Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category


The Power of Forgiveness

August 15, 2020

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, especially for survivors. It sets us free. When we are not able to forgive, we lock ourselves into a prison of our own making. The other person may not even be aware of our resentment and bitterness. They go free while we are obsessed with visions of revenge, whether we can carry them out or not.

Forgiveness is also very misunderstood. People will say, “forgive and forget” while not even recognizing that forgiving and forgetting are two separate things. That is why the word “and” is in that phrase. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is not pretending nothing happened. It is not trusting the one who hurt us. It does not even require having any kind of current relationship/connection with the person. If someone slipped you a date drug and raped you, does forgiving them really mean you should go out with them again? Of course not! Yet, that is the logical endpoint of “forgive and forget”! People do not realize what they are saying makes no sense!

Over the years, I have seen survivors locked in the prison of unforgiveness because they have been told they must trust the person completely and treat them as if they have done nothing to harm them. Naturally, this creates conflict within the person. How they can they forgive with that criteria? So, when they would ask me how I could forgive, I would explain how I see forgiveness in two levels.

One level is my releasing them from my desire for revenge. I remove myself from the self-imposed roles of judge, jury and executioner. (That does not mean I don’t participate in legal proceedings against them if it is appropriate.) I release them from taking up space in my head and heart. But I do not trust them and may not even have relationship with them. This person may or may not have even acknowledged their actions against me. They may or may not have asked for forgiveness.

The other level of forgiveness involves giving them a chance to prove themselves trustworthy again. This means the person seems to be genuinely sorrowful for what they have done and asked for forgiveness. I do not trust them immediately, of course, but give them a chance to earn it. In other words, I might allow someone who stole from me into my house, but I sure won’t leave my purse in the same room with them. It can take a long time to rebuild trust, if ever.

Those are two pretty rough divisions, but they really helped them to find the freedom of forgiving. Years later, I found Dr. Stephen Marmer on a Prager U video talking about forgiveness. He does a much better job and divides it into three categories. I highly recommend it. It is only about five minutes long. The video is on both YouTube and their site. You can download the transcript from their site. I am giving you the links to both.

This is the Prager U site where you can get the transcript to download.


Seeing Deceptions

September 15, 2016

Seeing so much deception in the world can be very disheartening. Yet, there is an upside to it, too. Yep, an upside. It makes me more grateful than ever that I can see as clearly as I can. Am I saying I cannot be deceived? No. But I am saying that I know the One who is never deceived and He gives me insight as to what is really going on in the world.

I am grateful for the Creator’s Word…both the written and the Living. I am grateful for His Spirit that lives inside me, leading me and guiding me even when I am not aware of it and helping me to understand His written word…the bible. I am grateful for His Messiah who took care of the problem of darkness within me…my own evil and propensity to do wrong things.

There are those who have wronged me in the past. I have forgiven them. There are those who, I believe, are wronging me in the present. I forgive them. Does that mean I am unaffected? No. But the effects are lessened by the understanding the Spirit gives me.

When I look at the world through the eyes of my Creator, I see a lost world. The greatest darkness and deception are not from those in the world toward the rest of us. No, it is a deception that the deceivers themselves are caught up in. And that causes me to pity them.

Those attempting (and being very successful with many) to deceive us are themselves deceived. They do not see the Truth about the bigger plan our Creator has for this world. They think they are gaining power and have wealth to make them better than the rest of us, but they only have and do what they are allowed by our Creator to have and do.

Our Creator has a bigger plan of redemption for this world. He will make it brand new. But before that time, there will continue to be a battle between Light and dark, between Good and evil, between our spiritual adversary and us. But I know who wins. In the end, it is US through the Spirit of our Creator. Messiah has ALREADY won the battle over death and sin, but we need to walk that out in our lives.

I truly wish I did a much better job of that, but I am entrusting my spiritual well-being to my Creator. He knows my frame and that I am merely dust. Yet, He takes that dust and raises up out of it human beings made in His image. He makes beauty and love and all good things possible.

I cannot choose what happens to me in life, but I CAN choose my response to it. And I choose to worship my Creator and to walk in His ways as best I can out of love and gratitude and respect for Who He is.

So, when I see all the deceptions and I am tempted to be frustrated…or worse, afraid…I look to Him. I am comforted by the prophecies where He has spelled out for us what has happened, is happening now and will happen. I do not need to fear the future. He holds that in His capable hands. I need not fear the now, for He is working something good out of it.

I see the Light shining in the midst of the darkness. I see Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) coming. I also see a time of great trouble on the horizon before He comes back. But I know I am OK in the here and now. And I will be OK in the midst of the coming troubles because He will be here with me. Yeshua promised to never leave or forsake us and He is not a liar.


Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

What my mother has done is cruel. I keep trying to empathize and to understand her pain. But not matter how much I empathize…no matter how much I forgive…it still hurts like hell. I am the unwanted daughter. I did not step up to the plate. I did not take over. I stepped out of line. I left. I have no desire to be a princess other than in the One True Creator God’s kingdom.

I will never live up to her expectations. Her expectations (and his) lead to death. I have chosen a different path. If they do not want me…they can forget my son. I was actually willing to let them talk to him on the phone, but if they don’t want me…forget it. That is not being selfish…it is being real. It is not being vindictive…it is setting boundaries…healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not OK in the cult. My whole life I had no boundaries. I did not know where I ended and other people began. I was trained to be a chameleon…to anticipate others needs/wants. Those in the cult who knew the trigger words and actions could get anything they wanted. NO MORE!!

I was accessed by a “Christian” therapist after we moved here. He had experience with cult clients. Little did I know that he was not only cult himself…but that we had met many years ago. It ends here…and now! I will not kowtow to my parents. I will not kowtow to anyone but my Lord…and He does not ask me to. He lifts my head to look into His eyes so that I can see His healing love.

I hurt. I am angry. I do not deserve to be treated this way. Even IF I had been the worst daughter on the planet…rather than simply and imperfect one…I do not deserve this. I have reached out via email for a year and a half. It has gone nowhere. I tried. My conscience is clear. I have done what I can. It is their loss. They can blame me all they want…but they have a part in this. I am an adult. I will not submit to them or to their control. I will not go back to the way things were.

So I will continue to mourn what was and I will mourn what never was. I will mourn the dream of having a somewhat regular family. I will keep my heart open until there is nothing left…and at that point…I will mourn for what will never be. I have dreams. I have always had dreams. Many of them are just broken dreams…turning to dust beneath my feet. Oh, well.

I have survived. I will survive. Nay…I will thrive! In spite of how hard my life is right now…I have more freedom than I ever did living under their control. The Creator has given me the gift of who I am…all of me. I am His…and no one else’s…no one’s.

I hope we can make peace before she dies…same with him. But if it does not happen…I refuse to beat myself up with guilt that is not mine.


Forgiveness – the Way to Freedom!

December 30, 2008

Maybe I am crazy…I don’t know. I just know that forgiveness is the key to living life fully. Yahweh’s forgiveness of my sins. My forgiveness of those who have hurt me. My forgiving those who have hurt me does not make them innocent of any wrongdoing any more than Yahweh forgiving me makes me innocent of any wrongdoing. It simply shows His incredible mercy and grace. His forgiveness of me enables me to forgive others.

Yahweh is a God of justice. That is why His Son had to come and pay the penalty for our sins…so that justice could be done. Yes…I am forgiven…but at what a cost…what a price. Yet, there are those who would say that we don’t need Yeshua…that there are other ways to “God”. Really? If that is true, then that would make Yeshua a poor deceived fool…to go through all that He went through…for what? For nothing…if there is some other way to Yahweh!

No, Yahweh is a God of justice…and all those who say that there are other ways to Him…those who are denying what Yeshua Himself so clearly said…will end up paying the price for their arrogance. Yahweh is a God of justice! He is also a God of mercy and grace and love…hence He sent His Son Yeshua.

Anyway, back to forgiveness…mine toward others. Back in July, my mother left their new phone number on my MIL’s answering machine. I am not sure what moved her to do that, but she did. So, I tried sending emails to their old email addresses. They weren’t long…mostly just letting them know that I could see they moved. It appeared that some email addresses were still in use. That was in July. I received no response.

A week or so ago, I suddenly received two one word replies. I responded to one and got a two word reply back. Do they want to correspond? I have no idea really. The last I knew they thought I lied about everything and have been lying for years…along with manipulating and using them, etc. It is rather difficult to imagine any kind of meaningful communication taking place if that is still their take on things. The fact that I have proof that they are incorrect in their assessment of me is irrelevant. It has been what they believed.

Yet, I forgive them. I have never harbored a grudge against them…although I have had to set up healthy boundaries for protection and safety purposes. I have grown. I believe that I am ready…and strong enough…to contact some people I knew before. Whether or not they wish to contact me is another story. I am OK either way.

I have learned to value and cherish friendships when I have them. I have also learned to hold them loosely. People are gifts for a time. Sometimes, it is better to part ways for awhile. I had to do that with one girlfriend…for both of our sakes. Being from the same cult group was…well…just plain not safe. Will we reconnect this side of heaven. I don’t know. Time will tell on that one.

Forgiveness. Without it, we are locked into prisons of the heart. We are locked into bitterness and anger and hurt. I prefer not to be locked into that prison. I shall choose to forgive…and to keep on forgiving. It is the way of freedom.


Former Antagonist Is Gone!

August 23, 2008

Well, I recently got some interesting news. I wrote here about an incident that happened to me a couple of years ago that was very triggering and generated a lot of fear. It triggered my PTSD to sky high levels.

I recently found out that the guy is no longer there. The reasons why he is no longer there are not really important. They don’t relate to what happened to me.

So, now I am thinking some things through. I will be able to visit there and know that I will no longer run into him. Will that make a difference? Will I be able to feel more comfortable? I know it won’t take everything away. They still have a file on me and the woman is still there. However, I wonder how much of the decision to let me go was influenced by him? I wonder if she might actually harbor some doubt as to whether or not they should have done that? Or as to whether or not any part of the whole thing was even handled appropriately?

Of course, I don’t ever expect any kind of apology. That would have to mean an admission that they blew it…in addition to the one thing they already did admit doing wrong. They might not understand that I am not a suing kind of person. I want to just live at peace with others. I wish they would apologize. I wish we could get it all out in the open. It would make it easier to extend forgiveness and move on.

I don’t know who will take his place there. There is one person who would really do a good job…someone who this guy fired. He is also someone that quite a few people are hoping will come back, including me. I felt “safe” with that guy.

I don’t know what is going to happen…but this I do believe…the group is better off without the one who is no longer there. And they will be even better off if they bring back the one who got fired.

Just my thoughts…for now.


Disappointments & Perspective

August 9, 2008

Sometimes it just feels like life dumps on you. Disappointments pile up. Lost dreams. Betrayals. Hurts. Sickness. Lost jobs. Lost friends. Feelings of abandonment. It can be really hard to keep a right perspective about things.

I guess one of those right perspectives is that everyone goes through stuff. There is nothing that I can experience that someone else…in fact many someone elses…have not also gone through. Sometimes it seems like there is an inequality about how much stuff gets dumped on us. It seems like some people get a whole lot more than others. But is that really true? I don’t know.

I do know that there can be many things that we don’t see on the outside. There can be many pains and hurts and burdens that only the person going through it really knows about.

I seriously doubt that there is anyone who has not felt the sting of being hurt by a friend…or who has not been disappointed by a family member. Who has never lost a job? Or never gotten sick? There are some who have never felt the sting of the death of a loved one…but I daresay that most of us have, especially if we are “older”. Some, sadly, have experienced that at a very young age.

I need to keep my trials in perspective. I am not being beaten…currently. I am fairly healthy…as in I have no life threatening or serious persistent health problems. I am not starving…I have food to eat. I have shelter…I am not living in a cardboard box or under an overpass…or in a refugee camp. I am not being tortured or raped for my spiritual beliefs. Hmmm…maybe I don’t have it so bad after all?

There are hurts in life. Everyone has them. I must learn to work through them and move on. I don’t know if that is more of a challenge than it is for most folks because of what I have gone through as a survivor…or not. I guess we can all struggle with letting go of things.

I know that, for me, I am challenged right now to work through something. It is one of those situations where I don’t know if I can fully delve into the deep emotions connected with this until I move away from the whole place where it happened. Right now, I have to stay connected to that place and I think it is making it harder for me to work through it.

However, I won’t give up trying. I need to work through the anger. Those deep emotions keep getting triggered inside…bringing tears to the surface. I need to work through this so that a root of bitterness does not grow. I don’t want to hate…yet I feel the anger pushing to the surface and I find myself tempted to say “I hate”. I really don’t want to go there. I want my heart to be free…not locked in a prison of hatred and bitterness.

Nope…I don’t want to go there. I must find a way to work through…and truly forgive.


The Ex and the Wedding, part 2

April 4, 2008

OK…I need to be honest about how I am feeling regarding the upcoming wedding I wrote about in yesterday’s post. I am jealous…jealous of any time my ex may take of my son and DIL. I am assured that, as of right now, they are not invited to anything other than the ceremony…period. But will that change? Besides, it is not just this wedding time. I am afraid, I think, of the future. And how stupid is that?

At the ceremony, will I see interactions taking place that I don’t want to see? I think maybe I am a bit insecure, too. My pride has me wanting to be always in a superior role to him…a vindicating role. I stuck it out. I was there for the boys, however imperfectly, when he decided he did not want to be married to me and when he decided that it hurt him too much to be a dad. He abandoned us in all the important areas while not abandoning us enough to give us the freedom to heal unemcumbered. Grrrrr!!!!

And I want to stomp my feet and say “You did not play fair so you are not allowed in the game! You are only allowed to watch…not that you should even be allowed to do that!”

BUT…I am also imperfect. I am keenly aware of my own parenting failures. And I love my children. I want to see them healed. There is a deep desire within a child’s heart to have their family be real, be together and loving and safe and all that. I do not want to deny either of them the chance to have a real relationship with their father…which is what I struggle with regarding my oldest.

He wants relationship with his father…but his father is still flaky and so broken that he does not know how to have a real relationship. In fact, I don’t, either, on both counts. I fail my oldest and his wife and my grandchildren all the time. *sigh* Who am I to point fingers? I am nobody.

So, I must face and deal with my own cruddy attitude in all of this. My ex deserves to find healing, too. He also deserves to find real love. As for his wife, well there is that, too. She believed his lies and did not really check for herself. She interfered instead of letting us sort things out…even if we were unable to work it out. She, too, is broken and deserves healing. Am I so ungracious as to deny her that?

Oh, how cold my heart can be. I can “justify” my anger at how he hurt my boys. But am I willing to allow him the grace to heal his relationship with his sons? How will I justify my anger if I allow them to heal? Maybe therein lies the rub. Am I holding onto anger against him? Am I harboring unforgiveness? It is definitely something to look at.


White as Snow and Forgiveness

March 7, 2008

When I look at the snow, I think of the song “White As Snow”. It is about how what Yeshua/Jesus did for us enables our blackened souls to be made white as snow.

I have seen some pretty horrible things. It is amazing what people can do to each other. **shaking head** I have also been forced to participate in some pretty bad stuff. It can leave a person feeling so tainted…very black. But what Yeshua did for us does not just count for what we have done…it also counts for what was done to us. It does not just count for what we have chosen to do…but also for what we were forced to do.

In other words, there is nothing that cannot be made white as snow through what Yeshua did for us. We need to accept it, though. He offers it as a free gift; but if we do not accept, we do not have it. He offers forgiveness and healing. They go hand in hand. He brings forgiveness for what I have done. And as I allow Him to help me to forgive others for what they have done to me, I find more healing for myself.

I have had to deal with so much in my life…and I still do in some ways. Yet, I know He is always here for me…here with me. He walks alongside of me in everything I go through. For that, I am very grateful.

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