And then I come to step 4 and lo and behold it is on forgiveness. God seems to put that theme in front of my face often.
I remember the first time about a year and a half ago when I was confronted so deeply by God during a concert where Chris August performed his song 7x70....I had never heard that song before that moment and it came during a time in the show where I decided to reload my camera because photography is such a passion and I didn't want to miss the next big act to come on stage...Little did I know that Chris' song would become for me, one of the most important parts of that night. As I heard him begin the song, I was stopped in my tracks and began to listen. He was singing of my life and when he hit the chorus, WoW is all I can say.
I had gone to that show with a heavy heart but ready to try and forget my troubles and worship the Lord. But Chris' song was like God reaching down and whispering right to my soul, telling me exactly what He wanted me to do. I will never forget that moment and it inspired me to write a letter of forgiveness to my husband. It brought me back to the Lord so closely and I was eager to share that with Bill and my family.
Then, life got twisted again. Man, in our home it just never seems to slow down. And joy and peace soon was eroded and unforgiveness over new hurts started to creep back in...it is surely poison to the soul!
Before I actually delved into the class tonight, I had actually re-read most of the old mail that I have emailed my husband for the last several years. And when I came to that letter of forgiveness, I was reminded of the peace I had when I wrote it. It said in part then that:
I am praying for you Bill. Praying that you will feel God's love for you through me. He hasn't abandoned you. He is just waiting on you to ask Him to help, to make you feel again, to breathe life into your empty soul. He is waiting and wants you to have joy and purpose and peace. How can you have peace apart from Him? It is not possible. I am praying that you see Him in me, I am praying that you know and believe and feel that I forgive you completely for all of the years of pain between us. I forgive you for the present pain and the future pain to come as well. I love you Bill. I didn't realize that I really, literally LOVED you until my Heavenly Father showed me His love for you. He really has filled me with such a love for you. I have never know this before. I just weep at the loss of time and distance between us. I weep over your hurt and broken heart. I weep over the resignation that you feel when you said that you just feel nothing, you are dead inside. Oh, how painful my actions have been. I so badly want you to see that Jesus can touch you and with that one touch, bring healing and life back into your soul.
And it inspired me tonight to re-email a prayer that I had prayed for him and sent him shortly after that letter of forgiveness I had sent him.
God keeps bringing me to this subject of forgiveness in my life and I will do my best to be obedient to Him and forgive, no matter how hard it may be. '
I said earlier in a post I made today that I was pledging to pray for my husband because I had prayed for him in the past but had taken away the blessing of praying for him for a long while now. And I know that you cannot remain in unforgiveness for someone when you are actively and regularly praying for them. So through that, I will seek to forgive my husband.
And I ask Father, that you forgive me for my unforgiveness of not only my husband but others in my life that I have held things against.
There are many people who have hurt me or my family or literally sinned against us that I need to learn how to forgive. And the biggest thing that comes to mind is my brother, who molested one of my children. I do not even begin to know how to forgive that so I will seek the Lord on this all. There is my mom and my deceased step father who abused me regularly when I was growing up, and I am sure others I can't think of off hand right now. But when the Lord brings them to mind, I will pray that He show me how to forgive any and all. And this I will do ONLY because He, my God has forgiven me of all of my ugly sins and He commands that I do the same for others.
The most pressing thing for me in this matter is my husband though....He is the one that is an every day stumbling block to me and I suppose in that vain the one I need to forgive the most. He along with myself. (I will worry about my brother as God leads me to). So I begin by praying for him. Right now Father, I ask that you help me to pray for and forgive Bill for all of the hurt and pain between us. Shower him with your mercy and grace Father and minister to him for I know he must be hurting like I am. Forgive us both for our hard hearts Lord and soften both our hearts to hear Your calling on our lives that we may repent and follow You once again. Keep him safe and heal him Lord from his afflictions as you are healing me in mine. Lord, help me to be ever mindful of how I speak to him and of him so that I may not become a stumbling block to him or to myself. Grant me the grace to be merciful in thought and deed to him and my whole family and to show them that I forgive them Lord. Thank you Jesus for Your precious life and sacrifice of it for the sake of our salvation. I praise You Lord and give You and You alone all the glory for You and You alone are my King and all I seek is Your will be done in my life forever. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.