31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 5 {Forgiveness}

Day 5Hello and welcome to Day 5 of our journey! Over the past few days I have realized a few things about myself, and my hope is that you have too. This soul searching has a positive purpose, I promise you! Even though it may be surfacing some pain.

All this digging around in my head, my heart, and in my soul is shaking me up a bit to be honest. It is bringing up some things that I have worked hard to ignore for many years.

{Forgiveness} is the challenging place that my thoughts are taking me today. 

“Father, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

~ from The Lord’s Prayer

When I think of the big stumbling blocks I come across in my life, I see a pattern. Sometimes I am stumbling over things that hurt me a very long time ago. And sometimes I am stumbling over them again and again and again. Does that ever happen to you?

So why is it that those things keep coming up and continue causing pain or anger or frustration? 

I  believe that it is because I have not been able to fully forgive those who have “trespassed against” me.

Reality check –> Some things are so upsetting and so painful and so terrible that they really do not deserve forgiveness.

That concept seems to be quite a hurdle for me. And if you saw me in Junior High P.E. class, you would know that my hurdling skills are sub-par at best.  I can just never seem to clear the bar! Oh, I try. Over and over again I will jump over that hurdle, and over and over again I am left banged up and bruised.

A few things I have come to learn about forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness is not dependant on the person you are forgiving, it is dependant on you.
  • Forgiveness is much more of a gift for the giver than for the receiver.
  • Forgiveness does not need to be “deserved” to be graciously and mercifully given.

This concept of forgiveness that I struggle so deeply with reminds me that I definitely do not have all the answers. In fact this topic just seems to drudge up more questions for me. I turn to prayer. I turn to the Bible. I turn to those who are wiser than I am.

This morning I am reading an article by Joyce Meyers called The Poison of Unforgiveness to help me through this 10 foot hurdle of mine. Deciding, depending, and obeying. I want to be free of the grudges. And I need that freedom to successfully move forward in my life.

Because I have struggled with this challenge for so long, I am going to take my healing a step farther and would love for you to join me. If you are carrying resentment that you just can’t seem to get past [like I am], this may be helpful to you as well. 

Since my healing seems to be hinged on surfacing things in a real and tangible way, I am going to write a statement of forgiveness to each of the people who have trespassed in such a way that I have been unable to forgive them, until now. I won’t give it to them – it is for my healing. Long, short, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it says “I forgive you for…” whatever it is that has held me hostage for so long. No strings attached. No conditions. Forgiven.

I certainly am not going to be a track star anytime soon, but I am making progress. And as I finally clear this hurdle and hobble my bruised and battered body toward the finish line, I remember to extend that same gracious and merciful forgiveness to myself

Is forgiveness something that you struggle with in your life?

Who has trespassed against you that you have yet to forgive?

How will you begin to approach forgiveness differently?

Are you able to find forgiveness in your heart for yourself as well?

My hope in the coming days is that we will be able create that peace of mind that we all desire. We will explore more positive ways to change our mindsets and focus on continued progress through these common challenges.

If you have a specific challenge that we have not yet addressed, I would love to hear it. If you are struggling with it, odds are that I am too. Please share in the comments below…

 

*This is the 5th post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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2 thoughts on “31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 5 {Forgiveness}

  1. Anne October 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm Reply

    I wrote about this, too. Such an important topic and really not talked about much. I love the forgiveness statement idea. I’ve done that with my mother. Oh, I had a whole notebook page full of them. So hard to give up my resentments but I’m now free, thank God in heaven!

    • trisbendickson October 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm Reply

      It is a bit of a struggle for me still, so thank you for sharing the notebook idea Anne. I would love to read what you wrote about forgiveness… Would you share the link?

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