Last week we talked about the initial hurt in Roots or Fruit part 1. Let's talk about what to do with it!
Living rooted bitterness and with lack of forgiveness is a prison created by ourselves with the tools provided by someone else. When something has been done to us, we stand at a crossroads of choice. A couple of years ago I found myself at this crossroads. If I close my eyes and imagine this crossroads I see it out in the middle of nowhere, no one or nothing around. The weather would be storming with high winds, downpour of rain to the point visibility was impossible. That is how my heart felt. All my emotions swirling and twirling like a tornado, the weight of the wrong done to me bearing down on me like heavy raindrops from the sky.
I never saw it coming, I had no idea I would be in that moment at that time and so alone. I admit that my forgiveness through words came rather quickly, however my actions took a little longer. Have you ever been about to do something like bungee jump and said you were going to do it, but it took counting to three well over 100 times before you actually followed through? That was me.
I remember like it was yesterday being out in my garden pulling weeds and sobbing. My dad had come to lend his green thumb and his wise biblical words. I was complaining and mumbling under my breath the metaphor of my garden. "All this hard work of preparing the ground, planting the seed and the commitment of taking care of it and then WHAM over night the weeds took over and it is to impossible to even gain back control," were my angry bitter words. My dad, in his gentle daddy way, took me by the arm and asked where my heart was. It was then I realized that my heart was not in forgiveness but rooted like those weeds in bitterness. I was speaking forgiveness to the one who wronged me, but my heart was not acting it.
Through a lot of prayer and reading a book entitled When You Have Been Wronged;Moving from bitterness to Biblical forgiveness by Erwin Lutzer I found the steps to forgiveness.
First I had to choose to live in the future not in the past. I could not root my hurt and expect to be able to move forward. The roots would always hold me down. I had to choose to set free the one who had hurt me. What I had to realize is that holding on to the hurt was not punishing the one who hurt me. I had to remember that through the hurt and the wrong done to me God was and is and will be present! Romans 8:28 it reminds us that God will work in all things for the good if we love him. In this process then I learned I had to respond to the injustice with a blessing, meaning I had to bless the one who wronged me by forgiving.
Then finally I had to refuse to retaliate. God is in control and He will discipline those who do the wrong, it is His job not mine. My favorite saying during my storm was "LET GO and LET GOD". Can you "Let Go and Let God" ? There is freedom in forgiveness!
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