April 30, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Four

Hey girls,

Well, this is a hard week.  We focus on one word…

Forgiveness

This word elicits so many emotions.  God speaks to forgiveness numerous times throughout Scripture because He knows it is a challenge for His children.

As you work through this chapter, please remember I struggled with forgiving my attacker for years.  It is NOT something that came easily.  It is not something I learned in a week.  My heart’s desire is that God will take the Truths I share in this chapter and plant them deep in your heart.  I am praying He will tender your soul to receive them and allow them to penetrate to the deepest, darkest crevices and begin a mighty transformational work.

I invite you to be vulnerable this week.  Would you consider sharing your struggle with forgiveness so we can be praying for you?  I know how hard this is, and I commit to pray specifically for each one of you who leave a comment this week.  Unforgiveness is a HUGE stronghold, and Satan would love nothing more than to keep you in your place of unforgiveness.  DON’T GIVE HIM THIS PLEASURE!!  Claim the mind of Christ that is yours.  Stand firm on the Scriptures we study this week.  Work through the questions and invite God into the process.  He is waiting for you to bring this to Him and give you victory over this in your life.

Below please find the video message for this week as well as this week’s assignment, memory verse, and prayer.  In the message, I talk about a “Prayer of Forgiveness” I have written.  If you would like a copy, please leave your e-mail address, and I will send it to you.

Assignment: Read Chapter Six in Hidden Joy, “Learning Forgiveness.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 6 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the the Lord forgives you. Colossians 3:13

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Your grace amazes me.  Thank You for dying on the cross for me when I was still a sinner.  Thank You for suffering pain, humiliation, and rejection for me.  Thank You that Your sacrifice was sufficient to forgive all my sins.  Lord, I am harboring unforgiveness in my heart.  I know this grieves your heart.  Please forgive me for refusing to extend grace and forgiveness the way you so graciously extended it to me.  You know how much this person has hurt me.  You know the wrongs they have done to me…how they have betrayed me.  But I know, Lord, Your will is forgiveness.  For it is in granting forgiveness that I will be freed!  Help me, Father to grant forgiveness.  Cleanse my heart from all bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment.  Root out every ounce so that nothing is remains.  You are my strength, and in You alone I know that I am able to forgive.  Give me the courage and the strength to take this step.  I commit to leave all my pain  and hurt at the foot of the cross, allowing You to take it all.  I will hold on to nothing!  Please begin Your healing work in my heart and mind.  I ask all this in the powerful and healing Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord.  Amen.

 Please know I will be praying for you as you journey through this chapter on forgiveness. Please share what God does in your life in and through this chapter.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. I would like to share my story of forgiveness. I mentioned last week that I worked ahead of the study because I am a task oriented person, but God knew it was the right time for me. I completed this chapter at work and completed the questions, for the most part (I left out communicating to the person). I point blank told God “I don’t want to”. yes I know that is not very “Godly” but I guess neither is lying and saying you forgive someone just because Wendy wrote chapter 6 saying I should (no disrespect meant). I argued with God, “she will never change”, “How can I forgive when she will hurt me again”, “she doesn’t think she did anything wrong”, on and on I went back and forth with God. I honestly felt like a little child arguing over why ice cream was a good choice for dinner and almost throwing a down right temper tantrum when i found out I was not going to win. Bottom line, my Abba Father said I had to forgive. I went home and my husband could tell something was wrong. He is a believer, but not a strong man of God (another story for another day). God opened the door for me to share my struggle and bring glory to God by telling him about this study. Then my husband simple said, sounds like you ave your answer as to what you need to do. Again, I wanted to throw a fit, but I didn’t. I only pouted a little this time. :) The next day in the mail, I received a letter from “her”. She apologized! What??? Never in a million years did I expect the words that were on the page. My emotions wanted to get the better of me again. “How dare she ask for forgiveness?” My husband then said, well maybe God is trying to do something. It took me all week to work through all the garbage and resent meant flowing through my mind to get to the words God wanted me to respond. It was not until I realized that God would deal with any hurt that followed forgiveness and only when i trusted Him enough to not let me be crushed again that I have peace. I know this is a long post, but I wanted to share how God set me free from hate, allowed my weakness to witness to my husband, and helped me learn to trust Him a little more than before. I do not know what the future holds for the relationship I write of, but I do know the One Who Holds My Future, His name is Jesus.

    • Don’t you just love how God works? He trusted you and knew what you would do, but He helped a bit along the way to show you that He was at work and rewarded your heart that SO wanted to obey. Thanks for sharing this encouraging story with us. We never know what our future holds, but you are so right…we do know the One who holds our future.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  2. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Forgiveness is not fun. Haha-I know I’m not alone in that statement. :) As I was watching the video, so many names came to mind. My husband and I were friends with two couples. Each of the wives and I were “best” friends. So close–they knew so much about me, about us. The one I considered to be like my sister–the one who helped with my wedding, who threw my baby shower, who let me cry for hours on end when my marriage seemed hopeless–she tried to take my husband from me. I believe because of my prayers, God allowed a series of events to occur so that my husband would shershey truth & cut her out of his life. But the betrayal that I feel & the pain that she caused me, I’m not sure I will ever get over. Oh I want to forgive her so badly!! I want to be free of these chains. But I don’t even know where to begin. Thinking about it hurts so bad that I just try to push it away. I thought that once she was gone, I could forgive her. But I find that it isn’t that easy. I know the Lord has promised that I will overcome this–and it can’t come soon enough.

    • Katie, with God ALL things are possible. He will enable you to completely forgive this women. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean embracing the person back in our lives or developing a deeper relationship with them. That may happen. But mostly it really means making things right with God. He takes care of the rest. The freedom you will experience will AMAZE you as you give this over to God fully and completely.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Sorry, Wendy, but could I have a copy of the Forgiveness Prayer, too? Thank you!

        • Julie S. says:

          Wow Katie! That is hard! Especially when she was your best friend! The same thing kinda happened when I was younger. My Mom’s best friend tried to steal my Dad away….and they had a secret relationship for years until I found out and things got messy. I am praying for forgiveness for my situation with my family and will keep you in my prayers as well.

          Julie

  3. Karen Bost says:

    Please pray that I would completely forgive a neighbor of mine who also goes to my church. It has been one year since I’ve initially been hurt by her and I still struggle with feelings of unforgiveness. Also, could you please e:mail the prayer of forgiveness to me?

    • Karen,

      Praying for a willing and obedient heart of forgiveness. Because the desire of your heart is to forgive, the Lord will enable you to do it. He promises to give us the desires of our heart when they align with His will and forgiveness is His will. And, yes, I will mail you the prayer when I get the complete list together of who would like to receive it.

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

  4. Wendy,
    This study has been amazing and as you can see, I took your tender, encouraging advice and joined you. I am so thankful that I did. Your book is amazing as your journey is one that is personal and applicable to most everyone I am sure.

    My heart is heavy and I have much to let go of, the loss of my husband at 44 from cancer, being left a widow to raise a 3 and 4 year old both adopted from Guatemala. A re-marriage to a widower, the upheaval of our healing family by a step-daughter who has turned our world upside down, constant battles. I find myself in a pit of “wishing my life away, dwelling on my happiest days before the cancer”. I am stuck in the muck; our house is volatile even toxic at times and is filled with temper tantrums, lies, stealing and so much hurt. I have told my husband that I forgive my step-daughter, the pain and hurt are tremendous, it is almost daily that we deal with some “issue”. My dream life is just a faded memory and at times I feel total despair. Do I really forgive her, or am I harboring the desire for revenge and retaliation – I really am not sure! Asking for prayer as I begin to read this Chapter and really dig deep. Thank you for your amazing gift of prayer.

    PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR FORGIVENESS PRAYER!

    Blessings to all who are on this journey to forgiveness may we life one another up as we struggle to loosen the chains of unforgiveness.
    Blessings,
    kareng

    • Angel P says:

      I am moved by your story. My husband and I were foster parents and our home was almost destroyed by the “drama” from teenage girls. We have since stopped fostering and decided to straight out adopt a child. In my short 10 years of marriage, I have seen many dreams die, vanishing like dust int he wind. Now that I am clinging tighter to God and all of His promises, new dreams are forming and promises are being kept. His promises have always been kept, I just didn’t know they were there since I didn’t read his word. I will come into agreement with you to pray over and for you. I will join you at the foot of our loving Father’s thrown. Even though i do not know you, God has sparked a love for you that I can’t explain.

    • I am so sorry your struggle continues with this young woman. I know it must be exhausting and so very frustrating. I continue to pray God will tender your heart to see and feel the pain that is in your step-daughter’s heart that she would act out in these ways. She must be filled with so much darkness, hopelessness, and anger to live this way. Praying the Light and Love of Christ that is in you will penetrate into the dark places in her life. Praying God will tender her heart to His Love as lived out through you. As you battle with her, remember greater is He who lives in you than he who lives in this world. Satan’s name is Diablos, it means divider. He so wants to divide your home and your family. He is using her to do it. Don’t let him. STAND strong in the Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to be your refuge and strength when you feel you cannot take another minute of her. He will be faithful!!

      W

  5. Wendy,

    I have an issue that continues to come up between me and a lady friend at my church. I confided in her years ago( at the time she was married) that I had feelings for a guy in our church, who happens to be our Elder. She new the guy and we all were friends. She would even encourage me to ride with him when the 4 of us got together to go on short trips to the park or nature walks after church service. Well, my friend and her husband eventually ended up getting a divorce and she turned to the guy I liked to talk to him about her situation and for comfort. Over time she developed feelings for this same friend of ours. I have no claims on him but it sure hurts everytime I see her visiting him or doing things with him. I have asked God to enable me to forgive her and at times I believe I have. But it is not a one time hurt. I continue to get hurt and I don’t know how to get over it. This guy does not seem to have any interest in either one of us in a romantic way , but I still feel betrayed when she initiates contact with him. I wouldn’t mind being her friend because she does have some good qualities, but I don’t know how she can continue to be so insensitive to my feelings. Please pray that I will completely let this whole matter go into the hands of the Lord. I would also like a copy of the forgiveness prayer.

    • Karen, I am so sorry you are going through this with a friend. It truly is a betrayal. Have you shared your heart with her in a loving way? If she is a good friend, she may understand…she may not even have any idea if he does not have a romantic interest in her. She may truly just count him as a trusted friend. Only she and God know her motives. I pray the Lord will guide you every step and word as you pray about how to deal with this. I pray for healing and restoration of this friendship if this is a good, healthy friendship for you. I pray your heart will hear the Lord regarding your next steps and forgiveness.

      W

  6. I do NOT want or have the will to read this chapter, so I am simply asking for your prayers that the Lord will give me the strength and courage to move..just move. I came home tonight and found notes my husband has written that last Tuesday his lawyer has come up with a settlement number and at a volleyball game (he plays on a team) a woman told him she has a single best friend!!!! I cannot even begin to explain where I am right now. He has had four affairs that I know about and two of them were with friends that I have shared my life with, their lives and children. I have protected them and their families. He is even able to speak with the husbands as he believes there would never be anyway that I would tell as too many people would be hurt. No concern over the heartbreak I have had and have moment by moment. I want to go to these women and scream “I know what you did and I am telling”…yes ladies I want them to shed tears, wake up with eyes so swollen that you can’t see, I want them to be so afraid of what tomorrow holds for them as I have had to do. I want my husband to feel the hurt of my heart and the pain he is able of causing me without any remorse. How can a professing christian, who goes to church, reads his bible and prays over people be married, and look for yet another woman single or not. The last affair he should have could have lost his job over the mis-use of time and equipment from his place of work while carring on with one of them. He was threaten and I heard him beg for this man to not use the emails and evidence he had against him, and the Lord protected him!??? Why why why do I not feel protected, why do I live in fear, why do I cry each and every day waiting for the Lord I know to work in my life??? Why are these women (and I know there have been so many others) and my husband able to live life, work, sleep, eat and even have fun in the midst of their sin. I have for the last 8 years hung on to the hope and prayers that my God would do something, even if it was to just protect me from the hurt and pain of seeing these women and hearing about their lives and how happy they are doing. And I know….well Dona they really aren’t happy, their day will come, all of the things I know and people share…..I just what the hurt and pain to stop. I don’t want to still love this man and be connected emotionally to him. I want my God to begin a work in me that gives me strenght, hope, wisdom, and takes the pain away so that I am able to think, work, eat and sleep two hours at one time without waking and crying. Please Wendy send me the prayer….please pray for me, I am locked in my bedroom each and every night, this study has provided me with hope and yet makes me so mad and full of shame and then I just want to walk the path that seems so easy ….. just like my husband and these other woman have done. It is going to be a very long night, week and life…I can only pray that the Lord comes soon. I wait for the prayer..I cannot tell you when I will be able to pray it but know this….I have loved the Lord, depended on him prayed for forgiveness and ask for his hand of grace and mercy on me….but nothing
    God Bless you all….I will be praying for you all and the lives you are leading….
    Dona

    • Dona, Your God is already there, holding you tightly in His gentle arms brushing back the hair and wiping the tears. He is waiting for you to come to Him. Just call out to him as you did with us. Share your heart thru the tears. He will hear you. I’ll be praying for you.

      When you shared that you wanted them to pay, it reminded me of the time I said almost the same things to a friend. And I wanted to be there to see the same pain they caused me and I wanted to see them suffer. And she said no you don’t because God will punish those who hurt you so much we can’t even imagine it. All we need to know is our God is for us and those who hurt us will in the end know they have hurt one of God’s precious children. I had to and still do cling to these scriptures Deut 32:35 Vengeance is mine, And I decree the punishment of all HER enemies. ( emph mine) Another verse Lev. 19:18 Don’t seek vengeance. Don’t bear a grudge; but love your neighbor as yourself for I am Jehovah. ” These are from TLB and there are days they are hard to hold but I am working to pray these back to God. Hope they help you.

      • Debra
        Thank you and Bless you for your words of encouragement and hope. I have lived with this mess for so long that it has become part of me. My heart is still “married” and my vows that I took still feel so real. This month is my anniversary month and it will be 32 years and then we dated for 3 while he completed his college. So I don’t know how to not be connected to him. I pray that my connection will be with my Lord and that it will completely take the place of my marriage?? I know the Lord hates divorce and yet hanging on is so very painful.
        I pray to let go of this need of vengeance and ask the Lord to simply know my heart…know that I desire to please him more than anything…and yet my mine wonders….
        I will pray for you and whatever needs you may have and I covet your continued prayers for my life.
        Bless you and ALL who are walking in the study

    • Sweet Dona, I am so sorry for the heartbreak you are going through. You are a beautiful child of God and your husband is NOT honoring or loving you the way God calls Him to in Scripture. He is violating the very covenant of your marriage. This is NOT about you…it is about Him. He is so deeply entrenched in sin that he cannot even see, hear, or recognize Truth. My prayer is that the Lord will be your DEFENDER in this situation. My first prayer is that God will open the eyes of your husband to see his sin and see how he is hurting you and violating the promises he made to you. But second, if he is going to continue to walk in the ways of sin, I pray that the Lord will lead you as to next steps for your marriage.

      But in the midst of this never ever forget you are not defined by your marriage or by your husband or by his unfaithfulness. You are defined by the Word of God….loved, cherished, forgiven, holy, created with purpose, beautiful in His sight. Your name is engraved on the palm of His hand. You have value and worth. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and in His Word. Draw strength from that Word and His Holy Spirit.

      I pray He will wash you with His love from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. May you sense His love in very real and personal ways.

      Thank you for writing us and sharing your heart. We are praying!!]

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Can I please get a copy of Wendy’s prayer of forgiveness? Thanks
    BJ

  8. This chapter on forgiveness, kinda reminds me of the gall bladder they removed from my body over the weekend, On the surface you only see the problem- in my case stones causing problems.even the ultra sound didn’t see the full problem til you dug deeper- In the case of our study its our forgiveness over something,

    But it takes the Dr to cut to the source of the problem to seeing just what it was doing. This is like God showing me just what un forgiveness can do if not dealt with. With my stones once she ( the doctor got inside she say that the gall bladder had become inflamed and damaging my body. And that’s what unforgiveness could do to me destroy the precious body God gave me. Now that its cut out and my body’s healing. Forgiveness can also heal our bodies like removing an organ that no longer does the work its supposed to,

    Hope that makes sense. Now to start catching up on my reading.

  9. Amy Gentry says:

    Wow, this is such a difficult topic. I have had an unforgiveness in my heart for someone who hurt me for the last 16 years. I have tried so hard and think I have come a long way. But for some reason, I still have trust issues because I feel like if I am always assuming someone is going to hurt me, then they can’t really hurt me because I was ready for it (if that makes any sense to anyone). It has put quite a strain on my marriage. My husband (of 15 years) often says he pays the price for the guy who hurt me back then. It doesn’t seem fair, but it’s not an easy thing. I cannot let go of that little bit of fear just in case. Thank you for your time and your study…it is really good to know when other people share things in common. I would love to have your forgiveness prayer…thank you!

    • Oh Amy… my heart goes out to you. Abba Father… by Your Spirit, please help Amy release this grip that she is holding onto that is giving her a false sense of security. I know the enemy leads us to believe that if our grip is strong enough, we’ll be able to protect ourselves. But as only our Heavenly Father can, please tenderly hold Amy and as she loosens her grip, let her feel the freedom of Your Truth. You tell us that Your Truth sets us free… free indeed! Bless Amy and her husband with a breath of fresh air… the possibilities of new beginnings… freedom! Let forgiveness flow out of her by Your Spirit! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      Big hugs to you and your husband of 15 years :)
      xoxo

  10. Chargaile says:

    I can relate to everyone who posted here about the desire to forgive someone who has hurt you so deeply. I struggle with the same problem and mine is with a sibling and a daughter-in-law. I struggle daily. Wendy, I need that prayer as well if you could e-mail it to me please.

  11. Wendy,

    Thank you so much for this book and this study. I was so excited when you said this was going to be an online study. It is helping me so much.

    Would you please send me the forgiveness prayer?

    Thank you,
    Melissa

  12. Sheila Payne says:

    Forgiveness is always hard but I think it is even harder when the person you need to forgive does not feel they did anything wrong but that you did. I have had a couple of experiences where someone hurt someone I love by words spread to many that were not true and one by taking advantage of us financially. In none of these cases has the person asked for me to forgive them. I think that would help. I want to forgive. At times I think I forgave them. Then I still feel upset sometimes so I guess that means I didn’t. I would like to receive the forgiveness prayer.
    Thank you Wendy,
    Sheila Payne

    • Yes, it is SOOOO hard to forgive when the other person has not recognized they have hurt us. I think that is why it is so freeing when we finally are able to do it. It is something we cannot do in our own strength and it releases such a heavy burden on our hearts. We truly have no idea how quickly unforgiveness takes root and gains a stronghold in our hearts. As you read in my book, I had to do it over and over again until one day, I really finally did it!! God will be faithful….keep seeking hard after it.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  13. http://pinterest.com/pin/287948969895315689/

    New Pin on Pinterest for this week :)

  14. Will you please email me a copy of your forgiveness prayer? And pray for me as I start to read this chapter. I don’t want to read it because I don’t want to forgive. But I know it is God’s will and that I need to do it. I also sense that God is telling me is to time to forgive but oh how my spirit fights it!

    • Kathy, I do pray the Lord will draw you to read the book and to His truths as revealed through my story. Praying He will tender your heart to His Word as it speaks to forgiveness. I pray He will convict your heart and lead you in the way you should go. Baby steps, sweet friend, baby steps. He will be faithful!!

      W

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Wendy,

    I just listened to the video today – I am not doing this study but I get the updates and obviously I should be doing this study. Almost two years ago my 10 year old daughter and I were on a kids mission trip with our church – it was for almost a week and this is a church that we had been a part of for 9 years – my daughter regulary talked about having her wedding at that church and wanted to raise her children at that church. But the kids on the trip turned against her – they were so unkind and deliberately hurtful. But the worst was that a friend of her’s – my best friend’s son – was especially mean to her. They had been friends since they were toddlers – there were so many hard things we had all been through together and so many joys we had celebrated and it all ended then. When I tried to talk to her about what had happened, she called me a liar and other than 4 people, pretty much the whole church turned their backs on us. After several months, whenever we would encounter one another (small town) she would pretend that nothing had happened – and that hurt just as badly. I have been struggling for almost two years to forgive her, to forgive the people at that church. In that almost two years, no one has ever apologized or ever contacted me to say that they were sorry their child hurt mine. But I know that God wants me to forgive – it is just hard. But it was such a blessing for you to speak today about your child being hurt – that really hit home with me. God has been working with me this whole time – ever sermon I hear is about forgiveness – forgiveness follows me around like a fly, annoying and unwanted. Except I do want to want to forgive – I know that I need to. I know that not doing it is putting distance between me and God. Please pray for me in this.

    • Praying for you now, Elizabeth. I just love that you KNOW the Lord is calling you to this. And because you recognize this, you will be successful and victorious in this. He promises that when you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. You are seeking hard after this, so you will find Him and He will empower you and enable you to do this. And remember He promises that blessings follow obedience. I pray that when you finally come to this beautiful palce of forgiveness, He will shower you with His blessings. Such a huge burden will be lifted!! You will be FREE!!!

      Blessings,
      Wendy

  16. Tricia says:

    This is truly a difficult topic. After being separated going on 2 years, and divorce filed by my husband this past August, it has been a long, hard trial for my children and I. While I do feel like I have forgiven him, I am having a difficult time forgiving myself and his mother. I know the part that I played in his leaving, and pray daily for healing. He moved home to his mothers, and instead of her encouraging him to come home to his family and work things out, trusting God for the results, she enabled him to stay there,, telling him life is too long to be unhappy. She as well as my husband are believers. Her husband left her after 38 years of marriage, so she knows first hand what it feels like to have your husband walk out on your family. Yet, she allows her son to stay with her instead of coming back to his own family. I am trying to not have bitterness towards her, and it is a daily struggle. There are many other details, but too much to write. out. The Christmas before our divorce was even filed, I asked my husband why she never asked about the kids when I called to speak to him, and he informed me that they were not her grand kids. (my children are from a previous marriage, but my husband has been with my children for 12 years) He too feels no responsibility, saying they are not his children as well, even though he made a vow to provide for and love them just as he did me.My children and I still love him dearly, and I am still praying for my marriage, even though our divorce may be final this week. Please keep my children and I in your prayers. And I too, would like to get a copy of your prayer.

    • Praying now for all of you. I am so sorry that his mother-in-law is behaving in such an unlovely, unloving way. May God shower you with His love and care as you journey through this difficult time. May He reveal Himself to you in very real and personal ways that will show you He is with you every step of the way. And I join you in praying that the Lord will turn your husband’s heart back to you and your marriage…. that the Lord will remind him of the promises he made and the love he once had for you.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  17. Virgie Watson says:

    Could I have a copy of your forgiveness prayer Thank You Wendy…Your study is helping me soooo much to see how God heals all…Pray for our son he is going through a really dark area in his life right now…it comes from a alcholic father it brakes my heart to see him go through this dark depression. Thank you for reaching out and helping us with the word of God. Like Angel said the one who holds my future and my family is Jesus!

    • Hi Virgie,

      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. I am praying for your son right now…may God shine His Light into the darkness in your son’s heart and mind. May He bring people across his path who love the Lord and may they show your son God’s love and compassion. Praying that in any conversations you have with your son that the Lord will give you every word to share. May your son find God and experience God’s Love and Hope through this journey. May your son experience God in very real ways through you, your love, friends, and miraculous “God-incidnces.”

      W

  18. KatjaB says:

    Wendy, my struggle with forgiveness is two-fold. Growing up my mom was very abusive towards myself and my siblings. Even to this day she tries so hard to control us, and if you do not do what she wants, she refuses to speak with you. It’s hard because I try to forgive her and be in contact with her but then she will do something and will slam the door in your face and refuses to speak with you. I also struggle with my husband. He has cheated on me in the past and recently discovered he joined a dating website. It’s so hard for me to offer forgiveness. I go into a shell and do not want to do anything or talk with anyone.

    • Noelle says:

      Dear Katja,
      Those are big, painful issues! I am praying that God blesses you with wisdom in both situations. Have you by chance ever read “Safe People” and/or “Boundaries”? Both are written by the team of Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Although I’ve never had my husband cheat on me, I know they have given me insight and godly wisdom when dealing with toxic family members and friends.

      Abba, You know the beautiful and fragile heart Katja has. You see her efforts to forgive. You know her pain and You have collected every tear she has cried. Father, give Katja wisdom in both relationships. At the same time, in faith, let her feel You tending to her pain. Thank You that You have brought her to this study… to Wendy’s leadership… and to this group of girlfriends who want her to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give! In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!

      xo

      • KatjaB says:

        Thank you for the prayer, Noelle. I appreciate it so much! No, I haven’t read those two books. I will look those up.

    • WendyB says:

      Katja,

      I join Noelle in her beautiful prayer for your heart and for wisdom. It hurts to know that you have pain two such significant relationships in your life. I am thankful the Lord brought you here for nourishment and encouragement. I pray for a change of heart for both your mother and husband and for healing in both relationships.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  19. Doing confident heart as well as this one is a bright spot because I wasn’t ready to dive into a forgiveness chapter yet, after all its been years and the events or triggers dont happen often, and I am used to living this way so it just grew on me as something familiar. But as I read the statement ” We have to be perfect to be

    • ok this went thru without being finished….. So let me try this again… When I read the statement ” we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted from Renee’s book, I had to stop. Because me memory went back to my child hood and all the memories of being what everyone wanted instead of learning to be me. So to me the word perfect jumped out because I was trying to be perfect and so many different people. Thats when the people pleaser in me was born. To be accepted and loved was to conform to what others wanted. Now you may wonder what that has to do with forgiveness well I’ll tell ya I need to forgive all those – and there are many- who made me feel less then who I could really be, but most of all I need to forgive me for being too hard on myself , for not allowing myself to make a mistake, or feel or just be . I always had to pretend to be satrong or someone else. So forgiveness of myself is where i need to start. I need to forgive myself for not being real, sensitive, outspoken, OUTSPOKEN which I so wanted to be but couldn’t because that wasn’t allowed. So my first stop on the forgiveness train is to forgive me for not becoming the woman I could have been and instead becoming the woman others thought I should be.

      • WendyB says:

        People pleasing is such a stronghold, and I am so thankful the Lord has opened your eyes to it. It seems a good thing on the surface…to want to make people happy and to be the one who does what everyone wants…the easy one. But in reality it reveals an empty hole inside of us that is not being filled by God. We fill it with the love and approval of others. I pray that you will KNOW deep in your heart who you are in Christ and STAND confidently in your identity as a child of God!!

        W

  20. Sandy C. says:

    Would love to have a copy of the prayer. I still have those issues of wanting to take back my forgiveness of those boys who hurt me so deeply many yearsago. Thanks for again making me realize that once forgiven is truly forgiven. You are still so special in my recovery.

    • WendyB says:

      Thank you, Sandy. I am so thankful the Lord used me to draw you closer to healing and to Him.

      Blessings

      Wendy

  21. Please send me a copy of the forgiveness prayer.

  22. Wendy, I would really like a copy of your forgiveness prayer as well please.

  23. Marcia L. says:

    Usually…all I have to do is think about how much I have been forgiven…remind myself of all of my sins…

    8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    9 He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
    10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
    12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
    13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
    14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.
    Psalm 103:8-14

    I have to pray constantly for faith…to know that I have been forgiven much therefore I must forgive no matter what the grievance is…ofcourse…sometimes easier said than done. So I must pray more and ask Christ for His forgiveness because I have none within myself.

    I recently learned about Aspen trees…they have the largest root system in the world. We have beautiful Aspens here and if one has them in their yard they will soon find that all throughout their yard will be sprouts of new Aspen trees…needless to say…they are difficult to keep under control…they will sprout up all over the place…places where one might not want them to be. Well…bitterness is alot like the Aspen tree…it will show up in places in your life where you might not want it to be…atleast I have found that to be true in my own life. I may harbor bitterness towards my parents or a friend or the rapist…it doesn’t matter who or what…that same bitterness will spew all throughout other places in my life. I must get to the original source of bitterness…most of the time I have found that it is only God who I am angry with…how could He let this happen to me…how could He give me such negligent parents…how could God allow that man to do that to me?!?
    It has been quite the journey learning about forgiveness and bitterness…I have been down some very dark paths because of it…but God has always been faithful and brought me out into the light again.
    He is faithful even when we are not…He loves us even when we are unkind…He knows all the hairs on our heads and He knows all the tears we’ve cried.
    Therefore we must turn to God and pour out our hearts to Him…everything…every single thought…give it all to God and ask for His forgivenss.

    • WendyB says:

      Oh, I just LOVE this powerful example of the Aspen tree. It is so true!! Thank you for reminding us that it is only to God that we are to pour out…sometimes even spew…out all that hides in our hearts SO THAT we do not spew it out onto others. When we give it to Him, He takes it and replaces it with His goodness, love, mercy, and grace. And those things are SO much better things with which to be filled!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  24. Teresa Blanchett says:

    I too would like a copy of your forgiveness prayer. I haven’t been able to pick my book up without crying. 7 yrs ago I was raped, beaten (2 broke ribs, broken arm and jaw) and needless to say I have a problem when it comes to forgiveness. He gets out of prison in nov. ave had my phone nunber changes. He always finds me. He can even describe my house. Please pray for me that I learn how to forgive him.

    • WendyB says:

      Teresa,

      Sweet friend, I am so sorry that you are still plagued by this man who has hurt you so deeply. I pray God’s protection over you as the time draws near for him to be released. I pray the Lord will remove his obsession with you and focus him on other things. I pray that while spending these last months in prison, the Lord will bring a godly man into his life who will lead his heart to repentance and introduce him to the saving love of Jesus Christ. I also pray that as you work through the next chapter on fear, God will do a mighy work in your heart and free you from your own prison of fear. Thank you for sharing your story and inviting us to pray for you.

      W

  25. Jennifer C. says:

    Hello Wendy, I would love a copy of the prayer too!

    Thanks,
    Jennifer

  26. Kathleen says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I would like a copy of the Forgiveness prayer, could you email it to me at kathleenyow@pacific.net.sg

    Please pray for me as i think i harboured unforgiveness and resentment towards the father of my child. I need to learn how to forgive him because it is hurting our relationship. Please help me.

    • WendyB says:

      Kathleen,

      Praying now for the Lord to really begin a fresh work in your heart to forgive the father of your child. I pray He will lead and guide you to a way of reconciliation in your heart and mind….even if only for your child. May you see him through God’s eyes….hurt and broken, needing the love of a Savior. May you be a Light in his life to show him God’s love and grace. And may God reward and bless your heart of obedience.

      W

  27. Aleisha says:

    I am struggling with forgiveness in so many different parts of my life…forgiving my mom for leaving me when I was younger, then forgiving her for marrying the man that hurt me as a child, forgivjng my dad, my list is forever long and I need to stop holding onto the hate and the anger! I need to forgive myself for making choices in life that I knew not to! I can’t forgive my sons father and his family for everything they had put me through, like I said the list is forever long! I’m not a mean person or heartless but I can’t let go! Please send me the prayer! Also please prayer for me as I am trying to lean on God alone to battle depression and it’s been a struggle!! This study is really going to help me!!

    • WendyB says:

      Aleisha,

      Having so many things on your “forgiveness” list can be overwhelming. I encourage you to take baby steps in this forgiveness process. Choose one relationship for which deeply desire forgiveness and healing the most. Commit that to the Lord. Pray fervently in that direction. Each step you take of forgiveness will make the next one easier..until finally you will be FREE!!! I pray the Lord will lead your every choice, every step, and every word.

      Love,

      Wendy

  28. Dear Wendy, thank you for the study this week. Please pray for me that God can help and guide me with self-forgiveness. I seem to be able to forgive others but not myself. Please also forward me your forgiveness prayer. Thank you and God bless you. Riene

    • Julie S. says:

      I’m really hard on myself too Riene, praying for you! Hugs <3

      Julie

    • WendyB says:

      Reine, I pray the Lord will open your eyes to who you are in Christ. I pray you will realize deep in your soul the beautiful forgiveness extended to you by your Savior at the cross. I pray you will let that love and grace soak in. He has forgiven your sins as far as the east is from the west. He has washed you white as snow. If your perfect Savior has done that for you, how much more should you do that for you. He is just waiting for you to love yourself and see yourself as He does. Go to my “Free Resources” link and there you will find a resource about who you are in Christ and a prayer to pray. I encourage you to print them out, study them, and pray them!! God will be faithful to bring you to a place of forgiveness.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  29. Julie S. says:

    Wow Wendy! This is a really hard chapter! I keep trying to forgive and throw those suitcases out but it seems they always want to rear their ugly heads. I find it especially hard when people you need to forgive have not changed and when they enter your life again…throw you back into a tizzy even when you’re fighting with everything in you against it. I would love a copy of the forgiveness prayer as I KNOW this is an area where I need to work on (pw71998@aol.com). Lord have mercy on us and allow us to forgive as you have forgiven us <3.

    Julie

    • WendyB says:

      Julie, AMEN to your prayer. We all need to remember that He has freely forgiven us…we did nothing at all to deserve it. We did not earn it or “pay” for it. We only need to ask for it and it is given. I pray God will instill this Truth deep into your heart and bring you to a place of forgiveness with those for whom you are struggling to forgive. He will be faithful!!

      W

  30. After all that God has forgiven me for, I don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness. I know this in my mind, it took much longer for my heart to get it.

    Forgiveness is not easy, unless we allow it to come straight from leading of the Holy Spirit. God says forgive ! The man that murdered my oldest son last year, I had to forgive him and pray for him to come to know God. Why ? Because God told me to. This book has been the most wonderful blessing. God knows my heart hurts, missing my Chris. But God gathers every tear, I know He cried over Chris as well, because He loved Chris, He created him ! God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways…when we rely on Him, He is where our joy comes from, not our circumstances!

    I pray this book brings healing to each one of you !

    God bless you.

    • WendyB says:

      Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. Being a mother, I can only imagine your pain. Thank you for sharing your story of forgiveness. Your words will be SUCH an encouragment. For if you can forgive such a heinous crime, we know that we all can also forgive. May God continue to meet you in your greiving times and shower you with His Love and compassion. I pray for many opportunities for you to share you powerful story of forgiveness.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  31. Wendy, I was so blessed by your story of forgiveness… how God walked you down a long road… and through your journey you struggled because you saw the road signs urging you to forgive, but you really didn’t want to. It’s through that battle in your mind and heart that I was blessed with a wave of hope! Your story proved that the temptations we face to hold onto unforgiveness is common to all of us! But God is faithful and He will not allow this temptation of grudge holding and brooding anger to be more than what we can stand. He will show us a way out so we can endure. (1 Cor. 10:13)

    I have one person in my life who continues to be like sandpaper. God has given me insights to his past- a very difficult childhood. I would have expected that knowledge to fill my heart with compassion and give me abundant reasons to forgive the grievances he’s inflicted on me. However, I find myself death-gripping onto my pride and I lean toward holding grudges.

    God opened my eyes to see that the parable of the unforgiving debtor that you referenced was an illustration of me. I wanted to run from that idea. However, I am tired of this toxicity being inside ME! It reminds me of the quote from Nelson Mandela, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

    Wendy, I know this will be a process, but my knuckles are no longer white. I’m loosening my grip, breathing deeply and praising God. He has forgiven me of infinite wrongs. Certainly I can celebrate in that and let others receive from my overflow.

    With love and gratitude to wonderful you and this amazing group of girlfriends… noelle
    (BTW, I’d LOVE the prayer if it’s not too much trouble: noelleandryan@aol.com)

    • Maggiemoo says:

      I love you :)

    • WendyB says:

      Oh, my goodness, I just love your visual image of “toxicity’ and “drinking poison.” None of us would every voluntarily fill ourselves with a toxic substance, but we do it everyday that we live with unforgiveness harboring in our hearts. It is a “root” of bitterness that takes root and holds on for dear life. It is only the cleansing blood of Jesus and the extraordinary power of His Holy Spirit that will cleanse and remove that toxicity.

      Thank you again, Noelle, for this comment.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • I just read in Joanna Weaver’s book “Having a Mary Spirit” that the analogy of unforgiveness being like drinking poison (and hoping it will kill your enemies) is frighteningly accurate. She cites a Newsweek article from Sept. 2004 which showed that unforgiveness is linked to all kinds of physical problems “ranging from increased blood pressure and cardiovascular disease to hormonal changes, immune suppression and possibly impaired neurological function and memory.” I’ve always been told that forgiveness is more about me than the offender… and it makes sense… this is just more proof. Heaven knows I don’t need added hormonal issues (or better said, my poor husband doesn’t need me to have more hormonal issues) and I’ll be the first to say, I’m crazy enough without added neurological issues!!!

  32. Kelsey says:

    How timely is the forgiveness chapter! The other day, while working on chapter 5 homework, I realized it is bitterness and unforgiveness toward my dad that is presently a hurdle between God and me. I have forgiven the guy who assaulted me. I have been forgiven for the sin I ran to in order to reinstate my self-value. And, I have fully accepted God’s forgiveness and grace–finally understanding there is nothing I can do to earn forgiveness.
    I recently moved back in with my parents and at nearly 25 years old, the reality of my dad’s brokenness is heartbreaking. Also heartbreaking is the active choice he has made over the years to disengage from the family, unable to provide much more than our family’s financial needs. He is emotionally unavailable. I am struggling with the fact that he is uninterested in being a part of my life. I have tried to talk with him, but my feelings are pushed aside and defensive walls go up. As of late, I am making connections between the feelings of inferiority and worthlessness that I grew up having to my pursuit to be loved, developing an eating disorder, living promiscuously and then nearly marrying the wrong man (a man just like my dad).
    My choices were my own. I am only now seeing how much a father can impact his little girl. I am so mad that he cares more about himself than my siblings and me. My brothers are still school-aged and are experiencing similar things that I did years ago. My heart aches for them because I know the pain they feel. I want to forgive my dad. I am struggling to do so because he does not want to change. He is a chronic repeat offender and doesn’t care. Please pray that I will learn healthy boundaries in “relationship” with him, that I will respect him (as I do live in his house), and that God will heal the wound in my heart and his heart.
    I am praying for each of you ladies. We are so blessed to have our Abba Daddy to swoop us into his unconditionally loving arms, cradling us in his forgiveness, glory and grace.
    Wendy, will you please email the Forgiveness Prayer? Much thanks!

    • WendyB says:

      Kelsey, thank you for sharing your story. I am praying now just as you asked. I especially pray for the “healthy boundaries” part because you continue to live with him and have to observe and experience his continued behavior. And although your childhood upbringing led to behavior that was less than honoring to God, you are now a new creature in Christ. All of that is behind you…the old has gone and the new has come. Walk in the beauty of who you are NOW!! I pray God will continue to heal your heart and restore your relationship with your dad. I pray that you will be a shining LIGHT in the darkness of his heart and mind. I pray for a change of heart in him as he experiences the love of God in your life. I also pray for your brothers and for God to protect them physically, spiritually, and emotionally from your father’s words and actions. May He hold you close!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  33. Shasta says:

    I would like a copy of the prayer please. I have been feeling a sense of deep sadness for a few years now that I’m in therapy to try to uncover. I think that forgiveness will be part of this process. Thank you for your prayers.

    • WendyB says:

      Shasta, praying the Lord will shine the AMAZING LIGHT of His love into your heart…into every nook and cranny until there is no darkness left. I pray that He will restore to you the JOY of your salvation.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  34. Forgiving others is something that I have found easy to do. I know this may sound counter intuitive considering some of the pains that have been inflicted on my heart and my body, the scars that I have had to carry because of the choices of others. However, all I have to do is look at the cross and I just can’t imagine denying someone that grace.

    What I HAVE had a horrible time with…is forgiving myself. I’m not talking about feeling guilty over the actions of another, I’ve been able to grow through that lie. When I look as the sin in my own life…I can’t help but wonder…why?

    Father, I know that even if I were the only one in the world, Your Son would have willingly laid down His life for mine…what I don’t understand is how You can look at me…at the things I’ve done and still say…’I forgive you.’ It boggles my heart and mind, I just don’t get it. Why did You do that? I know the simple and most powerful answer is that it’s because You love me. This is a love I pass on to others in every possible way I can, but my heart just stops in my chest with the thought that this love, Your love is offered to me so freely. I have done nothing to deserve it, yet there it is, poured out for this dirty, sin stained child of Yours. But, that’s not how You see me. Through Your Son I am…we all are…washed clean, perfect, blameless in Your sight. We are Your beloved, precious children. Thank You. With all that I am, thank You. Forgive me for not seeing myself the way that You do, help me to let go of who I was and live freely in whom You have made me. Amen…

    • Amen beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Noelle says:

      My beautiful friend! A huge AMEN to your prayer. I am praying that alongside you. I am praying that God gives the eyes of your heart the ability to see yourself as He does… as I do… as your friends and family see you. What a precious gift you are… beautiful inside and out :) xoxo

  35. Monique says:

    This week I have been playing catch up, working on both chapters 5 and 6. I decided my one step off the mat would be to make the commitment to get up an extra hour early before work each morning. It may sound like a silly step, but the question of “do you want to get well” spoke powerfully to me. Taking this small step of getting up early will provide the time for me to study God’s word which I am realizing is how I will be transformed from the inside out. As I start on chapter 6 I feel at a loss of how to let go of the hurt and betrayal I feel. I struggle with anger towards God, an ex-boyfriend and myself. There’s been a lot of emotional pain in my life the last 6 years and I feel like the pain has taken and wasted these last few years from me. If forgiveness isn’t necessarily a feeling then how do I know when I have forgiven? I know one of the study guide questions states to ask forgiveness from the person we find hard to forgive. Just reading that angers me, as pride fills me and I think “what do I need to ask forgiveness for?” I also feel very conflicted with having any communication with this individual as I am not sure emotionally that is a wise decision, but I don’t want to continue down this same path. So, I think I will try and work writing a forgiveness letter to God… Would you please email me your prayer of forgiveness Wendy?

    • Noelle says:

      Wendy, I have the same question as Monique. I have a dear friend who has been severely abused physically. Don’t you think there are situations where it’s healthier to not be in their presence to say that we forgive them? In another situation… with the person who is sandpaper to me, he has no idea that he continues to offend me or others in our Bible study group. He said his views are, “This is who I am, if you don’t like me, leave.” So, I have forgiven him as I pray to God, but I can’t help but think that facing him to offer forgiveness might do more harm then good. I’d love wisdom from you or any of our girlfriends!!! Thank you Wendy for this amazing, healing study! Thank you Monique for your idea of writing a forgiveness letter to God :)

      • Honestly, there are times when forgiving someone face to face is neither possible, nor safe. All I can attest to on this are my own experiences. For the first one, he didn’t think he had done anything wrong and at the time I just couldn’t even be in his presence without breaking out into a cold sweat and flashbacks. Instead I wrote him a letter telling him that I forgave him for everything he did, but told him I never wanted anything to do with him. Just because we forgive someone, doesn’t mean we should restore that relationship. It wasn’t until six years later that he wrote me and apologized, it took him that long to realize just what he had done to me. For the second one, I never really knew for certain who it was, so it was impossible for me to forgive them by name, but I forgave them nevertheless.

        Forgiving means we no longer hold that sin against that person. I no longer feel anger towards either of these men. I feel sad for them instead. I wonder what lies lead them to hurt me in the way that they did, why they thought it was okay to take what didn’t belong to them.

        There are times when it is not healthy to forgive someone face-to-face, but honestly talk to the Lord about what He wants you to do in that situation. The question is, what fear is holding you back from telling that person face-to-face? If He is asking you to forgive face-to-face, trust Him with the outcome, even if it’s not the one you were hoping for. I hope this helps a little…

        • Maggiemoo says:

          Monique I felt very similar reading the questions for chapter 6. When I read question 3b I got so nauseous, cried and honestly a little light headed. How could I call these men, I’d be a hot mess. I can’t even look at a picture of them without feeling so sad. The other one causes me to just get incredibly sad and disappointed. Then I was like oh no, why am I feeling this way.. It didn’t feel good. I have forgiven them…hadn’t I? I even asked the same question…what am I asking for forgiveness for???? Why would I do this, what would I even start by saying? I’d feel like fool and be overwhelmed with emotion. Then I read question 4 and felt frustrated. After praying and praying about it , talking to a friend and my momma about these questions. Then going to bible study at my church last night and listening to that lesson, I realized this is not something I need to do today. This morning in my quiet time, I went back and re-read chapter 6 and the words that kept jumping out at me was Wendy saying…Remember this did not happened over night (something close to anyway), in the bible study last night, I heard find what works best for you in your learning process in your healing on your journey. I am healing from my most recent battle wounds, in the midst of still healing from many others, like many of us in this study. I remember the words God has put in my heart thru this Spiritual journey I’m on recently, take your time Maggie. This is your walk, God knows your heart, this is our special relationship, God is not going anywhere, he is with me every step of the way to fight thru this with me, to teach me. Some lessons I’ve learned on this walk soak in like a sponge but some of the lessons God is teaching me needs to be studied more, more time may be needed to really soak in my heart what is being taught because they are hard lessons, as this one. I need to be gentle on myself during my healing process. For me I have decided, if it is God’s will, I trust and truly believe God will put it in my heart to do so (asking them for forgiveness) and what is safest for me to proceed in doing so. It could be a phone call, face to face, a letter to them that never gets sent but it will happen when God puts it on my heart to do so. I pray that the strength and love of God pours thru me in that moment. I have realized this chapter I have some work cut out for me and I am, we are doing the work. We may have taken baby steps or big steps to get to where we are today in this study but praise GOD we are here in this amazing group. God is doing big work in our hearts thru this book. I know we are all on different stages of our walk but I trust and believe God is doing big things with our online study family. I’m praying for our group and our healing. I love you and love being on the journey with this group.

          • Maggiemoo says:

            I know I said alot but you all freakin nailed how I am feeling. Also, Wendy will you be posting the forgiveness prayer on the site? If not , can you please e-mail the prayer to me as well: margarita@broadcom.com.

          • Noelle says:

            Maggie Moo… (Should we explain that “Moo” isn’t really a part of your name?! Haha…) You are such an incredible balance of having a fierce spirit… fighting for the truth… yet at the same time, you overflow with grace, wisdom and the most contagious enthusiasm. You are not only letting God work His miracles in your heart, but you are impacting your “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) more than you can possibly imagine. People are being filled with hope by the Holy Spirit working through you! I love you sista!

    • WendyB says:

      What a GREAT dialogue girls!!! And I totally agree with all of you when it comes to being careful about asking forgiveness face to face or even in a note depending on the circumstances.

      There are times when we let go of the unforgiveness, but we never need to tell them about it. We just do it between us and the Lord, so that we are free in our hearts and minds. And following that step we may need to keep away from them to maintain our own health and safety. But that act of aasking forgiveness is necessary because in doing so we take ourselves to a new place – a place where we can genuinely pray for them…for their healing and wholeness. We also bring ourselves to a place of living free of that stronghold in our hearts. More often than not, over time, often God truly will change your heart towards them.

      But we do not need to put ourselves in the position to be hurt again and again and again. We need to protect ourselves. Does that make sense?

      It is a journey…a long journey!! But one that is well worth it in the end.

      Love you girls,

      Wendy

  36. Wendy, I would like to receive the Prayer of Forgiveness.
    Thank you

  37. The week has come to read this chapter!! I have so much unforgiveness I struggle with. I thought I had forgiven but I have not! It is hard! My story is this: 5 years ago my husband left me to be with my friend. During the time of separation and divorce I prayed and prayed and was willing to stay with my husband, keep our family together but he chose to be with her. My ex had so much hatred (still does) towards me even though all this was a choice he had made. He served as a board member of our church, we were youth leaders and it was a shock to me when things all came out how much he has changed. He is very angry. My then friend was very mean as well. Said very mean things to me and during the time I has asked her to please think about these two families being torn apart and please stay away from my husband. I told her I loved her as a sister, I was praying for her salvation and I prayed with her but she turned and continued with the lies. They both still don’t think they had an affair…they just didn’t love their spouses. So through all of this my 19 year old daughter blamed me for everything!! She is angry with me and we have not had a relationship for 5 years. She chose to be with her dad. Her now stepmom is basically her mom. The stepmom has made decisions for my oldest daughter that I have found out about, my daughter and her have both lied about these decisions. My heart is very heavy. We live in a very small town and she comes home to visit but I don’t see her. If I do it is maybe an hour at the most. Our relationship is very distant and I feel as if I don’t even know my own daughter anymore. I have alot of hurt and deep wounds. My mind is a tape recorder that doesn’t have a stop button. It is play, rewind over and over. I struggle with depression and believing all the lies the enemy would want me to believe that I’m not worth much and not a good mother…even though I know how God sees me but I have so much doubt I have trouble believing truth. My 14 year old daughter goes 1 week with dad and 1 week with me. She has always had the heart through all of this to be with both parents equally. If I didn’t have a relationship with her I don’t know if I could of made it. I chose to stay in this small town, for my girls. I have no family here, just a few good friends and now I have remarried to a wonderful, patient, God loving man that has a huge heart and has helped me set boundaries so I would not have to live in constant angry phone calls and showing up on my door.
    I see I have wrote a chapter…I’m sorry. I would love a copy of the Prayer of Forgiveness.
    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • My email to send the prayer is liza73jane@gmail.com

    • WendyB says:

      Lisa, I definitly know that “tape recorder” that you are talkin about. And what I have had to do with the message on that recorder is put in a new tape!! Journey through the scriptures and search for verses that will speak to your heart about this issue…

      forgiveness

      your identiy in Christ

      hope

      joy

      thanksgiving

      I pray that you will take the strong mind of Christ that is yours and fill it with a new “message,” a new recording.

      One that forgives fully because nothing will ever change. It is done and over with. They betrayed you and hurt you deeply, but it is finished. It sounds as if they will never see their actions as wrong. They will have to deal with God on this one day.

      Also one that believes you are worthy, a precious child of God with a wonderful plan and purpose for your life!!

      One that is so thankful for the new blessings in your life..especially the godly man you married.

      I pray the Lord will change your heart in a most beautiful way as you change your recording!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  38. WendyB says:

    Hey girls, we have had an overwhelming response for the forgiveness prayer. I will put it in my “Free Resources” link on the web site. However, I am struggling to get it formatted like the other Free Resources. Please be patient with me, and I will get it up soon. I have been praying for each of you as I have read your sweet comments.

    Love you,

    Wendy

  39. I am usually a very quiet & reserved person, so have hardly commented on these posts at all as I’ve done this study. But today I have to tell you what happened, because it is a huge reason to celebrate! As I started this week, and this chapter on forgiveness, I was not even wanting to read it. Frankly, I would love to skip ahead to the next chapter on Surrendering Your Strongholds because I have a stronghold of fear right now (although I am learning to conquer it), and that sounded so much easier to deal with than forgiveness. I got my dear friends praying for me so that I could do this forgiveness chapter though. I figured there was a reason forgiveness came first and then strongholds in the book so I better do them in order.

    I have now read the chapter 3 times. So much of it resonates with me, but I won’t recount it all here. Wendy, when you quoted Beth Moore from Breaking Free, that was such a WOW moment for me. For you see, my story is that I was sexually molested when I was 7 years old. I suppressed those memories for years, and it wasn’t until I was in the middle of doing the Breaking Free Bible study last fall, when we were doing the portions on “hearts broken in childhood,” that the memories came flooding back. Since then I have been suffering panic/anxiety attacks, nightmares, depression, insomnia, the whole works. I have been in counseling since Thanksgiving. I have these last few weeks been doing a lot better, the PTSD symptoms have not been nearly as bad, really truly feeling like I am almost to the point of being healed. So when you quoted Beth Moore from Breaking Free I thought it was so amazing that God would circle this whole thing back around to end where it began.

    And here’s what happened today – I forgave the men who abused me! I did it! Turned it all over to God! The men who abused me are dead and so I have no way to personally let them know, so I wrote them a letter. Writing letters to them is something my therapist has had me do along the way as I process different things. I ended the letter with a prayer. I have such a sense of peace & joy filling my heart right now! My whole self feels so much lighter. Thank you for your story Wendy! Thank you for this book and for praying for me! I prayed so hard before starting this study because I wasn’t sure if the timing was right for me, but then I won a copy of the book (thanks to your friends for that!) and that confirmed for me that God wanted me doing this. Each chapter has spoken to me in so many ways. Okay, since I said I don’t usually say much, I guess I better shut up, huh? :) Just wanted you to know so that you can praise with me! From reading the comments, this is obviously a very difficult week for a lot of people so I wanted to make it known that there ARE positives coming out of this and it IS possible to forgive!

    • Kathy, just reading your success makes me tear up. What a wonderful post ( from someone who doesnt say much). I’m at a stand still with the questions , But I’m nmot quitting – thats no longer an option. So proud of you.

    • Noelle says:

      WOOHOOO Kathy! Like Debra, your success is grabbing my heart and I’m celebrating with you… thanking God for all He’s doing in and through you! Debra, what a great attitude. God will honor your questions and persistence! Hugs to you both!

    • WendyB says:

      This is THE most wonderful news!! We are all celebrating with you…celebrating our God for providing a way for you to have this book and be brought to this study…celebrating your obedience to step out of your comfort zone and read the chapter you were so afraid to read…celebrating your tender heart to take this difficult step of forgiveness!! You are FREE girlfriend!!!! Free to be all that God has for you now. And I pray now for you to stand strong and for God to protect you from the evil one who would so desire for you to pick up your unforgiveness again. DO NOT DO IT, GIRLFRIEND!! You have the mind of Christ, so you take every thought captive. You are a VICTOR so STAND in that!!!

      Love you and SO proud of you!!

      Wendy

    • Margarita says:

      Kathy, Thank you for sharing your story and tip. I like the letter idea for myself. I think I will try that one day. Your testimony to forgiveness and healing is inspiring. I pray you have a blessed day!

  40. Hi,
    Forgiveness is not the easiest thing to do, isn’t that the truth? I have struggled with unforgiveness for a person who abused me as a child & someone who raped me over 26 years ago. I thought I had forgiven them both, huh but not so. This has left me with severe trust issues; I found it hard to let people in or get too close to me. Unless you tell people what happened to you they don’t understand, it’s not like you can put a plaster on your unseen wounds. I hate what these people did to me & I hate myself for letting it happen…. It has been a long hard lonely road. It is only in the past few years that I have stepped off my mat & let a few people into the compound of the walls I built around myself. But there were & are days that I still retreat back behind those walls, when I felt or feel threaten. I know in my heart of hearts that I won’t be able to move on & live the life I was born to live until I whole heartily forgive them (& forgive myself). I just pray that God will help me want to, want to forgive them. At this point this is all I can do; I guess you could say it’s a work in progress.
    Can you please send me a copy of your Forgiveness Prayer Wendy?

    • WendyB says:

      Karyn, our Father PROMISES to give us the desire of our heart when our desire aligns with His. Forgiveness is not only the desire of His heart, it is a mandate. So He will be faithful to lead you to forgiveness. But you must do your part. Fill your mind with His Truths about forgiveness. Pray them continually. Take baby steps toward making it happen. His Word and prayer will be like healing balm to your wounds. He will heal them so that all will be left is a beautiful scar to remind you of what He has done in your life to heal and restore!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  41. I had a believer friend who use unkind words on me and denigrating too. She has a temper and is impatient, and would never apologise for it.

    I had difficulty forgiving her but I believe God has tender my heart and am grateful that you pray for us to learn Forgivess. The parable on God forigiving my BIG debt, and how pride hinder me in exercising forgiveness; and Jesus who is God did not cling on to His rights, but humbled Himself in going to the cross are truths that spoke to my heart. i cried and pray to Him to forgive this friend and others I could think of. I pray God teach us to be humble and gentle and truly learn to be patient to make allowance for faults of others because God is gentle, patient and forgive us countless times.

    • WendyB says:

      Thank you for this prayer from your heart for all of us!! I agree with you this prayer. AMEN!

      W

  42. Carol Blair says:

    My story is rather lengthy and complicated so to make a long story short. I have a sister-in-law who over the years has said and done things that I always would say I’m sorry and go on but she would never acknowledge her part in the problems. Finally we had an issue that I stood my ground and would not let her have the upper hand. According to her I am the one who has done all wrong and she thinks that forgiving means our relationship with each other will go on like nothing ever happened. I have been told to shut up when I didn’t even have a chance to speak, she gathered family around at my mother’s funeral and slammed me in front of everyone, when we see each other at family gatherings she has sneaky ways of doing and saying things that she intends to make me feel guilty. I feel like I have forgiven but when I get in situations where she is in attendance I cannot talk to her, I just want to leave. She will not acknowledge that she has any wrong doing in anything. I want to let it all go but she keeps the wounds open. Trying to talk to her is difficult because I can’t trust anything she says and she has a tendency to turn what I say around so that it doesn’t resemble anything that I actually said. I don’t go to immediate family gatherings because I can’t handle being in the same room with her. Being nice to her doesn’t work very well as she will take what I say and make into something else. Whenever I think I want to go to a family gathering I just stop frozen and I can’t make myself go because I can’t go through anymore. If anyone has any wisdom in this matter I would greatly love to hear what you have to say.
    Thank you,
    Carol Blair
    rblair3@cox.net

    • WendyB says:

      Carol, your situation is so difficult because it is someone you must continue to see in day-to-day life. And she is someone who has NO idea she is in the wrong. It sounds like she has a very hard heart.

      My prayer is first that the Lord will continue to lead you to a place of truly letting go of any anger, bitterness, and resentment you have toward her. That her words, when spoken, would have absolutely no effect on your knowing they are spoken out of hatred, spite, bitterness, and other negative emotions. They also are a reflection of an empty, sad heart on her part.

      That leads me to my next prayer and that is you could see her with God’s eyes. That God would show you in personal ways her hurt and emptiness inside. That he would tender you to pray for her healing and woundedness, as I am sure there is much there!!!

      Find verses that speak to forgiveness, to loving the unloveable, to patience, and to praying for your enemies. Personalize these verses, memorize them, and pray them with great faith that God will honor His Word. He promises His Word will not return void but will achieve what He desires and accomplish the purposes for which He sent it. Trust in Him through this. He will be faithful to honor your prayers and your obedience.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  43. Stephanie E says:

    This is where I am currently struggling the most – my spouse cheated on me about 8 months ago . We separated and after 4 months, tried to save our marriage. I was trying so hard to forgive and move forward, only to find that he was still maintaining inappropriate relationships with females. I hate divorce and never imagined this road for me…at 32 and only 1 1/2 years into my marriage, I had hoped for so much more. I’m struggling to forgive him for betraying my trust and disrespecting our vows. Also, I have this bitterness towards these other females….there’s been days I don’t even like myself because these ugly feelings are so strong. Normally I’m carefree and love life, but these past few months have really put a damper on my spirit. I’ve tried to sink myself in Gods word and promises and some days are better than others, but it is still a challenge. Just yesterday, I heard a sermon on the “heavy soul” and it referenced to Lamentations where Jeremiah speaks about his downcast soul. I love verses 21-24 21 Yet this I call to mind
        and therefore I have hope:
    22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
        for his compassions never fail.
    23 They are new every morning;
        great is your faithfulness.
    24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
        therefore I will wait for him.”

    I’m praying this prayer and trusting God to heal my heart and give me a new attitude towards my situation, trusting that he will help me to forgive.

Speak Your Mind

*