Freed To Forgive
I grew up in a Christian family that I now realize was dysfunctional.
I was born in the heart of the depression, the eighth and youngest
child. My parents had a difficult struggle to feed and clothe seven
children, and certainly were not happy over the thought of providing
for another. They worried that the new baby would take food away from
the other children. It was not my mother, or my father, who taught me
my bedtime prayers, etc., but a sister who was nine years older than
me. She became my favorite sister and we were very close. When I was
about 15, she married a ‘very upstanding, moral, Christian man’ - one
destined to be a true ‘Pillar of the church’.” Within three years they
had two children, and my brother-in-law raped me.
Times were much different then, and there was no where to turn. If I
had gone to the authorities at that time, I would have been accused of
being the guilty party, because men were never guilty of rape. The
first incident happened when I awoke from a sound sleep to find him on
top of me, with my sister and the two babies asleep in the next room.
I was afraid that my sister would find out, and how she would be hurt,
so I kept quiet - and the abuse lasted for three years. They moved
from the area, but the abuse continued whenever I visited. In my mind
at that time, it seemed the lesser of two evils to visit them. After
all, what would people think if I refused to go? One time my
brother-in-law told me never to get married, because as soon as his
wife - my favorite sister - died, he would marry me.
All of this happened before I met my husband. I told him about being
raped, but by this time so much was sealed deep in my subconscious, I
basically only remembered that he abused me. Then this past January, I
received word that my sister had died. Within a week, the “floodgates”
of my subconscious were opened, and I relived all the horror -
including what my brother-in-law told me years and years ago. They
lived in another state, and it was impossible to go to the funeral, so
shortly after her funeral I received in the mail a copy of her
obituary and pictures of her in her casket. There was no letter, just
these items were sent to me. This was more that I could handle.
After about 45 years, I hurt like I never hurt before. I began
extensive therapy, which was painful, but also helpful. With the
constant support of my husband, and my family members (who loaned me
this tape), and their unending prayers, I began to heal. I began to
feel Christ working in my life, and taking away my sorrow and burden.
I could pour out my feelings much as I am doing now - by writing. Our
Heavenly Father was there every step of the way, and in July I burned
all of the pages and pages I had written in a little private ceremony
my husband and I held in a secluded forest, with feelings very similar
as you experience at a gravesite. Watching these papers burn - with
all the hurt and anger they contained - was so therapeutic for me.
Before January 1996, I was a person of very low self-esteem, doing
everything for others to make them like me (conditional love). Now at
the age of 66, I realize I am a person who has value, and more
important, a person that God loves unconditionally . . . no matter
what has happened.
There are two books we highly recommend to people who have been
abused either physically or emotionally, or both. The first one: THE
BONDAGE BREAKER, by Neil T. Anderson (ISBN 0-89081-787-1). The second:
VICTORY OVER DARKNESS, by the same author (ISBN 0-8307-1375-1).
Also, please allow me to leave you with a few vitally important
keys in getting set free . . . if you are a victim of sexual and/or
emotional abuse. It is important for you to know that it was not God,
but the DEVIL who was responsible for your victimization. Why did God
allow the devil to abuse you? Like multitudes of others that have been
victimized during their lifetime . . . we will have to wait until we
get to heaven to get all the answers to questions like this. However,
the Bible says that Satan is the prince of this world, (Ephesians 2:2)
until Jesus returns a second time to completely dethrone him for a
thousand years. Until then, Satan has the legal right to inflict evil
wherever the opportunity presents itself.
Though our heavenly Father provides a degree of angelic protection
around each of us before we turn our lives over completely to Jesus
Christ as our Lord and Savior, none of us have the 100% certainty that
God is obligated to keep His protection around us just because we
would like Him to.
It is the responsibility of every adult to inform their children
about Ephesians 6:10-18. If children are not taught at an early age to
put on the FULL armor of God for their daily protection, parents are
essentially giving Satan legal right to do with them as he pleases.
Angels from God assigned to protect us from evil are not always
automatically dispatched all the time just because we become
“Christians” either. Ephesians 6:10-18 implies that we are to ask
daily for God to protect us from evil, and we are to trust Him to
protect us, once we have asked. Doing so provides maximized protection
from evil, along with doing the rest of what Ephesians 6:10-18 says
Christians are to do for safety and peace of mind.
Having said this . . . if you happen to be a victim of abuse, here are
a few key pointers in getting set completely free to experience
maximized joy in your relationship with God.
First - you will need to forgive the person who abused you. You may
“feel” like you can’t possibly forgive that person, but Christ will
give you the power to overcome your feelings (Philippians 4:13), if
you will ask Him and trust Him to help you. Keep in mind -- you don’t
have to LIKE the person who abused you. But WHOLENESS cannot be fully
experienced until a person goes to God and says, “Heavenly Father, I
forgive that person who has violated me”.
Counselors, both Christian and secular, have found that people
never get completely free of their hurt and pain, addictions,
bondage’s, sicknesses and diseases . . . until they go through the
forgiveness process. Holding on to unforgiveness gives Satan legal
right to hold you back from experiencing ALL the wholeness, peace and
joy that God wants you and I to have.
Once you forgive whoever has hurt you, you will then be more able
to receive the nearly unbelievable revelation that God loves sinner to
saint equally the same, no matter what they have done.
Know this about God. God does not show partiality when it comes to Him
loving people unconditionally. He loves every human being EQUALLY THE
SAME . . . no matter who they are, or what they have done . . . or
WILL do in the future. He is able to do this because of the price
Jesus paid on the cross.
On the other hand, God HATES sin. God HATES the sin each of us
commit, yet NEVER quits loving us unconditionally all the while we are
committing that sin.
Yet just because God loves people equally the same doesn’t
necessarily mean He LIKES people equally the same. God doesn’t confuse
LIKING people with LOVING people. Likewise, God doesn’t expect His
children to necessarily “like” their abusers. He DOES expect us to
love them unconditionally though, but ONLY in accordance with God’s
definition of unconditional love, which is given in 1 Corinthians
Chapter 13, through the power and ability of God that He provides for
anyone and everyone who will trust Him for it.
Furthermore, just because God loves everyone equally the same doesn’t
keep that person from going to hell. God will love everyone in hell
equally the same . . . for all eternity . . . but that won’t lesson
his or her judgment and subsequent penalty of suffering.
Case in point: God loves Hitler unconditionally as much as he loves
Billy Graham, or the Pope, or your Priest or Pastor, but God’s
unconditional love for Hitler isn’t doing him a bit of good as he
suffers in hell for eternity for what he did during his lifetime on
earth. Unless Hitler asked Jesus Christ to forgive Him of all his sins
prior to dying, and meant it from his heart, God’s unconditional love
toward him essentially no longer had any relevance, because upon
dying, Hitler then had God’s WRATH fully executed upon him. Holy
Scripture says that God’s WRATH is on each and every person who is
born into this world (John 3:36), and there is only ONE WAY to have
His wrath removed from us: become a born again Christian as John 3:3-8
says we must do.
Knowing that God loves you UNCONDITIONALLY -- no strings attached
-- is vitally important in getting set free from low self-esteem. But
to know that God’s WRATH has been removed from you because of His act
of UNCONDITIONAL love in going to the cross and dumping His wrath on
HIMSELF and dying that painful death . . . that will set your spirit
We cannot EARN God’s unconditional love. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to earn,
or be “good enough” to get it.
The only way to realize it’s FREE for the taking is by receiving it
with thanksgiving and gratitude. It’s free to one and all with no
Having God’s WRATH removed from us because we were born into this
world with the devil’s sinful nature is ALSO a free gift. No one
cannot become “good enough” to earn it, nor does any human being even
really DESERVE it. Yet it is available -- totally FREE -- by simply
reaching out and taking it. God wants EVERYONE to reach out and take
it, yet many won’t. Why? Because it makes no sense to them. People
can’t “see” God’s wrath upon them; therefore they don’t BELIEVE it’s
even on them, like scripture says it is.
Would YOU like this very moment to have God the Father’s wrath removed
from you -- for all time and eternity? All you have to do is repeat
this prayer out loud to God, and mean it from your innermost being:
“Heaven Father -- I confess to you that I am a sinner, as your
Holy Scriptures record. I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
asking you to forgive me of my sins.
Lord Jesus -- I ask you to be my Savior. I believe your death,
burial, and resurrection was the sufficient sacrifice for payment of
my sins: past, present, and FUTURE.
Lord Jesus -- I ask that you not only become my Savior, and trust you
to be so . . . but I also ask You to become my Lord.
I turn my life over to you now, Lord Jesus, and I give you everything
I have to do as you please. I will follow wherever you lead me from
this moment forward, and I will do all I can to study your Holy
Scriptures and obey them.
I ask you, Lord Jesus, to baptize me in The Holy Spirit . . .
whenever . . . and however . . . you so choose. I acknowledge to You
my need for a Helper to now walk this Christian walk . . . and you
said in Your holy scripture in the Book of John that you would send
the Holy Spirit to be in your children to help them remain faithful to
you and your Word during our lifetime.
Holy Spirit . . . I ask that you give me wisdom to never offend You
from this moment forward, and that You will teach me how to make You,
Jesus, and Heavenly Father my BEST friend. Amen.”
If you have prayed this prayer and meant it . . . God’s wrath has been
removed from you once and for ALL. You now have God’s FULL blessing on
your life, and you have now entered into the NEW spiritual rebirth
Jesus speaks of in John 3. Though you are just a spiritual infant --
you are now officially a saved, born again Christian, completely
acceptable to enter the Kingdom of Heaven upon your death.
Congratulations! Tell someone . . . tell the whole WORLD about what
you have done. Share it with us either by email or by regular mail.
We’ll help tell the whole world about it along with you!
In closing . . . please tuck this truth away. You’re going to need
it. What do you do when you are tempted to sin in the future, which we
all do on occasion (some do more so than others)? Simply apply 1 John
1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”