Canada · Faith · Forgiveness

What Has Been Forgotten

Do you ever have a time where a picture pops up on your memories that says “Two years ago today” but it brings sad memories and not happy ones? Where the picture are a memory of what was lost? Freedoms, friendships, a time of peace and safety?

I’ve had a lot of those moments in the past.

We were forced out of a church and “shunned” by many of its members five years ago today. It was hands down the most confusing and painful experience of my life. Afterwards, there was period of time where seeing pictures of my old best friend or even driving past our old church would literally break me into a sobbing mess.

A time when a worship song would come on and it reminded me of them, so I couldn’t sing.

A time when opening my Bible brought pain, because I used to read it with those I loved and they had rejected me. Gods word reminded me of them, and it was too painful to read.

I’ve been reading the book “Seven Woman” by Eric Mataxas and yesterday I got to my favorite of the women – Corrie Ten Boom.

At one point she outright says these words: “We need to realize that forgiveness is the ONLY pathway to freedom from our tormentors.”

My heart was warmed as I remembered how much healing her story brought to my life when I faced my own path to forgiveness. How I learned from her that I could forgive, even if I never received one apology from the church. That journey brought me freedom.

It brought me peace.

Our world doesn’t see things this way anymore. On the news the other day, a mother got a chance to speak to her daughter’s killer on the air and she said these chilling words: “I hope you NEVER get another moment of peace.”

My heart broke for this woman, not only for her loss, but for the undeniable truth that until she forgives that man, it is SHE that will never have another moment of peace. Bitterness isn’t going to bring harm upon your perpetrator, it will only harm you. Likewise, forgiveness isn’t setting them free, it is setting yourself free from the continual torment of the past.

I see much of what is going on in our world in the news and I have to say, we have a real problem with forgiveness. We are becoming a very bitter and hardened people because of it.

Today this passage is on my heart:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There’s a lot of rebuilding that needs to happen in our world right now.

As the truth about our history comes out, my country has a lot of rebuilding to do. Canada can no longer pretend that the residential schools weren’t in our history. We tore innocent children from their parents arms, abused them and covered them up in unmarked, forgotten graves which splatter our land with the guilt of the past.

As the ugliness of our church split comes out, my church has a lot of rebuilding to do. We can no longer pretend that all is well. We can no longer act like we have everything figured out and are all put together. The sheep that are scattered all over the place should break our hearts, should cause us regret and self reflection.

As the ugliness in my own heart comes out: attitudes against people, against leaders, against government policies, against rules upon rules upon rules – that bring so much division – I can no longer pretend that I am any better than anyone.

I need a Saviour.

Father, rebuild the ancient ruins and restore what’s been broken along the way. Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of the mission, of the simple gospel. We have gotten caught up in the mess and refused to come to you for forgiveness, love, hope and freedom. We need your healing.

Every single one of us.

7 thoughts on “What Has Been Forgotten

    1. Thank you Matt! I think the church we were in was and is a good church, but Satan is always out to divide – and he saw an opportunity and took it. The problem began between us and one other couple, but unfortunately because they had such a strong influence in the church it affected many of our relationships there. I still dearly love the people there and pray for reconciliation often.

      Yes we are in a very good church now. One that unfortunately just went through a painful church split, but is turning towards Jesus and seeking his face. He’s purifying my current church, it’s another painful process, but I’m hopeful that beauty will come out of these ashes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What I’ve realized about forgiveness is that it’s more than just an outward act; it also includes all internal feelings. This is where I went wrong; I continued to obsess over my pain and lived as a hurt person; my pain was like a blanket I couldn’t let go of; I had to learn how to forgive and let go of the bitterness that meant until I no longer held a grudge. God will not forgive us unless we forgive others. If we want to be forgiven by God we have to forgive those who hurt us no matter the offense.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember a quote along the same lines: Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I tell you, though, I very maturely feel happy when I see people who were mean or petty get their comeuppance. 😀

    Being LDS, I don’t really understand an entire church being able to shut its doors to you and not associate. What gives? Don’t churches want members?

    As always, you’ve spoken with the best lessons. Thanks, Heather.

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    1. Man, I’m finding less and less time for my blog these days. Thanks for your comment Chelsea. I wonder the same thing. How can a church shut it’s doors to people? Especially to a member who is doing their utmost to make things work, to forgive and to apologize and own up to their own mistakes. I grew up differently, this was definitely a first experience for me.

      In all honesty, I would LOVE to cheer when people get what they deserve, but for me it’s far too close to resentment. I can’t forgive people AND hope for their downfall. It doesn’t work together in my mind. My best “hope” is that I long for reconciliation, which is now out of my hands. And the other people don’t seem to care at all to pursue it so we seem to be in a stale mate situation. I’d be lying if I would say it’s all water under the bridge. I’m still hurt. I still go back and pick up this old offence once in a while. Not on purpose, mind you. It’s more like a bur that just sticks to my clothes without me noticing until I notice and I have to pick it off and chuck it away again. I wish there was a way to get rid of it for good. But new situations arise that remind me of the old ones… and then the offence just comes up again. It’s a never ending cycle. I can’t wait for the day it’s over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No outright advice here. For one thing, I don’t know the particulars.

        I definitely have the same response as you’ve described to similar situations. I’ve tried various approaches, including bad ones like trying to give them a taste of their own medicine. I’m just terrible at it, though. I’m far better at honesty.

        Therfore, as I’ve gotten older and less socially anxious, I do a lot more of confronting the person and telling them what they did was so not cool. Or I write a note since they often avoid me. 😀

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