Forgiving God: A Testimony

Last Saturday evening Jennifer and I attended a 5th-8th talent show at the Lipscomb Campus School.  It was almost three hours long, but had several excellent performances.  However, it was long.

About thirty minutes into the program, I began to feel uncomfortable.  Something was gnawing at me. My insides were pushing me to run, to get out of the building, to find a way to excuse myself.  Something was telling me that if I could just go home I could regain my serenity.  And, a year ago, that is probably what I would have done, but the serenity would have been an illusion, an escape.

This night, however, I turned inward.  The problem was not the program but something going on inside of me. As the program proceeded, I began to meditate, calm myself and pray.  I wanted to know what was really going on with me.  The kids were doing their best, and they weren’t so bad that I needed to escape.  There was something else from which I wanted to escape.  I needed to sit in my feelings, discern what was happening, and feel my way through the mess that is my soul.

As I meditated, I became aware that I was envious.  I did not envy the children, but the parents. I noticed that I was agitated by the joy of the parents and the wonder of their eyes. I was particularly annoyed by how much the parents and family members behind me were enjoying their star’s performance.

Envy.  Not envious of talent, money, power, job, but envious that these parents were blessed by God to watch their children perform. I was never able to do that with Joshua. When he was the age of these children, he was in a wheelchair, could barely walk, and spent most of his time unaware of his surroundings. From eight to sixteen my family watched Joshua slowly die. I never saw Joshua play a team sport, never saw him perform on a stage, never saw him read a poem–or read at all!  I envied the parents and begrudged their joy, and–in my harsh and unkind judgment–wondered whether they truly appreciated their blessing.

But that was not the root. Resentment was the root of my feeling that night; that was my discomfort–my rationale for escape. I wanted to run away so I would not have to think about my pain, Joshua’s illness and death. I did not want to acknowledge my resentment. I would rather not think about it or feel it. It is easier to simply escape.

I did not resent the parents. I resented God. He blessed these children, but not Joshua. He gave these gifts to these parents, but I was never able to enjoy that gift with Joshua. I had missed out and there was no one to blame except God. Is he not reponsible for his world? Did we not pray that we would have a healthy son? Why did he say, “No, he won’t be healthy”? I resent that answer and sometimes I’m not sure that I can put up with a God like that.

Even as I write these words I know that I received many gifts from Joshua and they were divine blessings.  Even as I think again about his broken body, I still remember his smile, his laugh and the joy of just sitting with him in my big chair watching one of his favorite movies (The Wizard of Oz).  I realize I was blessed, but Saturday evening I resented that God had not blessed me more richly–that he had not blessed me like those parents in that auditorium that night.

As I meditated on that resentment, I noted my feelings.  Irritation. Frustration. Anger. Envy. Jealousy. Resentment.  And I took them to God. I told him how I felt. I let it out so I could let it go, so I could release it into God’s hands. I needed to be heard…by God!  And in being heard, I could let go…at least for that night. In that moment I could forgive God.

In letting go, I could remember the blessings I did receive through Joshua. I could treasure those and hold them in my heart, and thank God for them. I could value the experiences–the learning and growth experienced in the process. I could even see God in many of those painful moments–God present to comfort  in my laments, God present through people who served my family, God present in laughter as well as tears.

That night–at least for that night–I forgave God. In releasing my resentment, I was given some peace and joy. Bit by bit, day by day, little by little, the comfort is renewed and joy returns. 

Thanks be to God for his patience with me. Even when I bitterly resent him, he loves me, he graciously receives my forgiveness (when he, of course, does not need it!), and he is not frustrated with me when the resentment returns on a cold Saturday night in December seven and a half years after Joshua’s death. 

Thank you, Yahweh.  Truly your lovingkindness endures for ever.

 

 Postscript:  Here is the contemplative, meditative process I used Saturday evening to journey toward forgiving  God. I find myself returning to it daily.

  1. Find a quiet, private place where you can sit in uninterrupted silence.  I center myself through a breath prayer.  I concentrate on my breath–inhaling and exhaling.  I offer a breath prayer to still myself, soothe myself and given space for the Spirit of God to calm my soul.  I follow the breath through my body and permit the whole of my being to focus. I usually use a breath prayer like “Jesus Christ, Son of God” as I breath in and “have mercy on me, a sinner” as I breath out. (This is the traditional “Jesus Prayer”).
  2. I recall the moment of pain, sit in the hurt, and feel the pain. What do I feel? What emotions emerge as primary. I name them and describe them.
  3. I contemplate God in relation to this pain. When I think about God in this context, do I feel anger, frustration, fear, love, gratitutde? What negative emotions do I feel? Do I feel any irritation, anger or bitterness as I think about this pain and unanswered prayers? Do I feel rejection, hurt or anger when I remember the pain and ponder why God permitted that?
  4. I then bring those feelings into the presence of God and tell God how I am feeling. We all have the need to be heard, and we need for God to hear how we feel. I speak it audibly when I can (and sometimes I wonder if anybody is listening).
  5. I then tell God that I want to release the negative emotions associated with this memory and that I need his help to release them. I am powerless over my feelings. I cannot help but feel what I feel. At the same time I process those feelings in the presence of God and by the power of his Spirit.
  6. I then reflect on where God was in that past moment of pain. Can I point to people, events, feelings, or circumstances that signal a God-presence? Where did God show up in that pain? I may not have recognized it at the time, but as I reflect, sit in the presence of God with this pain, and broaden my vision of the event perhaps I can see God where I had not previously seen him.
  7. I then reflect on the meaning of that pain. What did I learn through the experience? What lessons surface in the reflection? What endures as meaningful and significant for me? How has it shaped me and changed me? How has it affected my vision of God?
  8. I then remember who God is, how he has loved me in the past, how he loves me even now in the present. Remember his sovereignty, his creative intent, his redemptive work. I seek God’s face through the eyes of Jesus and embrace his love. I recall the story and meditate on God’s works. I see the face of Jesus, remember his loving kindness toward people. I remember the story of the widow’s son–he raised him from the dead. I permit the compassion and love of God to flow into my mind, heart and gut.
  9. God, I forgive you because I am not God.  There is only one God and I am not him. I don’t know what you know; you are greater than I. You must have your reasons. I trust you because I see you in Jesus.  I humble myself before you and release my anger, bitterness and resentment toward you.  You are my God, and I forgive you, and, I pray, you will forgive me because even in forgiving you I don’t know what I am doing.


31 Responses to “Forgiving God: A Testimony”

  1.   asp8551 Says:

    on meditation just leave everything, no word, mantras, etc. But only concentrate on the Sensation. We’ll get a new understanding of God

  2. Avatar of johndobbs  J D Says:

    John Mark, I can certainly identify with much that you write here. Thank you for being so honest…so true to yourself and to God. I have asked God many times why He couldn’t have protected my son in his momentary lapse of judgment. As I piece together his last night I recognize that changing even one small detail would have him still here with us. Why didn’t God change just one small detail in response to our prayers for his safety … in response to his love for Jesus? But no. God did not stand in the way. And it seems every week I read about a teenager being killed. God is not standing in the way. He is not changing the ‘one small detail’. I have cried many tears with these kinds of thoughts. The idea of forgiving God seems ludicrous … but I understand it. It is perhaps better thought of as yielding? Whatever. Sorry this is so long and personal. Love you much brother.

  3.   Todd Says:

    Hey John,
    I’ve heard you speak from the pulpit at Woodmont more than a few times and had the pleasure of being in a couple of your classes when we lived in Nashville. I’ve always taken something away from those experiences and I’m sure God was using you to speak to people’s hearts.

    I just wanted to say that I find your openness and transparency in the sharing of your thoughts here so refreshing and something I think God’s family needs to have more of. In our CoC tradition that has been long lost.

    Though I haven’t personally lived through the pain of losing a child or a failed marriage, I have lived pain other ways, my childhood innocence was killed by someone not in my immediate family. My extended family just swept it under the rug just like everyone did at church with all their own sin, all the while wallowing in denial putting up a facade of the old whitewashed outsides. I saw so much hypocrisy and bickering over the minutia of Biblical doctrine from so called “Christians” it made me gladly walk away from “religion”, unfortunately that included God also, for the most part of my late teens and twenties.

    I’ve come a long way back to looking for a relationship with the true God since then and God has been at work tearing down those false images of Him but if I’m honest, I still struggle to this day with that old anger at some members of extended family, at some Christians of my youth, and ultimately towards God for letting a child be hurt like that. I can really relate to what you said “I resent that answer and sometimes I’m not sure that I can put up with a God like that.”

    Your thoughts on your mediation above and your willingness to open with your struggles have given me some things to think about and try and see if they can help me work on letting God get me through times of weakness and doubt and not lean on my clouded understanding of how things should be. Like you said “Im not God”. Amen!

    To know that someone like you, someone I respect as a brother in Christ and further down the path is willing to be honest with his struggles is a part of healing for not only you but others who can relate.

    I pray God gives us peace and patience to work through these struggles with Him as he heals us of the pain we experience. Ultimately we will have complete constant peace but I’m thinking it wont be here.

    Peace Brother.

  4.   Q Says:

    Are you ever afraid to feel that deeply?

    I’m dissociative as a rule and I’m not even sure I *can* sit with my feelings like that, but the prospect is terrifying.

  5. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    Yes, Q, fear is my normal response. Flight is my normal reaction. I would rather dissociate and isolate than feel some of those feelings.

    But to flee has not worked for me. Indeed, there is no feeling I can’t make worse by fleeing from it. Covering over my feelings, medicating my feelings has only made me feel worse, which leads to more mediation and bandaids. Ultimately, it has been destructive. This is what I have learned but it took me years to learn it.

    I have learned that feelings come and go. To sit with my negative feelings, to live through them, is to reduce their power in my life. When I mask them, they have more power; secrets have power, especially if I am the only one who knows them.

    As I sit with them, they ultimately change. Feelings, one friend of mine likes to say, are like the weather; they will change. But they will come back with even greater power if I don’t sit with them.

    Terrifying? Absolutely terrifying. I can’t sit alone with them. I have to bring God into this sitting, call a friend, meet with a support group, pray with my small group, etc. Even blog about them to some extent. :-)

    When I have a safe place with safe people to sit with my feelings and share them, the power of those feelings is slowly reduced and hopefully transformed. Though it is not easy, I believe what I feared was not as awful or terrifying as I anticipated. I am grateful that I don’t have to face those fears alone.

    Blessings, my friend.

  6. Avatar of matthewmorine  Matthew Says:

    Thank you for sharing your feelings. Your honesty heals.

    http://www.matthewmorine.com

  7. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    John and Todd, thanks for sharing. We all share the pain even if it is of different kinds and shades. Speaking it, however, is most helpful….to hear you both is comfort and solidarity for me, and to speak it myself is cleansing for me as well. That is why I speak it…not so much for readers, but for me. The more I speak it the less power it has in my life.

    Trusting in God’s care,

    John Mark

  8.   Terrell Says:

    I do not hesitate to talk about my depression if it is appropriate to do so. I’ve discussed it opening from the pulpit in hopes of helping others and creating an environment that would encourage such sharing. It would be a far healthier world if all of us would admit/confess/profess our struggles. It is one of the ways we can comfort others (2 Cor. 1). God doesn’t let suffering go to waste, unless we keep it all our to ourselves…

  9. Avatar of Philip Cunningham III  Philip Cunningham III Says:

    JMH,

    I linked this blog entry to a buddy of mine in ministry who doesn’t read blogs very much. He’s a youth minister who has two healthy daughters, but a son who has severe developmental issues. A couple of hours after I sent him the link, he called me in tears talking about how this blog entry was a major blessing for him.

    He also said he was preparing a sermon for the new year about forgiveness. He was thinking about preaching this idea, but didn’t know what angle to approach it from. But now he does. :) So this blessing will probably only multiply.

    Just wanted you to know how this writing was bearing fruit already. Thanks for sharing your reflections here in the blogosophere.

  10.   rich constant Says:

    john mark

    you are in what i call my squirrel cage,round and round we go. and oh god why won’t it stop.
    i have been on that thing so much..
    over my life.
    i might be able to help you get outa that darn thing progressively a little sooner.
    shsl we try try try…charlotte web…the goose said…

    always concerned
    rich

  11.   Steve Kenney Says:

    Your story breaks my heart. If there were obvious answers, you would already know them. If forgiveness was easy, you would already have done it.

    Ever since I was 17, if not before, I have been stunned by the speed with which life can change or even end. My faith walk with God has been defined by that struggle. I was not especially helped by the “all things work together” “give thanks in all circumstances” “consider it pure joy” “yet will I trust him” answers of Christian leaders. I don’t deny those Scriptural teachings and attitudes in their fullness, but I do reject them as easy platitudes from comforters or as shielding defenses when quickly offered by sufferers.

    Life is hard. Life is unfair, and I do not understand it. God will have to save me, and I mean that in the fullest sense of the word. I need to be not just found, but healed.

  12. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    Platitudes need a context, a life journey, a story. Otherwise, they become, as you rightly note, pietistic cliches which evaporate in the struggle of life. It is the story–and the life journey with God–that gives the platitudes their meaning.

    BTW, someone wrote a “good,” according to some, book entitled “Yet Will I Trust Him”….but he did not choose the title, the publishing company did. :-)

  13.   rich Says:

    john mark
    to start with i will draw my first statement from an expert i do love to study…

    yep he is brilant

    although……
    phil.2:8 ??? you know any thing good think on these…..

    My recent series on “theological hermeneutics” may seem complicated. I may have made it look complicated. But I don’t think it is complicated at all.

    The method for which I argued does call for inductive Bible study, reflection, contemplation, holistic thinking, attention to the plot (metanarrative) in the theodrama, prayer, communal dialogue, and participation in God’s story. The more difficult part is living out the story rather than understanding it. Complications most arise when our sinful natures resist embracing God’s intent for our lives or we look for something that is not there (expecting something that God did not provide).

    thinl on this and i’ll think some more

  14.   rich constant Says:

    Resentment was the root of my feeling that night;

    let’s see john mark,

    let us think on the root feelings, where do these feelings,derive their bases in our personality.
    look at our instinctual trates, where we derive the defination and emotional value that we place on our projections of our furture.
    the driveing force behind our emotions that enhance our feelings.

    missplaced feelings can be a convoluted mess when left unattended because of an ISM / not IC (at the end of that word) for years.

    so this
    why i think we need each other and transparencely to become a better body that is
    that is a healthy fuctioning body shareing our sins with one another growing up in the nuture and admonition of our lord .
    if we are not are we being responsable stuwards of gods word.

    SO…
    i will hook voice activation later to night and go through some STUFF.

    man can i write or what.

    although i am lucky i can spell my name boy…

    blessings

  15.   Lindy A. Says:

    John Mark, You’ll never know how healing your column is to me. I have no friends who’ve had a severely handicapped child and lost that child, and I’ve felt very alone with my envious – or at better times – wistful feelings.

    I look at the young adults and family members who are the age our Meredith would’ve been. I am envious of them, and of the gift they are to their parents. Most of them have finished college, and many are married. I don’t know that I’ve been angry with God, but certainly with life and it’s desperate inequities. I greatly appreciate your honesty.

  16.   rich constant Says:

    John Mark I would be willing to bet that the root problem that you have is locked in at your instinctual level, probably between the ages of six and 12.
    This doesn’t make it good or bad. It just makes it the way that it is.
    Your comfort zone.
    I know one of my big unresolved traumas As a seven-year-old was with my dad going away to Germany and him saying. I have to go which was no answer for me.
    that took almost 25 years for that one to raise its ugly head snapp at me with my son, who was seven years old.
    That’s when I learned what carl Young was talking about when he said transference and participation in a transference on an instinctual level.
    That’s when I learned about a bottomless pit of despair, unresolved issues, based in childhood emotional development.
    What’s interesting is we don’t even know half of the things that we learn. Just from watching and modeling our parents.
    The bottom line is being raised in this culture. we are Lucky not to be any more emotionally retarded than what we already are. Our self-destructive behaviors that crop up hopefully we can deal with.
    We all have comfort zones, we all have emotional triggers.
    The trick is putting a name on a dumb things.
    And calling it exactly what it is self-destructive behavior.
    No one wants to have self-destructive behavior.
    Everyone wants to have self enhancing behavior.
    Being good, like our Lord.
    I wonder have you ever gone to bed laied down and started thinking. had really uncomfortable, unpleasant thinking pattern, almost a dream.
    What I’ve learned to do, if I’m uncomfortable with what I’m thinking about or dreaming about as the case may be is open my eyes. And it all goes away.

    So my brother, what might be a good idea for you to try, is open your eyes, call those feelings exactly what they are in the situation that they happening in. It’s self-destructive, at that point in time. You can feel good, because you’re no longer of victim of your own misplaced feelings.

    blessings

  17.   Lynn Says:

    John Mark:
    Your insight is so needed in this world today! It helped me when I was recently teaching a ladies class and ask the ladies to share their own life stories with the class. My hope was that it would be very healing to them. But I had very few takers even after I shared my own story! Yet I think they were able to see how freeing it could be to be able to release it and give it to God! Thanks for sharing your own insight. It is invaluable! Lynn

  18.   richard constant Says:

    John mark, I am alluding to is that most likely you and God had long talks, heart wrenching talks about another one that you loved so deeply and thoroughly. Your dad and his disabilities.
    And these would be talks that you never mentioned to anyone, and might have most likely set you on a quest, to answer why.
    These are the unresolved childhood, traumas questions deep-seated instinctual issues that drive our emotions and feelings.
    With Joshua I would imagine that everything was magnified tenfold, unresolved issues. The pit of despair, and that same question that that little boy had, kept pounding in your brain, why father..

    You are right: until you deal with these root instinctual, emotional traumas, and settled them, to your adult satisfaction, (that gives an adequate answer to silence the child), the child will never be at peace.
    And there will be a disparity between your intellect and your gut feelings.

    Now that you realize the-ism of your unresolved feelings, and where they have led you in the havoc in your life.
    Recovery should not be something that is unmanageable for you.

    mybrother i will quote my expert

    Complications most arise when our sinful natures resist embracing God’s intent for our lives or we look for something that is not there (expecting something that God did not provide).

    you might try studying him also

    if you would like his name :-)

    make it a great day for your self my brother

    hopeing this was a little help

  19.   richard constant Says:

    Oh and by the way, everyone likes to have a general idea of how long recovery generally takes.

    .
    A couple years ago I asked a clinical psychologist who started a program of Southern California. That’s called the Chatman House, I think his name was Richard Chapman. He’s been dealing with isms for 25 or 30 years, mostly teenagers and young adults.
    He said, if you stay actively engaged… for about every year that you have engaged in your self-destructive behavior, it generally takes about six months recovering.
    I’ve always looked at it as a question like, how long is it going to take me to be my normal me my root behavioral characteristic.

    That being said, I generally also look at it like five years I was feeling pretty good, and after 10 years I had significant changes or major changes in my life.
    But from a cultural perspective in clinical psychology’s, we are cheaters,
    and what I mean by that is that we have the ethical underpinning of our principles that are given to us by a good and loving father.

    My major problem in my recovery after 20 years mind you.
    Were coping mechanisms. I never knew about coping mechanisms didn’t understand them had no idea.
    Boy oh boy, dang near destroyed my life again, because coping mechanisms, unresolved issues.
    But then again, John Mark. I try to do it by myself and I know you’re not that stupid.
    So I decided to take some medication SSRIs, they’re called serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
    In my case it wasn’t so much for depression as it was for anxiety issues.
    And they work great.

    They’re called Lexa Pro 10 mg.
    And the funny thing about it is, ever since I started taking those pills. About four or five years ago, my coping mechanisms haven’t kicked in, so go figure.
    I don’t know how much you know about brain chemistry, but if it doesn’t stay halfway balanced. You can really alter our physiology in some detrimental ways to

    Okay, you can stick a fork in me, now I’m done
    i may as well throughout this little platitude before somebody gets at me…
    –naaaa…. I’m not gona do that :’)
    BLESSINGS John Mark, as always

  20.   richard Corum Says:

    John Mark:

    I can’t tell you how many times I felt guilty because Andrew, the same age as Joshua, was normal and healthy. I am amazed at your openness. You are just saying things most people only think. My struggle is dealing with ongoing health issues. Let me know when you have some time. I would love to drive up to Nashville and buy you lunch and talk. Blessings

  21. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    My brother, you are blessed with Andrew and I thank God that you and Tina are so blessed. I appreciate your kindness and friendship…and we will get together again soon, I hope.

  22.   Drew Chapados Says:

    John Mark,
    I’ve never met you–but read your writings.
    I have never expe3rienced the grief you write about here.
    The experience I felt the most helpless in was at the bedside of a child who had died unexpectedly in his sleep with his parents.
    It was very difficult to know what to do and the grief and anger expressed by the parents.
    Thank you for sharing–
    God Bless

  23.   Carlos Isziga Says:

    I want to thank you for diving into the realness of us coming to grips with what goes on in our lives that hurts, and then working it out with God. As my brother Philip told you in his comment, I was truly blessed last week when he sent me this blog. My wife and I have 3 awesome kids. Our middle one is my son Isaac, he was born having seizures, we don’t exactly know why (physiologically). He is mentally and physically handicapped. He will be turning 7 this January. He has been such a blessing to us and our girls. God has shown us so much thru Isaac, but I still question, argue, and even get angry with God. That doesn’t bother me, I want my relationship with God to be real, and that means real hurts, real questions, real life! I happen to be preaching at the end of the year and forgiveness was what God had placed on my heart to speak on. Your blog has given me comfort, by reminding me that I am not the only one who has gone thru and continues to go thru the emotions and realness of seeing our children go thru things we wish they didn’t have to go thru. Thanks again. Grace and peace!

  24.   John King Says:

    John Mark,

    I love you, brother. You’ve taught me for over 25 years and you continue to teach me. Thanks for the lessons in honesty–with God, self and others.

    John King

  25.   M. Fearghail Says:

    Can a man, who loves to hike–standing on a bluff, on a ridge, on a clear, crisp day, with a scenic view below, as hawks fly above–both curse freely and then pray calmly, within a span of minutes? Yes, of course.

    Does God understand? Yes, of course.

    Just after returning from five years of foreign mission work, my relatively young mother was stricken by a yearlong illness, or illnesses, resulting in her death. As she recovered from the first illness, the other took her, suddenly.

    Since then, I have not served in a fulltime ministry, nor will I. My zeal in ministry poured out of me, from the hole created in my bowels (the old word for seat of compassion) by the experience.

    Last year, I finally left the “Church of Christ,” since my mother, a faithful Christian, under the Baptist tradition, did not die and go to hell, for her “doctrinal misunderstanding.” I am still, however, part of Christ’s church, as all, such as my mother, are–who by grace through faith are saved.

    I still struggle to find that zeal for ministry, which was lost. Yes, deep down, I am still angry with God, for taking my mother, when we all still needed her so badly. I understand the deep points regarding the problem of evil and how those points apply generally. Still, why my mother at that time?

    I still believe, because my mother believed, and because I know Him.

  26. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    Yes, God does understand. I understand that we can pray with Madeleine L’Engle: “God, I hate you. Love, Madeleine.”

    Healing comes slowly for some, more quickly for others. It is a journey either way. I pray you will find some healing and perhaps–if you feel the call–a resource for ministry (whether “official” or not).

    Blessings, my brother.

    John Mark

  27.   Warren Baldwin Says:

    I’m real late getting into this loop. Don’t know if you’ll be notified of my posting this. If you are, just want you to know that I was deeply moved reading this. I’ve prayed for your family and situation and wrote to you a couple of times about Joshua (years ago), but mostly I just don’t know what to say. But know that I’m thinking prayerfully, still …
    WB

  28. Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thank you, Warren. I do remember your kindesses. And this word is yet another one I will keep in my heart.

  29.   Dave Says:

    “That night–at least for that night–I forgave God.” — And now you need to repent of blasphemy. God needs no forgiving. You do. He has done no wrong. You have. (So have I and everyone else, of course.) Although we may not understand His plans (His ways are higher than ours), that certainly doesn’t mean we need to “forgive” Him for our lack of understanding of His perfect plan.

    Truly, friend — repent of your blasphemy!

    • Avatar of johnmarkhicks  John Mark Hicks Says:

      I appreciate your concern, Dave. And if I meant what you probably think I mean, I would agree with you. “Forgiving God” in this post means giving up my resentment over what God has done or not done in my life. It is letting go in order to let God be God.

  30.   Catie Says:

    My heart is touched to hear that someone else needed to forgive God. A whole series of things happened in my life that I’ve not been able to release yet, most of it 20+ years or longer ago. I have forgiven the offenders. But I haven’t succeeded in forgiving Him yet. I know I need to wrestle my way through to do what you have described. Thanks so much for telling your story.

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