Reward #2 – Find Freedom in Forgiveness
In my mid-thirties, I learned from my sister that my mother tried to terminate her pregnancy with me. This new information devastated me. I needed to talk to my mom to find out why she went to this extreme. However, I couldn’t discuss it with her because she had died of cancer after my twenty-first birthday. I was left with the burden of sorting it out on my own. I didn’t want this news to set me back emotionally when Jesus had brought me so far in the healing journey. Fortunately, I could trade Him the heavy weight of my burden for a lighter load. The emotional healing He had already given afforded me the necessary foundation for processing this upsetting information more quickly and easily, to the degree that is feasible in Christ alone. I couldn’t dwell on this new discovery. I needed to get rid of it as soon as possible.
After experiencing God’s restoration of my broken heart, it was time for me to extend forgiveness to the one who hurt me—my mother. My mom was a wonderful woman, so I know deep down she would not have tried to get rid of me in the womb if Satan had not tricked her into feeling helpless and hopeless. I imagine the news she had become pregnant at forty while using birth control shocked and disappointed her. She found herself in a situation she did not want to be in and despaired. She herself may have been depressed. The enemy deceived my mom with lies; she believed ideas that did not hold true. She did not consider that God had planned her pregnancy. She didn’t know her part in the bigger picture.
I feel blessed God chose her to be my mom. I know eventually she did love me very much. I do not tell my story to dishonor her in any way. I tell it because it’s God’s story of His healing and transformation in my life. His plan and purpose for creating me was to use me to bring glory to Him by sharing His message of redeeming grace and His passion for spiritual intimacy with His children. If God had not allowed me to experience the depths of this story, I would never have needed Him or made the time to listen to His voice. In hindsight, I am now thankful God permitted me to endure these trials to help me grow up spiritually. I’m forever changed by God. He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise.
Still, I felt a need to address my mom about her actions when she carried me in her womb. I needed release from the emotions surrounding my knowledge of her attempts to miscarry or terminate the pregnancy. Since I couldn’t speak with her in person, I decided to write a letter to express my heart to her. It allowed me to release my feelings and empowered me to let go of my anger, blame, and disappointment. I could forgive her even though she had already passed away. Once more I was set free from things I tightly held. Forgiving is not necessarily a feeling; sometimes it’s a choice.
An unforgiving heart is a roadblock to God’s construction work in you. With the strength and power of the Holy Spirit inside you, find it in your heart to forgive the ones who have hurt you. If you are holding on to some emotion—anger, guilt, shame, or an unforgiving spirit—regarding someone who is alive or deceased, I recommend you write a letter to him or her. You don’t need to mail the letter. It’s a step in the right direction for your own therapeutic healing. Then let it go and let God do a redeeming work in your life. No longer do I carry the burden of an unforgiving spirit. I have been released from my yoke of bondage. You, too, will find freedom in forgiving. Forgive others as God in Christ has also forgiven you. Freedom feels fantastic! When the roadblock comes down, your ears will be open to encouraging words directly from the mouth of God.