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How do you even begin when it hurts so much?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power
may rest on me."  I Corinthians 12:9

Do you know how many people have asked me advice lately on how to forgive?  A LOT!!  Many people in my life both in person and through social media have talked to me about it, not really so much using me as an example, but just reaching out to a fellow struggler.  If anyone has listened to me preach lately or read my blogs or ezines or just had a cup of coffee with me they've heard that this is what's on my mind lately.  Knowing that I'm going through a particular journey has prompted others who are hurting to reach out, even if  just to have a hand to hold.  I don't mind -- it's just been one more thing to add to my list of things that make the emotional trek worth it.

When people ask me, "how are you doing it?" my first response is grace.  I haven't had the self discipline or the natural aptitude to move forward on this myself.  It has taken a power much greater than myself giving me what I need to press forward.  That's really what grace is all about, you know.  God doesn't give us grace to live however we want.  The purpose of grace isn't so we can be spiritually sloppy.  Grace also isn't a cover all for whatever we decide to do or not do.  GRACE IS EMPOWERMENT TO DO WHAT WE ARE UNABLE TO DO WITHOUT IT.  

I can't really list here what I wanted to do to the person who hurt me.  It would be a very bad thing for me to verbalize it.  God knows but honestly most humans probably couldn't handle it especially from a pastor.  Suffice it to say I started this journey not wanting anything good for my offender.  The only thing that has made possible the turning of my bitter wishes toward them into prayers of blessing is the grace of God.

Throughout this journey there have been days where I have literally felt as if I am being carried on wings of grace.  The interesting thing is, when I was not working on forgiveness at all -- when I was stuck in my grief and anger, bitterness and all that it entailed, I was paralyzed and it appeared the situation was stuck as well.  Now that I have been making major strides through God's empowering grace and I have let go and continued to release and surrender, it's amazing how the situation has moved forward.  I am not reconciled to that person nor do I expect it with some extenuating circumstances however the consequences did not really start improving in the major strides I prayed for so long until I surrendered.  Not until I died to my flesh and my desire to avenge the consequences did a break in them come.  

I'm just a fellow struggler and by no means a forgiveness guru but one thing I would advise anybody to do is start working on things sooner rather than later.  I know some of you can't imagine it because the pain is so great right now but through being in the grip of His grace the start of your journey will be possible.  Take a step.  I know it's scary because your anger has become so comfortable and letting go of it will take you out of your comfort zone but His hand is there to steady you and His grace will keep you.

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