy Spirit began squeezing my insides. I could still feel the pain from earlier decades of my life. When I named all the feelings, there was pain.
Anger popped out more often than not. Letting it go was born from my desperation to finally say, “Jesus is my Lord” and know that I would be forgiven for everything because I had brought things into the light under His Lordship. Before this, I had known He wasn’t Lord over everything. I sat on the throne. My struggle was great for my pride was blocking further development in my walk with the Lord God. I was blind to my sin; blindsided by the father of deception.
If other people come to mind down the road, immediately forgiving them will help me stay the new course, and I will no longer stuff pain and hurt deep inside me.
God is so merciful. His love means everything to me. I joyfully accept the truth that my Father God is tender-hearted and forgiving; His heart and arms are always open to me (Luke15:17-24). My prayer is that you, too will courageously stop running from your emotional pain, look at it and bring it to Jesus.
Psalm 130: 1-4 (NIV) – Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
Kathy Dobyns is a long time resident of Melbourne, FL. She is presently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies from International School of Ministry. She has been an editor of several newsletters over the past 10 years and enjoys researching on the Internet. A married mother of two grown sons, she attends Freedom Christian Center.