Saturday, June 21, 2008

Total Forgiveness

The lawsuit had been building for over a year before our first schedule court date and tensions were running high at our house. One Sunday afternoon, we were fighting terribly and I decided I was going to church without Roger. We were both very angry and stressed with all that had been going on. He is the positive one and I am the negative one...but even all this was wearing him down at times too.

On my way to church, I prayed that Pastor would be preaching on something that would really speak to my heart because I was so stressed, anxious and angry. We hadn't been there the previous two Sunday nights and I didn't realize that he was preaching on "Total Forgiveness". When I got to church, I was in a terrible mood and I really didn't want to be there either but I stayed anyway. I tried to listen to what he was saying but I was still very angry and heard only bits and pieces of his sermon.

When I saw on our sermon notes what he was preaching on...I wanted so bad to just get up and leave...I was not in any mood to be sitting in church, acting like everything was fine and I certainly didn't feel like singing! But, I didn't want to draw attention to myself either by getting up with my purse and Bible and walking out. So...I stayed. This decision was a turning point in my life.

What I did hear Pastor Rusty say was that anger sometimes stems from unforgiveness. It was also in his sermon notes. If I didn't hear another word Pastor Rusty said...I hear that. I couldn't get it out of him mind.

I thought about it all night Sunday night and all day Monday at work...I started praying and asking God....who do I harbor unforgiveness against? What has happened that could cause me to have unforgiveness in my heart, not be aware of it but yet I am allowing it to control me through my anger.

I called him on Monday afternoon and I asked him..."based on what you said last night...are you saying that my anger might be because I have unforgiveness?" He told me that is was a good place to start looking.

I met with Pastor Rusty the following day to begin a long process of discovering, digging, searching and dealing with all the emotions that one must go through to find the source or sources of their anger. I have learned that forgiveness is not an event but a process that you have to go through before complete healing can take place.

He gave me a copy of the book that he had read and preached a series of sermons on...he had me begin to read "Total Forgiveness" by R. T. Kendall. The hard part for me is....I don't like to read, never have and if I did...don't have the time to sit down and read. But because I wanted desperately to be healed both mentally and emotionally...I began reading this book. The book is written in such a way that I found it hard to put down. I didn't agree with some aspects that I read in the early chapters...some of them made me angry and defensive but I kept reading.

I was scheduled to meet with Pastor Rusty every week for counseling and self discovery. He held me accountable for my feelings, thoughts, emotions, my past experiences and my present. He had me journal my thoughts, feelings, situations at home that made me angry and my reactions and thoughts to the book I was reading. There would be so much to process because everything...thoughts, feelings and actions...both past and present was like a piece of a puzzle and they all had to come together to complete the big picture of my anger. I would journal every day...many pages at a time, email them to Pastor Rusty the day before our meeting in order for him to have time to read them, dissect them, get his questions ready for the next day. This worked beautifully for us because most of the time...I would have forgotten something that I might have remembered, felt and my the time we meet...the anger or emotions were not as intense as they were in the moment. He needed to see everything in the true light, the raw, ugly truth to help in this healing process.

In chapter 1...under section 8...It is the absence of bitterness: that I received the confirmation that we were on the right track in discovering the source of my anger. I will include segments that I highlighted in the book several years I was reading.

It says: Bitterness is an inward condition. It is an excessive desire for vengeance that comes from deep resentment. It heads the list of the things that grieve the Spirit of God. Bitterness will manifest itself in many ways - losing your temper, high blood pressure, irritability, sleeplessness, obsession with getting even, depression, isolation, a constant negative perspective and generally feeling unwell.

We must, therefore, begin to get rid of a bitter and unforgiving spirit; otherwise, the attempt to forgive will fail. It is true that doing the right things, even when you don't feel like it, can eventually lead to having the right feelings. I can testify to that being a very, very true is exactly what happened to me. I went through the motions and it finally changed my heart to it being what I truly felt. More about that later.

The absence of bitterness allows the Holy Spirit to be Himself in us. When the Spirit is grieved, I am left to myself, and I will struggle with emotions ranging from anger to fear. Relinquishing bitterness is an open invitation for the Holy Spirit to give you His peace, His joy and the knowledge of His will.

Because this was a long process, along with Pastor Rusty's help and this book...I want to take my time sharing the events of this wonderful process that brought about a much needed healing in my mental state, my emotions and in my spirit...that I didn't know how much I really needed it until we dug so deep into every corner of my being. My intent is to post more than one per week...if all goes as I plan but...hey...I never know from one day to the next what is going on around here in our lives. Stay tuned...I won't be sorry. Please sign up for updates by right you don't miss an entry. Have a blessed week.

Next Entry: Total Forgiveness: Part II

1 comment:

  1. "Total Forgiveness" is a very good book. It is just ONE of the books on my shelf about forgiveness. Looks like we have the same thing on our heart to blog about (forgiveness). I have found that unforgiveness can be the root of many things we deal with. Thanks for sharing from your heart! -Blessings, Laurie


Thank you for stopping by today and sharing your heart felt thoughts with me. As we ride "Through the Storms of Life" together, chances are...your situation is different than mine. However, we serve the same awesome God, King of Kings who is in complete control and it all belongs to Him anyway...He wants to give you the very best. Be encouraged my friend, God loves you!

Thank you again for taking the time to visit me at "Through the Storms of Life".


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