As a writer I rarely get writer’s block. When I sit to begin writing, whether it be journaling or otherwise, the words pour out of my head at an alarmingly quick rate. It’s been that way since high school and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. However, 5 years ago, when I began writing my first book, My Story: A Rollercoaster Ride to Healing, I got stuck at chapter 2. I was like, “Ok, this is weird. Let me keep at it and something will change.” Well, it didn’t change. I prayed and asked God why I was stuck and He redirected me back to the title of the chapter…The Importance of Forgiveness as Part of the Process. My next question was then, “What does that have to do with me?” Because you know I’m all good in the forgiveness department…right? Wrong? God showed me two people I needed to forgive first.
This is the gist of the conversation God and I had when He revealed that to me. Me: “So, before I can continue writing, I have to forgive those two people?” Him: “Yes.” Me: “And if I don’t forgive them I can’t finish my book? The book YOU planted the seeds for?” Him: “Yes.” Me: “So, how exactly how do I go about this so I can get back to writing?” Him: “Forgive them and allow Me to help you work through it. I won’t leave you during this process.” Me: “Ok. Let’s get the show on the road because I need to get back to writing.” I can only imagine God laughing at my ignorance about what was about to happen as I worked through forgiving my mother and ex-husband. He placed in my possession a book, The Emotionally Abused Woman, by Beverly Engle. OH—EM—GEE!! Had I known what I’d signed up for, I probably would have dragged my feet. However, my book couldn’t suffer because of my stubbornness. I didn’t anticipate being peeled raw at the core and shown the importance of forgiveness and why it was more for me than my mom and ex-husband.
The forgiveness process took 30 days to work through and hurt as much as the really scraped up knee that’s oozing puss. Even though it’s been cleaned off, it keeps re-opening and the sore cracks and more puss oozes out OR ripping a Band-Aid off when it’s adhered to a piece of skin that has hair on it. After I stubbornly yielded myself to God and the Holy Spirit, the process of forgiveness was worth the pain endured. I knew I’d done my part when on the 30th day I was instructed to sit and write and the words flowed out of my head as they always had. I’ve never had writer’s block again.
What I learned during those 30 days is: unforgiveness keeps you stuck in a dark place. Choosing to hold onto all of that negative garbage does nothing but rot your mind, heart and soul. Think about going on vacation and you forgot to put the trash out before leaving. A week later, you come home to a nasty stench coming from your trash can. That’s what choosing not to forgive does to you, it stunts your spiritual growth. Forgiveness isn’t just about forgiving others, it is contingent to our spiritual growth as believers. If we call ourselves Christians, who are called to love others as ourselves, how then can you love one person, but harbor unforgiveness about the wrongs another has done to you? It isn’t possible. Matthew 6:14-15 instructs us to forgive others because we are sinners. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” I don’t know about you, but my life ceases to be without God’s grace and mercy; therefore, I can’t allow anything to come between God and me.
Also, it’s important to note that forgiveness isn’t a onetime deal. Expect to forgive others more than once for their human frailty. Peter asked Jesus how often he had to forgive people who were doing him wrong, “Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22).” Forgiveness is a constant in our daily life and eventually becomes automatic because we are operating from a place of love and understanding. After all, we are called to love others as we love ourselves. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 tells us what love is and what it is not. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
Love is what God showed us when He allowed His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as an atonement for our sins. Hence, it stands, then, that we should exercise love to those who hurt us in any way. 1 Peter 4:8 informs us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” If God made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, how can we hold that grudge or those ill feelings towards someone who has wronged us? As a believer we know better. There is more power to be gained in forgiving others vs holding on to the negative thoughts and emotions that accompany unforgiveness. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or energy to commit to holding on to any negative thing. I hope today you choose to forgive any person you’ve been avoiding because of them doing you wrong. Your heart and soul really need you to release anything that is not of God.
There is more power to be gained in forgiving others vs holding on to the negative thoughts and emotions that accompany unforgiveness. @Grace_and_Such