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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Life Lesson # 28 ~ FORGIVENESS BRINGS FREEDOM!




This morning as I was reading in my Bible I was struck by the power of one word…disgrace. It always amazes me how God speaks to us through His Word. I was reading in Isaiah, 25:8 to be exact. I tend to read from the Good News version because it's more of today’s English and I honestly can understand it so much better than many other translations. It says this: "The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The Lord himself has spoken.”  I was left knocked off my feet, why, because it sank in in those moments our tears aren't ours alone! His grace is absolutely sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Go on sit down, pull your seat up and let’s have an honest conversation between friends. While you’re at it grab some coffee and a danish too, this may take a while. 

Life Lesson #28: Forgiveness brings freedom.

Most of those who know me, know 2014 was a roller coaster ride for my family and I. I experienced hurt and disappointment like none I've honestly ever felt before. I can't say I even know how to express the ache my heart felt from late February through late fall 2014. It amazes me how we as humans can provoke such degrees of damage upon not only each other but ourselves in the process of having our own way. The abuse, grief and harm we do in the name of pride absolutely horrifies me. Sadly, many times we ignore the trauma we inflict upon ourselves and others with our dramatic outrage and public disgust by continuing to blame everyone but ourselves for the situation we're in. Even worse many times we allow ourselves to suffer just so we don’t have to take personal ownership and responsibility for the pain we are causing. 

I found myself in a kind of personal struggle as I read this passage this morning. I was totally unprepared for the response inside myself. I began crying, something I have not really done through this whole process to be honest. The words, “He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered “spoke to me louder than anything else in a long time! The word "disgrace" sat heavy upon my heart. Why? Because through everything this year, and I mean multiple situations, this is exactly what I've felt in all of them... disgraced, embarrassed and yes saddened, all coming from the events precipitating these emotions.

Sometimes situations arise and no matter how hard you try to turn things around, flip your life boat right side up or make your wrong turn work, things get worse. It's not even that you yourself have done anything wrong. A million things could be spinning out of control without your consent. It may be you just happened to be born in a different order or find the one you love slipping away.  Nothing you do is right. Believe me when I say nothing can remove the kind of mess that's swirling into whatever kind of destructive tizzy driven tornado determined at wiping you and everything you love right off the map! Sadly, once this kind of wreckage occurs you can't just pick up and wipe off. Life, the relationships you once held close at this point have been completely obliterated, to the point of eradication, slaughtered in the process of winning the battle and losing the war. The bridge has not only collapsed; it's been burned to ash. Now, no matter what side of the line you stood on before the demolition, it's all gone, up in a puff of smoke. Disgrace is the only word I know to describe this kind of terrible aftermath. Sadness, sorrow, despair and desolation don't even come close to explaining the heartache and why, all because of pride and the need to be right without consideration of the fallout?

I mean how do you recover from an open heart wound like this? How do you retrieve the part of you that was lost, taken and viciously, calamitous and catastrophically cut from your heart? Seriously how do you even begin to recover from this kind of anguish and distress? Is it even possible to recover and find redemption?  The answer is yes! There is absolutely a path back to joy and happiness, past the heartache. First you have to realize you can't control everything and everyone. It's just not possible and once you realize this, life opens up grace and acceptance. Second, cut the line of toxic poison coming into your life, even if you love the title holder of the poison. We can forgive and even love those who pour poison into our lives BUT we do not have to accept their behavior. This is really important because many times we forgive and forget only to have our goodwill continue to be contaminated with bitterness and malevolence. Three, forgive yourself, give your heart a reprieve. Take receipt and ownership in the conflict then shift your way of thinking. Accept you can't change the past, but move and strive for a different prospective tomorrow.   Four let it go. Let the opposition have their say, continue with their personal conflict but back out of the tournament period! Stop being appalled by the differentiation and precarious behavior, remind yourself to love and forgive even if your door needs to stay bolted shut. Remember, we're all humans, living in an imperfect world full of self-doubt, uncertainty, worry, anxiety, and unease. We don't have to participate in every battle! Our freedom comes when we stop fighting. Finally, forgive those who have hurt you and give it to God. What can we do on our own anyway? He sees our pain; He feels our hurts and not once are our tears unseen. His grace, though sometimes hard to understand is sufficient. He alone can and will heal our wounds if we only stop picking at the bone! This is the life lesson I've had to come back to over and over again this last year. Letting go and allowing my Father to protect me, to hold me and to guide me even when nothing made any sense whatsoever. Reality check Christina: You are NEVER alone! 

So maybe you're asking where am I today in all this, do I still feel disgraced, embarrassed, and what about the pain? Well yes at times I feel all of those things BUT I also know without a doubt I walk in grace. I am not ashamed of His grace in my life. My pain is His pain, and by His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus is the Great Physician, He is the Healer of my soul just as Michael Card and John Talbot sing of, "Keeper of my soul on rough course faring, help and safeguard my means this night. I am tired, astray, and stumbling, shield my soul from the snare of sin. Healer of my soul, heal me at even', heal me at morning, heal me at noon, healer of my soul". 

So at the end of our lengthy conversation today you may sit here asking what next? Well the truth is nothing goes unseen in His sight no matter how we want to justify our actions. BUT His grace, His forgiveness covers us and ultimately sets us free. Just remember this; once you let it all go, once the room has cleared, it's just you and God. Let Him take your hand and lead you from here on out. For me personally, I can say I forgive, I also know I am forgiven with or without reconciliation. I know His grace covers a multitude of my sins. In every trial, in every up and down life has provided He has and will always be there right beside me. At the end of the day if I have learned but one thing in this lifetime, I know His strength is made strong in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10).  

~ Christina

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