Forgiveness is one of the most important aspects in the Christian life. In many ways it is what makes Christians stand out from the crowd. We all know that as Christians, we have to forgive, yet it is sometimes one of the hardest things that we ever do; especially if we have been really wronged and sinned against by someone. But Matthew 18 makes it perfectly clear. If we don’t forgive, then we are the ones who are in prison. When we forgive, we release the person we forgive to God to deal with as He sees fit. We are no longer judge, jury and executioner. We are then set free to move on and press into all God has for us. Still, it is so hard for people to see this. I know that when I do a sozo, one of the main things we deal with is forgiveness. Most of the time it is about forgiving parents or spouses or even children. Some times it is about forgiving yourself.
In many ways it is harder to forgive yourself than anyone else. The main reason is that you don’t even realize that you need to forgive yourself. Things just get so caught up that time goes by and you just live with whatever it was and just deal with all the pain it brings. It’s hard to realize that your forgiving yourself can actually set you free. How does it set you free? I mean are you holding yourself captive. I really don’t think so. I think the “what if’s” are holding you captive. When you forgive yourself, you have to release the “what if’s.” But releasing the “what if’s” is hard because they keep trying to come back. I know this from experience.
I’ve really done pretty good. God has given me much grace to walk through all the grief and pain of losing Julia and I guess I’m doing good because I couldn’t have written about this a few months ago. I have had to deal with the “what if’s” on many levels. I think I have dealt with them, but sometimes they try to raise their ugly head. Here are a few of them: What if I had made Julia go to another doctor? What if I had taken her to the ER earlier? Why didn’t I see she was so sick? Why wasn’t I more loving the night I drove to the ER? Instead I was more worried about getting there in the snow than I was about her sickness. Why didn’t I see how sick she was? All these questions are some that I have had to deal with on a personal level, over and over in my mind. Now if I allowed them to take over, I would still be a basket case.
No, I had to forgive myself for missing all the signs. I had to forgive myself for not knowing and realizing how sick she was. I had to forgive myself for being upset that she waited so late to think she needed to go to the hospital. I had to forgive myself for all these things. I know that I am only human, and I didn’t see, so I forgive myself for that too. But forgiving yourself is not enough. I had to ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lies that I believed, and to show me the truth. I had to renounce the lie that it was my fault that she died. That was a big one. I had to embrace the truth that neither of us knew what was going on until it was too late. I had to renounce the lie that I didn’t love her enough, and embrace the truth that I loved her more than I could ever imagine. As I was able to do this, I was able to forgive myself, to allow myself to be free to grieve and not feel guilt or condemnation. You see bot of these are from the enemy and that is one way to know that you are believing a lie. God’s grace will never condemn. It will only convict.
Anyway, that was one of the struggles that I was going through in the early days of my grief. I have tried to be very open, but that one was just too hard to deal with until now. So, don’t be afraid to forgive yourself. More than likely, it is not as bad as you think. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal lies. Renounce them and then embrace the truth He shows you. The weight will lift off, and a lot of the pain will pass. So, as I write about this I become even freer. I think that this is probably the only area that I didn’t write about as it happened. But now I have, and it is as if the sun (or Son) is shining o a field that has been dark. I am being healed. I think it is coming quicker than I thought. I still miss Julia so much, and think of her many times during the day, but healing is here, and it feels good. That bubble of Grace that protects me is still in place. I am thankful for all the prayers and support that has helped me get this far.