“People have to forgive. We don’t have to keep them in our lives, we don’t be have to befriend them, we don’t have to send them heart texts but we have to forgive them, to overlook to let go, in order to be free. Because if we don’t we are tying rock to our feet too much for our wings to carry.” ~ C. Joybell C.
I know we think that forgiveness is letting someone of the “hook,” or letting yourself off the “hook” by not talking and just “forgetting” it ever happened. This causes the situation to fester and grow, consequently turning into bitterness and hatred. Forgiveness is about releasing and freeing yourself.
Forgiveness was one of the most difficult choices I had to make in my life! Ultimately, it freed me from a bondage I never realized I was in. I was angry, guarded, defensive, not affectionate and short-tempered. In my youth I felt ugly, dirty and ashamed. Flashback to my childhood, my father left my mother with 5 children. We were on welfare and my mother did the best she could with what she had. SHE WAS AND STILL IS AMAZING, LOVING, ATTENTIVE AND KIND!
But something happened when she wasn’t looking, a man took advantage of my innocence and tried to rape me at the tender age of nine. Thank God he was not successful in his attempt but that’s when the innocence died inside. I HATED HIM! That was the day I was stung and refused to ever forgive him. I was afraid of puberty and as a teen I wrapped my breasts in ace bandages (I really invented the sports bra), in the attempt to ward off their growth. I despised, I can even say I loathed skirts…to me skirts were easy access for a predator. So I always wore pants, even with my Catholic school uniforms and dared someone to question me…including the nuns! I was not “THAT” girl, who twirled in a circle as my skirt fluttered in the air.
Fast forward to the present: Several years ago I read the book, “The Shack,” it is a great book of God’s grace and forgiveness. I can’t tell you how many times I threw that book across the room because it forced me to face my unforgiveness toward that man who robbed me of my innocence. I learned that I was still connected to him and he still had power over me…I was a hostage of my past. I had a bitter spirit that consumed my every move, and any thing could trigger my anger. I had to come to grips and face the fact that I had to forgive him…not for his sake, but for mine.
The day came when I spoke to him face to face he. But this time, I was in charge now, I was in control and he naturally denied the incident but in his eyes was guilt and shame. I actually felt sorry for him, I don’t know why but my heart broke. As I walked away I was finally able to grieve, mourn and wail for that little girl whose innocence was stolen. I wept for the brokenness of this man because at the end I knew Jesus had died for him, as He had died for me. I pulled the stinger of unforgiveness and I laid it at the cross. It was then I understood what Jesus meant when He said, “It is FINISHED!” All the anger, sadness, bitterness, hatred, and depression, gone! IT WAS FINISHED! The enemy of my soul could never use it against me again, it was over because I took it to the Cross and traded it for my freedom. Forgiveness didn’t change my past, but it did enlarge my future.
My test: Would I pass or fail?
Approximately six months after I spoke with the man, my then four-year granddaughter, who truly believes she is royalty and of Princess lineage, was at my home. This particular day was absolutely beautiful, warm, sunny and a slight breeze was blowing. My granddaughter was wearing colorful tutu skirt. She suddenly realized I had jeans and begged me to put on a skirt. She ran to my closet and chose a flowing skirt. I had never worn this skirt. I put it on over my jeans. She grabbed my hand and ran outside. She began to twirl and said “Bita spin!” I couldn’t, I wanted to but I COULDN’T, I was frozen! Do WHAT?!?! A flood gate of emotions ran through me. I didn’t sign up for this, NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! She stopped spinning and took my hand into her little hand and said, “It’s ok, I’ll teach you.” Something skipped in my heart as I started off slowly, she screamed faster! I gained speed as the tears rolled down my cheeks because for the first time in my entire life I became, “THAT” girl who twirled in a skirt… My granddaughter cheered me on, and then she said, “YAY, BITA YOU’RE FREE; GO BITA IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! GO! GO! GO!”
Out of the mouth of babes…you have perfected praise!” Matthew 21:16
FREE I WAS AND FREE I WILL ALWAYS BE!!!
IN JESUS’ NAME!