The purpose of forgiving people is not to let them get away with what they have done or to live as if their actions didn’t harm you. The purpose is to let yourself stop being angry, bitter and having to fight off resentment in every area of your life. This applies to forgiving ourselves as well.
In 1987, I had my first abortion. The consequences of that sin began a journey of me digging a massive pit that I threw myself into. My womb was empty at my hand and I thirsted for the child I had just killed. The realization of that set in immediately. So did unforgiveness. Self-loathing began, while self-destructive mode set in.
I was doing anything and everything to numb myself from the pain of what I had done. This included drugs, alcohol, partying, and men. At this point I was uninterested in the rest of my life. I was going through the motions. If it wouldn’t have been for my son, I believe I would have ceased to exist. My choices led me to two more abortions, 5 husbands and reckless living. My life was in shambles. Most of the relationships I chose were physically, sexually or verbally abusive.
Depending on your depth of unforgiveness and how long you’ve been carrying it around, it will certainly destroy your life. Unforgiveness is a killer to your soul and your health! I became callous, unsympathetic, and heartless. One of the men, whose child I aborted, told me I was the most coldhearted (I’ll be nice here) person he had ever met.
The weight of unforgiveness is grueling; it will paralyze you. I couldn’t live with the fact that I had killed my own children. Thus, my pit that I was living in.
24 years after my first abortion, I finally forgave myself (it was harder than natural childbirth). It was laborious to say the least. Grueling even. To offer myself forgiveness, seemed unattainable. By the grace of God, I did. Freedom came. To some extent…
“Bearing a grudge can hold you back and even damage your health.” Dr. Ken Hart. “It is a major reason why people don’t heal.” Bowie, MD
I was so full of bitterness, unforgiveness and hate towards the abusers, that my body hurt constantly. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2014. The causes of Fibromyalgia include emotional trauma, viral infections, and physical injuries. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
In the spring of 2018, I went to my Deeper Still Retreat. Its name rings true, I did go deeper still. I went through the process of “Debt Paid in Full” where we were to forgive others, ourselves, judgments that we held against ourselves, and how we punish ourselves. I fought painfully hard to forgive the abusers. The stress of that process caused me to have a migraine that day. The amazing thing that took place through that act of obedience, is God healed me instantly of Fibromyalgia (which was caused by emotional and physical trauma). I was set free.
“Forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you MUST do.” Colossians 3: 13b
God delights in our obedience, especially when you obey Him in challenging times. You are positioning yourself for His blessings of peace and healing. That day my Savior gave me both. I have a joy that burns inside of me for what He has done for me.
He can do the same for you as well. Forgive, let it go. There you will find freedom… And forgiveness…
Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness. Where would we be without it? Help us Holy Spirit to choose forgiveness. We lay this request at your feet. You receive all the glory. In Jesus name.
Today’s post was written by Randi Stanton, who is a contributor for the Deeper Still Devotional Blog. Randi lives in Maumelle, Arkansas, and is married to Tom. She has two children, three stepchildren, and two gorgeous grandchildren. She also enjoys hiking in the mountains, playing with her dogs, reading and studying God’s Word. Randi serves on the Arkansas Deeper Still team.
Deeper Still is a ministry that offers free weekend retreats for women who have had abortions and the men who fathered children lost to abortion. If you have had an abortion and would like more information about our retreats, please go to www.GoDeeperStill.org to find a retreat close to you.