"A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
For the past few weeks we have been teaching the kids at Kids Club about love, kindness and forgiveness. Forgiveness isnt always easy, but in the end the only one it ends up hurting is ourselves. When we think of how much God loves us, in sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven, it should make it easier for us to love and forgive one another. In comparison to all that God has forgiven me for, anything that anyone does here on earth is nothing.
I have struggled with forgiveness in some areas, and have harbored anger and bitterness in my heart. Throughout my entire life there have been many instances where I have been deeply hurt by others. I have been sexually abused, physically abused and emotionally abused. I have held on to anger, bitterness, resentment and hurt for years on end, and as a result of holding on to those things and not letting it go, I was weighed down and would seek things of the world to help ease the pain and feel the freedom from it. I was caught in a cycle of these things repeating themselves over and over again, and at one point I had accepted that my life would that way. I had been hurt so many times that I just thought that was the life that i was destined to have. The enemy had fed me so many lies, and I reached a point of just giving up and trying to take my own life. And though I had almost suceeded, God brought me back. He had always had bigger and better plans for my life and He wasnt ready to give up on me yet. He had plans and a future for me that I could never fathom. Now, I have been able to look back on all that hurt, and I have finally felt the freedom of letting it go. I have been able to love others as God loves me, and forgiven as He has forgiven me.
I was reminded of something recently that has really helped me pertaining to forgiveness. I was told, "Forgiveness does not go hand in hand with trust. You can forgive but still not trust, and need time to rebuild that trust." That statement made a huge impact on my life. I struggled with that fact, because I knew that I had forgiven but I still struggled with trust, and it made me question myself. I know the enemy will do anything he can to bring me down and get in my head. As long as I stay in the Word and diligent in seeking the Lord, He will keep me on the right track and crush the lies of the enemy.
Today, I will pray for all of those that have hurt me. I will pray that they will pursue God and desire to know Him, and that the enemy would release any hold that he has on thier lives.