Have you ever wondered why you were feeling such a heavy cloud of darkness following you everywhere you go? At night you would think about it and just assume that you were just born with a negative attitude and if anyone ever asked you about it your go-to answer was “that’s just the way I am”. After college (or sooner) that heaviness started turning into not just a heaviness but then it turns into a flat out bad attitude. You didn’t do well at “this” job because so-and-so got on your nerves. Clearly your attitudes didn’t match so you quit. You can’t work with someone whose attitude doesn’t match with yours. So you try a different job. But that job wanted you to do “that and this” and you didn’t expect to be doing those things. That boss didn’t know who you were they hired you. He didn’t tell you everything you were going to do. What a jerk! In the meantime you got married, and your husband certainly didn’t know how much money you were going to need to just live from day to day. Suddenly you find out you are pregnant. Wonderful! This will be the answer to all of your problems. Maybe working 9-5 isn’t what you need. Maybe you’re supposed to be a stay at home mom and live the fine life of taking care of your family. Yes that must be it! Then the baby comes and you find that all you do is cry right along with the baby. When you husband comes home you hand him the baby and run to your room and cry all evening. NONE OF THIS IS WHAT YOU EXPECTED! Each day your negative lifestyle that you thought was “just the way you are” is getting worse and worse until you finally realize that you are depressed. And you realized you were depressed long before you even MET your husband. It goes much deeper than that. You finally tell your husband this and hugs you and says the magic words “let’s get you some help and find out what happened.” And THAT is the best you have felt in YEARS!
Does that sound familiar? Any of that? The early attitude? The blame game in the job market? The search for what would make you YOU? The continued unhappiness? Crying WITH the baby? And the understanding husband/wife who sees it all and wants to find you some help? I think you will be surprised to find what the REAL problem is.
Ephesians 4:31,32 (NLT)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
I went to counseling. And I discovered that I was dealing with UNFORGIVNESS. After carrying around years of unforgivness I had allowed it to eat up the inside of my heart and pull my already hereditary depressed mental illness, which I did not know I had, to cause me to react with all of those reactions mentioned in Ephesians 4:31,32.
The answer to my unforgiveness in that passage was found in verse 32. “Instead, be kind to each other, tender hearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” That simple. The answer seemed so simple – just forgive! But it was far from simple for me. Here is how I did it.
I was molested in my childhood by an extended member of our family. This person has been dead for many many years. At the time of this confrontation with my counselor he had been dead for 11 years. So while I now knew this was the root of my problem I thought I didn’t have to forgive him. But my counselor showed me that it had more to do with obedience to God AND releasing the hatred I had in my spirit.
Matthew 6:14,15 (NLT)
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
That’s pretty straight forward! Dead or alive I better forgive! If I don’t forgive then I have even more trouble coming my way. So I needed to find out how to do this. My counselor had a way. It was a doozy and it worked! He had me to write this man a letter. It was approximately 4 pages. I wrote to him about the grievances he had done to me, what it had held me back from, how it has now affected me as an adult, the depressed it has caused me, how it has affected my marriage to my husband and how it has affected my life as a mother. Then I began telling him how I forgave him for the childish things he did. I told him that there must have been something in his childhood that caused him to do those things to me. I told him I was sorry those things happened to him. These things were the hardest things I’ve ever had to think about – much less write and then say! Then my counselor told me I had to pray to the Father telling God that I forgive him. And I was to tell you the very moment I said the words “Father I forgive Henry” I fell into a pool of tears. I felt a burden of forgiveness lift off of me like I have never felt before or sense. I have truly met with the Father and He heard my prayer and lifted the burden from my heart. I knew in that moment that I had totally and completely obeyed the will of God. He said to Forgive and my forgiveness was NOT superficial. It was complete. Praise the Lord! I could have floated home on the clouds. Not forgiving him all of that time had tided me down and was like dragging cement stones behind me every day. That day I cut the chains and left chains, cement and unforgiveness at the altar with the Lord.
But about 6 years ago I found myself being drug down by all of that again. I recognized what I was doing – I was allowing those chains and cement stones to start dragging me down. There was more forgiving I needed to do. Thankfully I saw it in plenty of time before it suffocated me. I talked with some one who helped me to face it. I let it go once again.
Matthew 18:21,22 (NLT)
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? No, not seven times? Jesus replies, “but seventy times seven!”
The wounds are always there. Sometimes they are healed over. But we are humans and satan knows about those wounds. He knows right where those wounds are and he knows how to tap-tap-tap at them to open them up. But we are Christians and we know what to do. WE once again OBEY and FORGIVE! Then we go on and live our healed life. Because we are Christians and that’s what we are – HEALED! Forgive and be healed, sister! Again and Again and Again!