This past week I've gone through some intensely difficult and emotional memories. The Lord has always been faithful to bring things up, in His timing, so I can work through them and find healing, rather than living wounded for the rest of my life.
My current process has been about deep roots of bitterness and resentment. I know I need to forgive, like our Heavenly Father forgives. And it has been a strange experience to have such deep feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger, hatred even while at the same time crying out to God for the help to forgive. I need His help if I’m ever gonna get there. In the midst of the totally wrong heart response, I desire the right and pleasing heart response. In essence, my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. This is the blueprint of what it looks like to need Him. To be daily dependent upon Him.
TRUTH: God LOVES to forgive so we should too!
This isn't easy to achieve, but it is a goal to aspire to. Something I think may take a lifetime of practice. Forgiveness is a key to unlocking our healing and finding freedom.
There is something I really want. I mean, I REALLY want it. For one reason or another I just haven’t been able to achieve or obtain it. I feel entitled to it. And I’ve been dialoguing with the Lord about how I know my feelings of entitlement are wrong. If God wanted me to have it right now, I would. Selah. But in His kindness, He simply asked me “Why?”. Why is this SO important and what would it mean to me to have it? So I started journaling. And in doing so, I was able to let all the feelings seep out onto the page and release them in a healthy manner.
After a few days of self-pity (which always makes pain more painful, and during which the Lord was still kind to me in my wallowing) I got the idea to make a list (I'm a list person!) of my hurts and look for the best in them. He counseled me to look for the blessings within the hurts. Journaling is my friend. I was able to see the good, appreciate it and be thankful. Sincerely thankful. I was able to see His provision and His goodness. And I have taken my thoughts penned down and turned them into prayers.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace that passes understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
I've been asked (not forced) to lay some things down and let go of them. And for my own benefit, not pick them up again. To not look at the hurts anymore but to count the blessings and to see Jesus in them. To keep my eyes fixed on Him, not the disappointments. The decision is mine but I know healing is on the other side. I'm working through.
Sometimes I pick things up again, turn issues over in my hand and study them further, which can result in all the emotions being stirred up anew. It's a day by day trust exercise to leave things at the feet of Jesus. But God is always gracious and helps me lay it down again so I can continue on to my final destination of true acceptance and forgiveness.
When all is known and all is forgiven, foundations are strengthened. Peace and rest come. Joy and contentment become my companions.
TRUTH: Letting go and laying down are the processes through which we find joy, peace and contentment.
Dying to self and crucifying the flesh are never fun or easy things to do. Often times they are messy. Things gets ugly as the flesh kicks back. However, if you submit yourself to the process these things yield the greatest results and produce the best fruits in us. Jesus learned obedience through suffering therefore we can too. He is our perfect example.
"Just think of Him who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself (reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials) , so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your own blood." Hebrews 12: 3,4 amplified
All the while He has been confirming to me that He has me right where He wants me and I am right where I am supposed to be. There is even a strategic purpose to where He has me right now and that gives me hope. A perspective change has happened.
“I will let all bitterness, indignation, wrath, passion, rage, bad temper, resentment, anger, animosity, quarreling, brawling, clamor, contention, slander, evil speaking, abusive or blasphemous language be banished from me, with all malice, spite, ill will or baseness of any kind. And I will become useful, helpful, kind to others, tenderhearted, compassionate, understanding and loving-hearted, forgiving others readily and freely, as God in Christ forgave me.” Ephesians 4:31-32 amplified - first person confession