Monday Mercies # 2 - 11/17/08

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.

-- C. S. Lewis

As I read this quote this morning, it really made an impact on me. All too often, I have known the bondage that can come with carrying around past sins and failures that I wouldn't let go of. Women, especially, can take this heart. We try to be the best wife and mother and many times we are working. Then there are the social and church events that we or our kids are involved in and before you know it we are almost in a constant state of feeling "I'm a bad mother or not the mother I should be" or "I just can't seem to get everything just right the way my husband wants or deserves" (you know, like the cooking or cleaning).

Beth Moore in her bible study "Believing God" discusses the "Cycle of Defeat". I like to call it the cycle of bondage. For me a lot of times here lately it goes like this:

Major blow-up with homeschooling and the boy begs to go back to his "real school" - I think to myself "I am a bad mother" and lose all interest in homeschooling - I pray about this and the Lord reminds that hard doesn't always equal bad, I am not a bad mother, and I can do this with His strength. I agree with God because I want to live in the freedom He died to give me, so I hold my head up and go confront homeschooling in the face and it's a success this time! - Another blow-up or "testing" as Beth calls it. - I forget what the Lord and I talked about and I think "I am a bad mother" and...well....you can see how this could continue to go.

At this point in time, I personally feel that I am in the wilderness being tested. It's dry and hot and there is no food, but I am making it because God is holding me and sustaining me. He is really speaking to me about breaking this ugly "Cycle of Defeat" once and for all. Beth also talks about the "Cycle of Victory" in which after the testing, we would not forget what the Lord had told us and we would stand in victory over the problem. Let me clarify, we would stand in the victory that Christ has over that problem. Only He is bigger than our problems.

So, I am beginning to realize that in order to break the cycle of defeat and claim victory, there are a few things I have not forgiven myself for. Yes, I have asked forgiveness of the Savior, but I haven't received the forgiveness he freely gives me. This was made apparent to me yesterday in a sermon at our church where the pastor (via satellite) spoke something to the effect of "some of you think that Jesus Christ wouldn't dare touch you with all that you have done in your life, but he, a rabbi, was willing to touch the dead in order to raise them to life" (You would need to know that in that time period and the customs of the day, that would make him ceremonially unclean and, well, rabbi's didn't do this).

I am also realizing that there are a couple of people who I need to forgive. No, they haven't asked for it. In fact, they don't think they've done anything and in the only conversations that have been had they think someone else is to blame for the strife that is going on in this particular situation. I haven't forgiven these people for the hurt they are causing me and my family. No, they haven't asked for forgiveness and probably never will since they don't think they've caused any hurt, but I still need to forgive them. To free myself. To break the cycle of defeat.

I want to live in the freedom that Christ died to give me and you! I must forgive myself of things in my past that haunt me. Jesus has forgiven me, and I must truly receive His forgiveness. And I must forgive those who have or are hurting me. ***

So what do you need to forgive yourself for? Who do you need to forgive?

May you live in the freedom of Christ today!


***If you are in a relationship where you are being physically harmed or physically threatened please seek help and remove yourself and your children from that situation. In this kind of situation you can and should forgive (for yourself and for your healing), but you must look out for your physical safety and the safety of your kids. Know that there is help out there.

1 comment:

Matthew and Greycie's Nana said...

This was an amazing lesson Paige. It was obvious in reading this that you wrote from your heart. I learn something from you every day and I am so proud of you. You are a phenomenal young woman and I know God is directing your path.