I want to share with you a bit of my life and how I struggled with unforgiveness, but have come through victoriously. I also want to share a bit of my mother's same struggle, but sadly, does not end victoriously.
I had to face that ugly monster of unforgiveness that was making my life miserable. It began with God bringing understanding into my life about what was happening within me. I quickly realized, that if I wanted to have a life of peace and joy, I was going to have to deal with the unforgiveness I was harboring in my heart. It was causing emotional distress, illness, anger, bitterness, and affecting relationships as well. It was not easy to do, and was a long process for me, but I desperately wanted to be free from the control of unforgiveness and I fought for my deliverance, my life, my joy...and won with God's help.
When I chose to forgive, my life transformed into a joyful and beautiful life, from the inside out. I also forgave myself for my own wrong doings. Self forgiveness is a huge part of this process. We were not meant to carry the burdens of the past. God tells us to cast our every care upon Him, and that He is our avenger (Divine Re-payer). He is also the restorer of our lives, and boy has He restored my life! I chose to look to the future with hope through God's eyes and stop carrying the past on my shoulders, as I was not equipped to carry it.
I know that there are hard things to forgive, but you can. If I did it, you can too. Some of the things I had to forgive were sexual abuse as a child (at the hands of family members, step father, and my mother's boyfriends), abandonment by my father, my mother for neglecting me and my siblings and so much more. Believe me when I say you can do it. God is the healer of your life. He healed my life in every way and He will do the same for you. Call on God, He is patiently waiting! He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I want to clarify some things about forgiveness. Forgiving frees you from the emotional control of that person who has harmed you. More than likely that person has moved on with his/her life or died, as one of my abusers has. It frees you from the ill effects that festers in the spirit, soul (will/mind/emotions), and body. Forgiving makes you stronger in every way, and never a doormat to anyone!
Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to be friends or even socialize with that person after you have forgiven. It means that you have set yourself free from that person, and what they did to you. What happened in the past will never change, but you have the choice to change your life today for the present and future, by releasing yourself from those unforgiving ties. Seek out the help of people, a good church, books/information, that will help you get through this time of healing and change. God has great plans for your life!
The dangers of unforgiveness are extremely hurtful, not only to the one who is harboring that unforgiveness, but to others who are attached to that person's life. Unforgiveness can control a persons life at every level. I have seen this destructive enemy control my mother's life to the point of stealing her present and future, pushing her family away. Harboring past hurts and pains in the form of unforgiveness will literally make the body and mind sick, not allowing a person to make rational decisions, and hurting others in that process. It creates strongholds of anger, hatred, and bitterness to a point of no return at times.
One example in my mother's life of how unforgiveness can steal a persons present and future, is when my oldest daughter married, a year ago this month. My mother and father had issues in their marriage, ending in a very bad way! This was over forty years ago, and my mother talks about it as if it happened yesterday. Obviously, she never forgave causing an intense hatred and bitterness that I did not know was possible. A very evil thing!
When my daughter called my mother to give her the good news of the engagement, the first thing out of my mother's mouth was, "Is your grandfather going to be there?" Wow! To this day my mother has not congratulated my daughter. Within that year of planning the wedding, my mother called my daughter several times talking very ugly about my father in a vulgar and abusive way. My mother even got to the point of talking about violence if he showed up at the wedding. Total crazy talk! At this point, my daughter had to cut her off, and I had to deal with this ugliness.
I tried to minister to my mother about forgiveness, but she would not have it. She would not listen and just wanted to be heard, rehearsing the past, over and over and over! She made the decision to stay a victim and wanted sympathy, but I did not give it to her. She eventually told me that she was not going to the wedding if my father was going to attend. I told my mother that it was her decision, but she would regret it for the rest of her life. She went as far as to turn her side of the family against me and my daughter, and no one on my side of the family showed to the wedding. She spread horrible lies! Unforgiveness birthed strongholds of anger & bitterness in my mother's heart! My mother recently found out that my father, who lives in Alberta, Canada, was not able to make it to the wedding!
My daughter and I have forgiven my mother, but our relationship will never be the same. I have had to forgive a lot when it comes to my mother, but this one was the hardest. To this day, she has not apologized or shown any type of remorse for the pain she caused, and continues to live in that life of unforgiveness that has stolen her present and future. Her present and future could hold beautiful experiences and memories with her family, but she has managed to push us away. The future holds three more weddings with her grandchildren, but will more than likely miss out because of unforgiveness that has hardened her heart to a degree of severe hatred and bitterness.
I will never give up praying for my mother, as I love her dearly. All things are possible to those who will believe and I know that my God is a God of miracles. My mother is God's daughter, and I have cast her upon Him, for he is well able to help her.
In spite of all the drama with my mother, my daughter's wedding was awesomely beautiful! We gained a great son-in-law who's family is absolutely wonderful. There was a spirit of peace and joy surrounding this wedding, and my heart overflowed with love and gratitude for my family and new added family members. We were also surrounded by our church family. The greatest blessing was that our Pastor, Rochelle Nieman, married Jake and Vanessa. Oh my, what a blessing that will continue into future generations!
I pray that my story helps you if you have any degree of unforgiveness in your heart. You are not reading this by accident. Don't let unforgiveness turn you into a bitter and angry person. There is a good life ahead of you. Turn to God and ask Him for help. He is waiting on you. You are not a victim but a victor in Christ Jesus.
DON'T LET UNFORGIVENESS STEAL YOUR PRESENT and FUTURE! The past is the past, leave it there and don't go back. Let the healing of forgiveness restore you. God is your redeemer.
Forgiving opens up a Fabulously Peachy life Darling!
With great friendly love! God bless you :)
Mary Jean Marquez