If we are alive and breathing we will at some point in our lives have to confront pain one way or another.
So, how does pain get there in the first place?
For me it began at a very young age. I always want to be vulnerable and upfront with you, so today here’s a short list of “pain points” from my life. Again, I share these so that we can both understand that extreme pain is possible to overcome:
- Uncle attempted to rape me at 12
- Gang raped at 14
- 100lb. overweight
- Eating disorder
- Forced into the sex industry for 10 years
- Abandon by my father
- 2 miscarriages before I was married
- Wanting to kill myself
All before the age of 35…
Oh and by the way a death sentence of cancer at the age of 42
All this pain accumulated and I stuffed it deep down…Which then turned into bitterness, resentment, anger, self-hatred (unloving spirit), others rejecting me, even worse was the rejection of my own self. I was desperate for love and attention. At some point in my life I became so messed up in my head that I actually embraced pain in a very dangerous way.
Now, I want you to understand all these painful experiences I endured were done before I had a real relationship with Jesus. Yes, I knew Jesus, but knowing Jesus in my head and knowing Jesus in my heart were two very different things. I thought if I stayed in a perpetual state of pain I would get the attention and love I so desired. This was the point in my life when everything began spiraling downward.
I had a choice, and so do you…
Let me be specific: one of the things I did to heal from the pain of being gang raped was – Forgive in the pain. Like, I forgave when I was in the midst of feeling and experiencing my pain.
I felt pain, and still to this day, I can think in detail about the wrongs that were done against me. But something is different now than before…because I chose to forgive, and continue to forgive, the effect of the wrongs no longer has a hold on my life.
And it has made all the difference in the world.
Hebrews 12:15 (Phillips Version) “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives for if He doesn’t there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others.”
Listen, if you’re still trapped in relationships or environments that are abusive to you, seek outside help and consider a change. I’m not saying that you should overlook dangerous physical or emotional environments you are in.
But hear my heart: even after we remove ourselves from bad environments, we will still remain a prisoner on the inside if we don’t forgive and release those who have wronged us.
Although I will probably never ever again see the six guys that ganged raped me…I still chose to forgive. And on the days that the enemy tries to get me to take the bait and start resenting what was done wrong to me…
I refuse it!
I refuse to allow what they did to me to create a lasting detriment to my life and keep me from being free.
And choosing to forgive is one of the first steps on the pathway to freedom.
Don’t wait another minute. Say it out loud right now. “I forgive __________”
You can say it 10 times a day if you need to, as you continue to feel the pain of what has happened to you.
Forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice.
And making that choice is one of the best things you can do to move forward.