The Gift of Forgiveness (Pt:2)
So as promised I am back to delve more in-depth on this powerful yet thought-provoking topic of forgiveness. I firmly believe the reason forgiveness is challenging because it stretches a vulnerable part of our entire being (heart). The current state of your heart plays a significant role in your ability or inability to extend or even seek forgiveness.
For some people I know you may be thinking Larisha I am not that grown yet. My response to you is how much longer do you want to keep replaying the offense or your mistakes in your head?
In my previous post, I shared that I had experienced a circumstance where I said I forgive you but I didn’t mean it. Granted back then I hadn’t fully realized the significance and the power of my tongue. Well if you have been following my journey you know that I am sexual abuse survivor as a result of this experience my entire perception of my self-esteem, worth, values and confidence were utterly distorted. During the earlier part of my healing journey (2012-2015), I became addicted to pornography, masturbation, and a frequent fornicator. I was not only degrading myself, but I was exposing myself to various sexually transmitted diseases!
I know foolish of me, but I thank God for GRACE and MERCY.
There were moments when I feared going to medical appointments so I would reschedule on many occasions. Self-condemnation was at an ultimate high at this point. Beloved, I was so low that even after receiving a clean bill of health report I still found myself succumbing to my fleshly desires. (I could go on and on about this but know that there was a shift that took place in 2015). One person saved me from myself (I was on the road to self-destruction). I don’t want to assume that you know who that person is but his name is Jesus.
I recall the day that I first said Larisha I forgive you it wasn’t your fault what happened to you at five years old. Yes, you made some mistakes in the past but its time to seek forgiveness. I was literally at the cusp of my breakthrough, or so I thought. Here’s how I know that I had not truly forgiven myself - I allowed worldly vices to fill the wounds of my broken being. I said I had forgiven the person who had molested at this point but still had not fully forgiven myself for the mistakes I had made. I was seeking male attention and went on a quest to find companionship in whoever would pay attention to me. But all along God was waiting patiently for me seek companionship in Him.
If you are wondering if I have genuinely forgiven myself for my previous transgressions?
The answer is YES!
I was able to forgive myself with the Lord’s help. Isaiah 41:10 records “so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I went into purging season with the Lord. I was communicating more with God, praying, fasting, surrendering my will for His will, asking Him to renew my mind as it relates to the brokenness and shame I felt as a result of the sexual abuse as well as my self-destructive behavior. I also sought deliverance over my flesh and the breaking of soul-ties in Jesus’s name. Hallejuah!
I had to remove every single image, item, number, etc. that would entice or provoke me to resort back to lustful behaviors. (I mailed a guy their belongings back - I could no longer hold onto any memories). Lastly, I had to cast down every evil thing that the enemy tried to speak to mind during this season. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
My faith coupled with God’s promises ultimately led to me seeking and receiving forgiveness for myself and from the Lord. I am a product of 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Not only has the Lord healed my land but He is also healing the land of those connected to me. Glory to the name of our God!
Transparent moment - the Lord has shifted me in the middle of this forgiveness blog series. I wanted you to learn more about my forgiveness journey and ultimately what the Lord has done in my life. We are going to keep flowing. In the next blog post, I promise to share the practical life application tips regarding forgiveness.
One of the most important takeaways that I want to leave with you is that regardless of the mistakes that you made hold on to the promise that God still LOVES you. You were created in His image, and He sent a Savior who was willing and ultimately died for your sins. Granted there is a consequence for every action, however, do not delay reconciling yourself back to the Lord. Do not allow the transgressions to keep you separated from your Father!
Here’s how you can begin the reconciliation process - seek His face through prayer, repent of your sins (ask forgiveness (insert your sin/mistakes here). 1 John 1:9 states “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Maybe you have been reading this post, and the Lord is reminding you of the area(s) or circumstance that need your attention as it relates to forgiveness. Use this opportunity to seek Him in prayer and the midst ask Him to search your heart. Whatever comes up (emotions, thoughts or past offenses) speak to it in prayer before the Lord. If you know the area or circumstance and you are ready to release it in prayer here is your moment as well.
I promise you your quality of life and relationship with the Lord will be strengthened. He wants to heal your land, my friend!
Larisha Y. Warner