Posted by: alliehope | February 22, 2009

On Forgiveness

Ahh…Good to be back online and in full blogging mode again!

So much has happened between now and the last time I wrote, and two things stick out: the dawning of a new relationship, and a promotion at work. God is doing a new thing in my life, and I have no idea where either thing is going.

However, in order to fully embrace whatever He’s up to, I’m finding that I need to still deal with some old stuff, namely the emotional and sexual abuses my father perpetrated on me when I was a child. I thought I had, but I’m finding more and more that just like restoring a piece of art to its original beauty, the more dirt comes off, the more still needs to come off.

It’s a hard thing to deal with, this whole idea of a shattered childhood, of innocence stolen. Of course, I’m going to be angry. Of course I’m going to cry out and rail against God, wondering where He was when I was repeatedly told that I would be “trouble” for men, that I was a “dangerous little girl”. Of course I’m going to want an accounting from Him of His seeming inactivity when I was repeatedly exposed to unspeakable pornography–things that adults shouldn’t see, to say nothing of a child!

But ultimately, I’m going to wonder, if this is what a father can do to his child, what about THE FATHER? What was God thinking, what was in His heart as all this happened to me?

This is where the book The Shack has been so helpful to me. It’s helped me to realize that even though God didn’t necessarily ordain what happened to me, He is redeeming it, making something beautiful out of it. He is able to transform, I am seeing, even the ugliest things into things of unimaginable beauty, and where I see only chaos, He sees a perfect pattern, growing according to His divine wisdom. (I won’t give away the scenes in the book that brought this home to me. But there are many).

I’m finding more and more that in order to really go forward, I have to go back, and forgive the man who did these things to me, and let go of my anger toward God for allowing them to happen. This has not been an easy process. However, I know now that it is one that breathes new life into my soul, and that new life is now starting to be seen in my new adventures.

I don’t know where the road will lead. But God has called me to take forgiveness as my companion for the journey; without it, I am likely to take bitterness along with me, which can only keep me from seeing the beauty of what God is doing. I can only hope that as I continue on in this work, God will lead me into new ways to use my story to bless others who have traveled some of the same territory I’ve walked.

I write this entry with about 3 days until Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the Christian Lent season. It is traditionally the time of examination, of repentance, of recommitment. But this year, as I go through those things, I want to go through them with an eye toward forgiveness: forgiving those who have hurt me, seeking the forgiveness of those I have hurt, and forgiving myself for the sins I have committed. I am convinced, as Lent 2009 draws ever nearer, that without the hope of forgiveness, our souls shrivel up and die. But with it, they thrive and grow, bringing beauty to this sin-ravaged world.

And so I pray:

Heavenly Father, Source of all forgiveness and mercy, how we praise You for the wonderful gift of the ability to release the past and let go of the hurts that have been done to us, and the hurts that we have inflicted on others. It’s so amazing that You have give us this ability–an ability deeply rooted in Your heart, which is ever directed to Your children’s good. Grant us, Father, as we journey into forgiveness, that through it, we would gain an even deeper glimpse into Your heart, which beats with mercy and love. As we gain this vision, help us to incarnate the love we receive in the work of forgiveness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. +

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Responses

  1. That is a beautiful prayer.


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