Lately I have been thinking about families and how so many relationships within each family unit are hurting. Although it is included, I am not just singling out couples such as husbands and wives I am also referring to our relationships with our mothers, fathers, in-laws, our brothers and sisters and in some cases even our own children. I recently shared with a friend how God helped me to forgive my own parents. Because I was tired of carrying my own personal baggage overflowing with hurt emotions the Lord was able to help me finally rid myself of the pain through the amazing power of “mercy” and “forgiveness.” I know that those two words seem almost impossible to consider, but I guarantee that if you continue reading, the Lord will help you to enter a new phase in your life free from your own baggage and replace it with real happiness, joy and peace.
Because it seemed so difficult to conceive the idea of forgiveness I asked the Lord to show me how. One of the main scriptures that he used to help me understand why people do what they do was the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. Imagine for a moment Jesus, hanging on the cross inflicted with such immense pain brought on by beatings and nails driven into his hands. Not to mention those closest to him who chose to run and hide from and even deny him and how through it all Jesus was able to pray this prayer, while hanging on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I know, our first immediate response is “of course they know what they’re doing, how dare they” but surprisingly enough he helped me to see that they really did not know how much pain they were inflicting. In my case, once I realized and accepted this amazing truth, He was able to help bring me to a place where I no longer suffered pain by the words and actions of others. Later through study and research I have found that “Hurt people hurt others.”
Before my mother died, she was trying to deal with her own pain: The devastation of my father leaving. (read my post “Girl Meets God”) I remember one day because she was hurting so much inside that she tried to get me to hurt my father during a phone conversation. I was between the ages of 10 and 11 years old. I remember she handed me the phone and tried to force me to say “I don’t love you anymore” to my father. I remember crying, I could not do it. As I look back I see and understand now that my mother was suffering. She was living in her own torment of pain, brought on by anger, bitterness and unforgiveness toward my father.
Every family is different. We may all have different issues that we are dealing with but one thing we all have in common is we all have been given the opportunity to be free from the pain caused by others.
Another truth that the Lord was able to show me as a young Christian is found in Mark chapter 11:25, “And when you stand praying forgive, for if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you your sins.” This scripture helped me to see that I needed the Lords mercy for things I had done in my past and for the last 30+ years as a follower of Jesus, this truth has helped to keep me in check when it comes to loving and forgiving others. God is a gentleman. He will NEVER force his will on us. He has given us the freedom to choose. One scripture says, “I have set before you LIFE and DEATH: CHOOSE LIFE”.
This kind of Love toward others has helped me to be free! Free from the hurt and pain brought on my others, all because of two very powerful words put into motion: Forgiveness and Mercy. This freedom is only available to the one who is willing to forgive and let go. Our key to becoming free is Love: Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you.”
ATTENTION: If you or someone you know is in real physical danger contact the Violence Hotline: 1-800-799- SAFE (7233) for help. You can also contact your local police department and authorities to help get you and your children to safety. Note: Although my story is not about physical abuse, there are many families who are facing dangerous situations and so I felt it was important to share this information to help individuals and families that are in need of such services.