Freedom of Forgiveness

I saw this post on FB today, and I thought it an awesome subject upon which to post. This is so very hard, sometimes, but it is so very true. The quicker we learn this lesson, the better, and the key to unlocking its truth is in the freedom of forgiveness.

I have found the quicker you can truly forgive someone who has hurt you, the less like them you will become. Over the years, I have watched family members, friends and acquaintances who have “claimed” forgiveness was in their hearts, but as you listened to them talk about the certain person or circumstances, all you heard was bitterness flowing from their souls. As I’ve watched these year after year, I have seen how, slowly over time, they have become more and more like the person who hurt them, the one whom they haven’t forgiven.

You see, the unforgiveness you harbor within your heart will fester and soak in anger and disgust. Eventually, that unforgiveness takes hold of your soul and buries a root of bitterness deep beneath the surface. Once the root of bitterness takes up space, it will consume and override rational thought, peace and even at times, your own sanity.

Learn to let go. Learn to forgive. Learn to show mercy and grace. It doesn’t mean all is well at the snap of a finger, and it surely doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation is on the heels of the forgiveness. Some things just get lost in the pain, brokenness and years.

Yet, it does mean your heart can heal. It does mean you can grow and learn and dream once again. It does mean you can grasp hope, embrace love and be consumed by an inner peace that will no longer be easily shaken.

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Never Again

Tears fall like rain down the well worn path tonight.
Memories of yesterday flood in black, shielding my sight.

You steal the joy in today by the lies of promised change.

Yet, suddenly my heart is not broken this time, all feels strange.

The pain I expected is lessened by a greater presence of hope.

I am no longer bound by your emotional game and rope.

My hands are open as I let go of all you have done and forgive.

I release your memories, your deceit and your hate, never again to relive.

Penned – MG – 8/10/17

It’s All Gone

When our words are cross 

Time stands still

All the joy is gone

And I can’t find my will

When our looks are stern

Clouds roll in

All the fun times are gone 

And the wages are sin

When silence is strong 

Darkness falls

All the laughter is gone

And the buildings are walls

When you’re not with me 

Life turns gray

All the sunshine hides

And I can’t find the day

Please come back to me…

Penned – MG – 5/11/17

Shovel or Spoon?

Do you have a shovel or spoon today?

We hold love, grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, patience, joy, and so many more virtues within our hands each and every day. How do we measure these out to those around us? Do we give these away like candy? Do we use a shovel to measure how much we give to others?

Or do we use a teaspoon, carefully divulging our treasures to those we encounter? Do they have to work hard to earn our love? Do they have to shed blood, sweat and tears to receive our forgiveness and kindness when there’s been a transgression?

The Word says, “It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” His mercies are new for us each and every day. He has a great big “shovel” to measure our mercies when the day is new.

Are we following His example today?

Please understand, this is not to bring condemnation, nor is it to approve of violence, abuse or sin. I am simply referring to how we treat one another in common arenas. It seems so many Christians are fighting with each other over petty opinions and haughty points of view. Too many have become so offended by the differences of, what I will call, “first degree” judgments that we ruin our witness with the very ones who so desperately need Him.

I read recently about the largest “bucket” machine every built. It was called the “Big Muskie.” It had a bucket capacity of 220 cubic yards and could hold two Greyhound buses side by side. God’s measuring devices are even bigger than that!

What if we tried using His measuring portions today?

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Forgiveness With A Boundary

 Sometimes, we just have to forgive, simply, because He says so. It may not be easy. It may not be what we want, and it may definitely not be what the other person deserves, but God is very clear in this fact: We Must Forgive. Yet, forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation…

Many times, it may take years to find the ability to forgive, and sometimes, it will come instantly. Some of the hardest moments to forgive are those when someone continues to cause pain and wounds on top of the scars you have already endured. That’s when the real test comes, “Can you forgive…again?”

However, I think, oftentimes for me, the harder test comes as I struggle with the balance between learning to “forgive and walk away” and “forgive and reconcile” when someone continually wounds me, especially when it’s someone for whom I care deeply. It’s easier to forgive and walk away when you don’t have to deal with them daily. It’s easier to forgive and walk away when they’re not family or a close friend. It’s so easy when you can forgive and never worry about seeing them again, but what about those who keep knocking down your door?

As a young child and even as an adult, when someone hurt me, I would always have the tendency to ‘go back for more’ before I cut them off completely and became unforgiving. Not everyone’s problem, I know, but it’s still a problem that must be solved, because this kind of tendency will cause codependency, abuse and lack of boundaries for a healthy life. We must learn to forgive, but we must, also, learn when to say, “No more.”

As I’ve grown older, both in age and in wisdom, I have learned that true forgiveness does not always bring true reconciliation. Sometimes, that other person is just wrong. Sometimes, the other party is too abusive, codependent, mean or just plain cruel, and you are better off to forgive and walk away than to return to the relationship. You have to learn to do this for your own well being, your own health, and your own sanity.

I call this “forgiveness with a boundary.” It doesn’t mean you don’t forgive, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love and care for the person; however, it does mean you draw a line in the sand and say, “No more after today. This is now your boundary into my life. You can come this far but no further. You will not continue to break through and wound my heart to the point I cannot function and live the life I am supposed to live.”

Just as an abused child must learn it’s not okay to be abused, those who have relationships with people who have no boundaries must learn it’s not okay to be used. It’s okay to say no to the abuse of your emotions, your mind and your heart. As I’ve already stated, it’s okay to set boundaries for your life to protect your well being, your health, and your sanity.

This has been my hard lesson learned:

You are a daughter of the Almighty God! You are a daughter of the King! You were not made to grovel in self pity nor in codependency. You were not made to be a doormat. You were not made to be a yo-yo, always up and down with the emotions, feelings and thoughts of others. You are destined to be so much more!

You were created to be YOU, a child of a King! You are a precious, beautiful jewel and you should be treated as such. Stop living with your head held low, always looking to the ground. Look up! For your Redeemer has come. He loves you, and He has called you to be so much more!!

If you find yourself in that kind of place today, in that place of hopelessness, pain and abuse of any kind. I hope you will be encouraged to know there is a better way. There is hope and freedom beyond where you are. He has made it possibly for you to live beyond your pain, beyond your fears and beyond your intimidations!

Thank you, Jesus, for redeeming me and  forgiving me. Thank you for helping me to forgive, and thank you for helping me to learn how to walk away from hurtful people and to live in the freedom you’ve given me and for showing me how to live victoriously! ❤️

Rude Awakening

I kneel here before You, humbled by Your call

My heart is heavy as I realize my own fault

I ask Your forgiveness for my neglecting to pray

I’ve become so busy in all the day to day

 

Oh God, forgive us for our wickedness and pride

We’ve searched others so deeply while our own failings we’ve denied

We’ve ignored Your desire to intently know our own hearts

I pray we’ve not been from You too long apart

 

Cleanse and purify this vessel from within

Strip this body of the wretchedness that it has been

Refine this heart of all the filth and the sin

Empty this mind of all the thoughts that would offend

 

Take this wayward tongue, bind and transform its desires

Wash these eyes of their sinful vision and all the mire

Purge these ears of the malicious slander they try to conceal

Chasten this soul eternally and conform me to Your will

 

Penned – MG – 7/01/02

Only From You

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I look out over Your waters and behold

A reflection that could only be from You

So gentle, so calm, so peaceful

It reminds me of Your serenity

I look upon Your waterfalls and know

A strength that could only come from You

So strong, so bold, so powerful

It reminds me of Your awesomeness

I look into Your streams and visualize

An image that could only be given from You

So humble, so meek, so merciful

It reminds me of Your purity

I look out on Your mountains and see

A creation that could only be made from You

So vast, so immense, so beautiful

It reminds me of Your majesty

I look upon Your peaks and understand

A faith that could only be from You

So wondrous, so hopeful, so believing

It reminds me of Your faithfulness

I look into Your foothills and recognize

An adventure that could only come from You

So energizing, so exciting, so invigorating

It reminds me of Your passion

Then I look at Your Son and realize

A love that could only be of You

So amazing, so overwhelming, so inviting

It reminds me of Your grace

Thank You.

Penned – MG – 10/26/03

 

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Eyes of Mercy

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Sometimes, especially when the water is murky, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy…

Let me give some clarity to what I mean…

Our 12 year old was being a little testy one afternoon while we were at the pool, and I just happened to be on the phone, with my husband, when the “altercation” occurred. I was trying to ask JGrizz something; yet, he thought I was simply telling him to get out of the pool. So, he kept swimming to the pool ladder, head halfway in the water, motioning to the it while obviously not answering me. He took quite a bit of time to get out; however, Joey wanted an immediate answer. *Note: Dad has a “NO TOLERANCE” policy for ignoring adults… So, when he finally arrived by my chair, dad wanted to speak with him, told him of the consequences for the delay in answering, and said he would be there in five minutes to meet up with us. Once the phone was hung up, JGrizz proceeded to explain that he “assumed” I just wanted him out of the pool; so, he was trying to get to the ladder. When dad showed up, I proceeded to explain the “possible miscommunication,” and the consequence was lessened. As JGrizz and I walked to the condo together, he then confessed, “Mom, I may have actually been ignoring you a little. I mean, I saw your mouth moving, but I just thought you were telling me to get out; so, I ignored you until I got out.” I replied, “Yes, son, I know.” He, emphatically responded by saying, “So, you lied to Dad?!” I corrected him by explaining, “No, I just simply decided to hear your side and view the situation through the eyes of mercy rather than judgment. You still have consequences for the delay, but the thoughts you were having in the moment, I chose not to assume when I explained it to dad.” We then talked about the difference between mercy and judgment, grace and consequence. It was a great moment to remind him of how God created such a wonderful miracle when He gave us mercy in redemption when we actually deserved eternal death.

As parents, sometimes, we must choose to look through the eyes of mercy, when we might would prefer to judge only the “rule” broken, the words spoken or the thoughts assumed. Sometimes, we just have to choose mercy in order to allow God’s grace to flow freely. This doesn’t mean consequences are never given. This does not mean desires are always appeased and attitudes, especially those of entitlement, are ignored, and this, definitely, does not mean a tolerance of rebellion is encouraged! No, it just simply means that, sometimes, grace can be given in the moment, because the situation could really go either way, and the attitude being shown is that of a contrite heart.

To me, it’s a lot like when the water of the pool is slightly murky, because the chemical balance of the chlorine hasn’t been correctly set. It’s not really harmful to your physical body; it’s just not crystal clear like it should be, and it definitely does allow for an enjoyable pool time, but swimming can still be accomplished for a little while. 

Can this be taken too far, especially when you are raising two very independent, strong-minded young boys as we are? You bet. However, if these acts of mercy are tempered with strong boundaries and a solid foundation for truth, these small miracle moments can bring about huge lessons of God’s love and mercy.

It was a moment for my maturing son to realize rules may be “crystal clear;” yet, forgiveness can always be given when a murky, yet contrite, heart is viewed through the eyes of mercy.