"Forgiveness: the journey to freedom"
I was asked to go to this conference as a replacement. My week leading up to the conference was uneventful, everything in my life was continuing as it had for the last few months.
I was going through the motions and "ok" with my life, however on the Friday evening I felt different. I felt restless and unhappy and just plain out of sorts. My estranged husband kept coming before me. He was in my thoughts, in every action just thinking about him was causing me turmoil. Typically when this happens I pray. I talk to God and "have it out". If you know me at all I am very frank in my discussions with my Father. I laid my heart out to Him and prayed for my ex the way I usually do, without a thought.
I was under the impression that I wasn't angry anymore and I "let things go". The next day my assumption was tested.
I woke up the Saturday morning considering calling and canceling, but the Lord pressed on me to go so I went with no expectation that this one day would change my life.
During the conference I felt a quickening in my spirit I was so glad I came. I was hearing what the priest was saying and was truly blessed by it. However I was wholly unprepared for the section on forgiveness. The speaker was an anointed woman of God that spoke directly into my heart and released an outpouring of emotion within me. I could not control my tears or the flood of pain that came from me as she asked us to repeat after her. I released the spirit of anger against my husband, I released all of the blame I laid on him for destroying our family, for hurting my son, for hurting me....for everything. For some time after the release I just wept. The speaker went on to talk about a woman of God during the war who was faced with having to forgive a soldier that imprisoned her and the story stayed with me. I kept saying Lord would I be that strong? Would I be able to forgive my ex after all we had gone through? My ex husband had
essentially disappeared for the last 6 month leaving my son hurting and longing for his father. I thought I was justified in my anger, I
believed I had the right to withhold my forgiveness.... Until. The woman of God starting naming reasons why people withhold their
forgiveness from others and she began to name mine. She laid me bare and I felt a rush of power that I didn't know I had run through me and
I was able to renounce the spirit of unforgiveness once and for all. To say I never felt so free would have been an understatement but
believe me when I say to live unbound is a gift that we as individuals choose to deny ourselves out of fear. That day I chose to be free....
I left the conference after Mass feeling great, I went to a soccer game with my son and nephew and came home as usual. I sat in my kitchen that evening relaying the story of the woman and the soldier to my nephew and saying to him how I don't know what I would do if I was faced with a similar exchange with my ex. Would I shake his hand? Would I speak to him would I continue to live free? Honestly at that moment I didn't know. The next morning on the Sunday, mothers day, the strangest thing happened. (I always leave my cell phone on "normal setting" where I am not notified of emails as they are received. In my job I receive way too many emails for me to keep the notification on.) I was enjoying my 7 year olds attempt at making me breakfast in bed when my cell phone made a long loud beep. I thought it was odd because I never heard that sound before. When I picked up the phone I had a new email from my ex husband after 6 1/2 months of no contact saying " happy mothers day, I hope we can talk, etc..." To say I was beside myself would have been a lie. This was the first time I thought about him with out anger or pain or hurt, what I felt rising out of me was the love of our Lord. I felt like the father in the prodigal son who
welcomed home his lost son. I praised God then I immediately had to call Paulina and tell her what happened I cried and she cried and we
worshiped together for a bit then I let her go so I could respond to the email. I simply said "I was glad he was alright, there was no need
to talk about the last 6 months. Etc" we did end up talking after and he has spent some time with our son which is all I ever wanted. The
forgiveness in me is tried daily I won't lie, but I am not consumed. I rest on the Lord daily and every time I am pricked by the enemy's lies
I cast them back where they belong.
I truly believe the Lord was preparing me for that Sunday encounter.
I was taught that day that forgiveness doesn't condone an action or absolve someone of the responsibility of their actions, it releases the victim from remaining a victim. It allows a freedom and a release within that can not be replicated. I was unaware that I carried such weight until it was gone. And I refuse to believe the lie that I have to carry it. My Lord and Saviour died so I can be free and I refuse to let anyone or anything take that from me.
God Bless You and Thank You again!
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