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Life hurts! It’s just THAT plain, and THAT simple. People are flawed, selfish, and they hurt you. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. You can’t live life without experience some level of hurt and pain, but what do you do with that? When you have every right to be angry, then what?

big girl pantiesI use to use the phrase, just out your big girl panties on and deal with it! Awesome phrase, yet completely unhelpful! Just saying. There was a time in my life that I was broken and very hurt by sexual abuse that had happened to me as a small child. It plagued me with frustration, anger, fear, and warped view of sexuality. I did not really start to feel the effects of this until I was a teenager. I didn’t know how to handle it or what to even do so I just did whatever I could to make myself “feel better”. By the time I was in my 20’s I was VERY angry! VERY! My perpetrator was living fun and free, enjoying his life. I felt he owed me something for what he had taken from me…even if that was as simple as an apology. I mean how hard is it to say, Im sorry?

forgive-them-2I had EVERY right to be angry! I had every right to demand an apology! I had every right to confront, expose, and make him pay. I did. However, it , would not have soothed the anger and hurt inside. He was not thinking twice about what happened to me, yet I was living my life solely around him and his actions. I then learned that true freedom from the things that bind you is a choice. I had to choose to forgive him. The forgiveness was for me, not him. It was to set me free, not him. I don’t think he even realizes the effects of what he did or that it caused me any issues. So I needed freedom, for me, not him. You see, my mind, my emotions, my heart was bound by the destruction of that incident. It kept me from healing and moving forward into a the fullness of life. Therefore, I had to CHOOSE to forgive. It was not earned. Forgiveness can never be earned, it must given.

forgiveness1How did that happen? Well, IT WAS a choice, however, I did have to have help from the Father. One day while I was kinda throwing a temper tantrum and telling God how unfair it was, I heard a small voice..or a thought cross my mind…either way it was the Holy Spirit. I heard it say, Well, I know what YOU went through, but what do you think HE went through to make him do that? People (kids in my case) don’t just up and one day decide to do that? What do you think could have happened to HIM. Well, then I really thought about it. The Holy Spirit has a way of bringing us through a process to get us to a place to where we CAN forgive, if we just ask him to. 

WIth the help of the Holy Spirit, I was not only able to forgive, but I also then had compassion for him, knowing that he must have experienced something somewhat close, if not far more traumatizing then me. Children in spring fieldMy heart only hopes now that he has been able to forgive. I know that I need much forgiveness, so I am must give much. I may not have done the same things, but I have done MANY things that require forgiveness.

I hope today you can look at those deep wounds that you have hidden in the dark, and expose them to the light of forgiveness. Not for anyone else, other than yourself.