What if I told you that choosing forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools in your life to release freedom?
It truly is!
There were a few circumstances in my life that held me captive. One situation was a situation with my dad. In many ways, he was fun, easy going, well-liked and a hard worker. But then there were times he wasn’t any of those things. Those times became more frequent as I grew up. He was someone else. He turned into a drunk, unsafe angry man who was unpredictable. The truth is I didn’t like him. I tried to never be near him and held him at a safe distance. As I grew older this perpetuated an anger that sat within me and followed me where ever I went. Finding ways to provoke him and fight for control became my norm as I grew into teenage years. There was a large part of me that wanted to be free from this anger and control but how would I be protected? I mean my own anger in this situation I kept him at a safe distance and I was learning fast that self protection was integral in my survival.
Here is what I didn’t know…
I didnt kmow that I had a Heavenly Father who loved me beyond measure. He loved me with an everlasting love that would forever change the course of my life. What’s more is he is aware of what has happened and he wants to help me with it. That part of the equation was foreign to me but filled me with courage to try.
Now, In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
As the revelation that I was an orphan settled upon me, in unison to that, I was found by a beautiful couple who demonstrated the Fathers love. They sat, cried and persisted with me when many would’ve given up.
Finally, I sat down on the floor of a church I made a choice to forgive my dad for all the ways that he hurt me and didn’t protect me. I can still recall the fear of letting go, the acknowledgment of the pain I had worked very hard to suppress and the incredible relief I had that I was wanted by the Father. I fell in love with God that day and rose up a banner of love for every orphan he would put in my pathway.
What I want to focus on today is the beautiful exchange process that happened when I made that choice. I made the choice to forgive because my Father asked me too. I put my heart in his and trusted he knew much that I didn’t and I needed him desperately to help me out of the prison I was in.
It became true for me that the Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness ALL who keep his covenant. (Psalm 25).
I share this very vulnerable story to prove the power of forgiveness. My story didn’t end there. I was given a beautiful opportunity to sit with my Father and let him know I had completely forgiven him for ALL that he did. Not only did I forgive him, but I loved him. The look on his face was worth all the suffering. He was completely shocked. My father died at the tender age of 54 and I was given the opportunity to be there with him with my beautiful sister and brothers to say goodbye.
This is one of the many ways that I learnt how to surrender my position and take up the Lords. The Lord is always longing to bring healing and wholeness. He taught me have a merciful heart and filled me with great compassion for those who aren’t free. This is servant leadership. There are other posts on the blog that illustrate effective servant heart leadership. You can check this out here.
I honestly don’t believe we have nailed forgiveness until we feel Gods love for that person. Please hear my heart on this, I am not suggesting complete access to your heart and life just because we made this choice. Some people we need to forgive from a distance. Wisdom and godly counsel is needed here. Healthy boundaries are essential for personal growth.
I would love to take this moment to honour those who are suffering. Those that are without a family or are in families that have grown cold and distant. Over the next few weeks, we will look at the power of forgiveness on the blog and through live videos to help build hope for you to take that brave step. This post is not to illustrate what you MUST do. The truth is you don’t have to do anything. This is to invite you to grab the hands of Jesus and a close friend and bravely make that choice to make a choice to forgive.
The Exchange Process
There is a beautiful exchange process that takes place when we make this choice and often it will exceed our expectations.
God asked me to make this choice because he knew this pain and animosity were blocking my ability to be successful. Perhaps the barriers you may be experiencing are indicators of areas that need Gods love and attention?
I’d like to encourage you to see what the exchange process can be for you…
You will be filled with joy and peace and will abound in hope (Romans 15:13)
Your path will be known to you and you will receive the presence of God. (Psalm 16:11)
Your joy (happiness) will be full. (John 15:11)
The Lord will fight for you as you rest (Exodus 14:14)
He will give you strength for whatever you need to walk through and increase your power. (Isiah 40:29)
He will help you in your fear (Isiah 43:2)
You will become effective leaders (Isiah 61:1)
You will gain wisdom (James 1:5)
I would like to leave you with one last thought…
You have heard that it was said, eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthew (5:38-40)
As a visionary, I want to illustrate to you what I believe Jesus meant by that. Try to stand someone in front of you. Attempt to slap their right cheek with your right hand. Now ask them to extend their left cheek. Now attempt to slap their left cheek with your right hand. I hope you saw what I saw. It is near impossible without bending your hand in a weird way to slap the other cheek.
It astounds me how standing tall hand in hand with the Lord empowers us to be who we are called to be. Today I choose mercy first because nothing ushers in the Spirit of God faster than grace, love and mercy.
I will leave you with that thought today,
Looking forward to seeing you online soon!
In love and unity,