Confessions of Forgivenness...

Do you remember this face? 

In November, I posted about an incident that happened to me in the Costco parking lot the year prior.  You can read more about it in this post?  I chose to post this picture because it depicted a similarity to the face of the man that I had encountered the year prior. Posting about the incident reminded me of the power the Holy Spirit has when we allow him to have control in our lives.

After that post, I heard the radio station we listen to play the account again on a segment they call: The Good News Story of the Day.  I remember thinking, "Wow, what a coincidence, I just blogged about this."  It immediately brought tears to my eyes again as I listened to the incredible work the Holy Spirit had done.  But, it doesn't end there!  One week later, a friend called me on Thanksgiving morning and left a message saying, "They are playing your story!" Again? Really?  So unbelievable! Now, mind you, I'm not that slow - I knew God was trying to convey a message to me by this point, I just couldn't receive what He was saying.

In another area of our lives during that time, we had storms brewing on our doorstep...

One November, Monday morning, {while I was hosting a friend and her 3 children at my house} there was a knock at my door.  When I opened it, I was met with the county Sheriff.  Without sharing too many details, I was informed that some of my children needed to be interviewed by her and Child Protective Services!  After which she would interview me and anyone in the house who could talk. 

I was questioned about how I discipline {yes, we spank}, why all of the children were home {we home school}, how I get "me time" {I'm an acorn - remember}, does my husband support me, etc., etc.!  Basically all of the issues that I have heard of other "radical Christians" being persecuted for were being asked about.

The long and short of this part of the story, is that the accusation that was brought against our family was considered "unfounded" - case closed! Phew!

But, I knew who had done the reporting!  You can imagine that my first feelings towards this person were less than gracious!  I was so angry!  Our world had been turned upside down!

Immediately, God started talking to me about forgiveness...and I wanted to fact, I told God I would forgive out of obedience, but my heart kept picking up the hurt.

Now, let me say, forgiveness is one of my weakest areas in my Christian walk!  It is one of those areas that I want refinement in - only I never asked for a situation like this to get me there!  I have deep wounds from my childhood (lots of us do), and I have struggled with setting healthy boundaries, so forgiveness has not been an area that I have walked in easily!

As days past, I found my self constantly replaying my anger toward this person.  I replayed every situation I was ever in with them. I replayed every question CPS asked. I replayed every news reel of a Christian family who's children were taken away because "the state" wanted to make an example out of them.

Forgiveness?  Basically I kept telling God, "I want to forgive this person, but I just can't get past 'this part' or 'that part'."

Then, one day during some quiet time I was having with the Lord, {yes, I believe it was during my shower - basically the only true quiet time I can sneak around here}He reminded me of the face of the man I had given money to at Costco.  I remember praying, "God, why do you keep bringing this face back to me? I am still praying for them, but are you preparing me for something?  Are you trying to show me something?"

At that very moment, I felt Him "speak" to me and say, "You were quick to forgive him, but you will not forgive this other person?"

I was broken!  Broken for every unforgiving thought I had ever had toward anyone!  I had been quick to not only forgive, but give money to and share the gospel to someone who had stolen from me right in broad daylight, but wanted to keep wallowing in my hurt feelings toward someone who had simply made a poor judgement call! 

Years ago I had listened to the father of one of the Columbine victims speak of the forgiveness he extended towards his daughter's murderer.  I remember thinking, "that is exactly how I would want to be."  Yet, when faced with a trial that affected my children (not even taking their life), I had no forgiveness in me!

That day I was set free!  Honestly - I even stood a bit taller as I felt a heavy burden lifted from my shoulders! And as I walked in my new freedom, I was able to forgive things from my past that I didn't even know I had been holding onto!

Forgiveness is one of those topics that many people say, "but what about...?"  Honestly, I can't speak to every one's situation.  I only know what God's word says: FORGIVE! It is commanded really! (There are so many verses on this one!)  I'm also not suggesting that you forgive and not have healthy boundaries...if this is an area of struggle for you - like it was for me - continue to implore the Lord regarding it! 

The refinement is worth the freedom!

Be Refreshed!