Divorce is painful. Nothing about it will quickly fade away. It is something that has to be worked through.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful experiences a man or woman will undergo after a painful divorce. If the act of forgiveness is not applied, then the danger of the bitterness and the destruction of the divorce will remain.
The choice is given to us clearly through the Word of God concerning forgiveness, and the benefits from chosing forgiveness is for our healing. I read these statements and I learned to apply them in my divorce to my ex-husband, and the benefits affected other areas of my life: “Forgiveness does involve a literal forgetting. Forgiving involves remembering graciously. Remembering that harboring forgiveness comes at an emotional and a physiological cost. Cultivating forgiveness may cut these costs.” (source unknown)
Forgiveness brings much to our life.
It frees us from the emotional weight of the pain. It doesn’t take the pain away, but it releases the hold those emotions continue to have in our heart. Holding on to bitterness too tightly causes a range of negative emotions, and even causes physical stress to a person.
Forgiveness gives an earthly picture of grace. Most of the time there is no earthly or rational reason to forgive. Forgiveness gives something that is mostly underserved. What an awesome picture of God’s grace!
It helps you sleep better at night. The emotional weight of an injury is often heavier than the actual injury and takes longer to heal. When we forgive one another, it feels as though pressure is released from one’s shoulders. Forgiving people takes less stress and makes more joy, regardless of the pain in our life.
The subject of offering forgiveness causes some people to cringe. It feels like a risk too big to take. When you forgive, it feels like you are inviting further injury. Forgiveness can be abused.
I wonder if Christ ever feels likewise?
I write this insight realizing I will never be able to state that I have arrived. It will always be a continual surrender to Christ’s will, his love, and his direction. But the knowledge that freedom, forgiveness and restoration brings has its own satisfaction: a desire in my heart to never stop the journey.
What does it mean? It means giving up my hate towards that person for all the wrongs they inflicted on me and the children. Choosing to forgive is never an act of the will, because we know that if the choice were ours it would never happen. I realize it becomes an act of the will once we have surrendered it to God, and as we allow the healing process to begin. Only then do we begin to understand the AWESOME HEALING POWER of God. Once we have allowed God to truly cleanse us, we experience an actual act of the will. “Why?” you ask. Because our will becomes his will for our lives. We become tubular. (This will be explained next blog).
Divorce is a bitter action between two people who vowed until death do us part. But though it is tragic and devastating, our journey goes on. The path becomes single again and sometimes very lonely because of our unanswered questions and our hurt. The only hope we have to continue successfully is through our forgiving the offender.
Life does go on, but it is up to you as to how you want to demonstrate to your children that forgiveness is one of the keys to a life of happiness in Christ — no matter what life may present.
I chose to forgive. My life with my ex-husband is being able to see him and to see a “dear friend.” I could have chosen to continue to resent and hate him. But my satisfaction came one day when I heard my 33-year-old daughter telling her close friends that, “I am able to forgive because what I saw in my mother when she divorced my father.” She continued to state that, “They are good friends. They can sit and have a cup of coffee and a good conversation together.” It was very hard but ONLY through Christ can this be possible.
But, oh the joy that comes when you are fully aware that you have arrived at a place of green pastures where there used to be only hate and vengeance. It takes commitment and obedience to yourself that you are going to make it. Vowing that you are going to create an attitude that states, “I am beyond what I feel inside me and what I remember in the past, and I set my heart to heal.” Even when everything inside you is saying, “my life was destroyed by this divorce.” You need to take that all to God and let him lead you, sometimes blindly, through your deliverance of the divorce; but the wonderful outcome will be FREEDOM IN CHRIST!!!