Forgiveness can be a delicate process. It’s just not as simple as snapping your fingers and magically being over it. Until I was about 22 years old I never forgave people. I discarded people, I walked away, I held onto anger for years, but I didn’t forgive. As an adoptee the pain of being abandoned by my birth parents was deep and the scab got ripped open often.
It wasn’t until a life changing moment that I began to understand the beauty and importance of forgiveness. It was the moment that I was forgiven for every single horrid thing I had ever done or even thought. From that moment on I began a beautiful journey of discovering how to forgive completely in any situation. Every single thing I know about trust, love, and forgiveness I learned from Jesus. He is kind, compassionate, and patient beyond anything I’ve ever known.
When I forgive others the first thing I do is choose with my will to forgive. The second thing I do immediately afterwards is pray. I pray and I ask Jesus to help my feelings follow quickly. You see just because you’ve made the choice to forgive someone doesn’t mean that your feelings are going to match that right away. You’re still going to have all the angry/hurt/sad feels and that’s to be expected. I find that when I ask for help with my feelings, Jesus comes through every single time.
Of course there are times when I need to repeat this process when the trauma is particularly painful but it’s been a very effective way of helping me get to the good part of forgiveness. The part when you don’t feel so betrayed anymore, and the part when you can finally begin to let go.
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