I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
As we get ready to dive into the final post in our Finding Forgiveness Series, I wanted to point new readers back to the first post (so you can follow along). Also, you are invited to join the Step Out And Thrive Inner-Circle Facebook Group. Although the series has ended, this group is a safe place to circle-up for those daring to find their voice in a crazy world. Let’s journey together!
I had finally reached the “forgiveness finish-line” in my head. There was nothing more I could do and now God needed to bless my socks off.
(Yes, proceed with caution friends)
A quick review here:
I had a clear understanding of who I needed to forgive. (see Facing Forgiveness Part 1)
God had been gently reminding me of His love and forgiveness displayed through Jesus Christ on the cross (see Facing Forgiveness Part 2)
I had accepted that I had not really forgiven him, but that I was an amazing stuffer (see Facing Forgiveness Part 3)
I finally put words to my pain and verbally released the words of forgiveness to the guy who had taken so much away from me (see Facing Forgiveness Part 4).
This is where I thought my life was going to completely change. After finally verbalizing my forgiveness…
I thought wrong.
Forgiveness BEGINS when we bring our pain to God.
Forgiveness CONTINUES when we allow God access and time to work in the way only He can.
Many of us begin the forgiveness journey well, but most times we stop right there. I want to challenge all of us to continue boldly into our future forgiveness testimony today.
Yes, my occasional nightmare still comes.
My jacket is sitting beside me right now as I type this. I like the comfort and reassurance it brings.
I still find it very hard to really enjoy movies in a public setting (but most kid movies have been a safe landing place!).
The difference? I have a place to take my pain instead of stuffing. I have a Truth that has taken deeper roots in my life. I have a Light that shines brighter and reveals the lies for what they are.
I began the forgiveness adventure well, but every day I invite God to continue working on me.
God, come change my heart.
God, rewire my mind.
God, I feel shame. Speak to this God.
God, I feel fear. Show me You are right here with me.
Sometimes, I think we can feel completely defeated. We forget to continually allow God to pour His forgiveness into our lives. The second the old feelings related to our story come streaming back in, we begin to doubt this whole forgiveness process. We close ourselves off. We close Him off.
Sometimes, I believe we ask,
There is nothing wrong with me and I know there is nothing wrong with you. The decision to forgive is the hardest choice you will ever make in your life. The second hardest is daily allowing God to continue to work in and through you as you are. You are on a forgiveness journey, not a forgiveness sprint.
You can, through the grace and mercy of Christ, sincerely come to God and lift your pain and the person you are forgiving into His strong hands.
You can, through Christ, take on the consequences of their sin.
You can breathe in deep as you say, “Finally God – It is finished.”
And 1-hour later…3 hours later…a day or a week later when the pain comes back…
You can bring the pain right to God.
As a community here, we dare to do more than just simply survive in pain. We daily want to invite God into our lives and step out and thrive through our pain. We want more.
So as a community, we can fall on our faces as He will always meet us right where we are.
We can boldly rest in His hands instead of stuffing, denying or excusing our pain away.
We can walk out this forgiveness journey with our Father and with our close friends because we know the lies from the enemy have no power over us any longer.
Because we can come to Him with our pain, we can identify the lies they say:
Because we can see the power of the risen and living Christ alive and working in us, through Him we can boldly say:
Because of Jesus, I can face forgiveness and He says:
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)
Each day we choose to allow God to continue His work in and through us, our forgiveness journey grows deeper, richer and even more life-changing.
Today, I can share my story. I travel on a city bus every Tuesday just to show-up and watch God show-off. I get to write, coach, speak and connect with so many friends who just want to find their voice in the midst of their pain. There is no way I would be where God has me today without this forgiveness journey.
“Bethany, I will make My home in your heart as you trust in Me. Your roots will grow down into My love and keep you strong. And Bethany, you have the power to understand, as all My people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep My love is. May you experience My love, though it is too great to understand fully. Then Bethany you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me. Now Bethany, give Me all glory because I AM able, through My mighty power at work within you, to accomplish infinitely more than you might ask or think. (Taken from Ephesians 3:17-20 NLT)”
Yes, this forgiveness series has ended here but I pray the adventure has begun or will continue in your life. You are more than just a survivor. You are His Child and He has given you a story only you can share.
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
While I’m not exactly energized by the old-school feel of this song, the words are SO powerful! Dennis has an amazing testimony as well and his music has greatly influenced the last few years of my forgiveness journey. See the words beneath the video.
by Dennis Jernigan
Album: Songs of Freedom for Men
by Dennis Jernigan
All I was I lay aside now dead to sin,
To God alive! Born again into a new identity!
Once asleep to God in sin, now wakened by the blood and cleansed!
Born again to be who He called me to be!
All I have I lay aside, run the race to gain the prize
For the sake of knowing Jesus Christ in me!
I cannot yet fully see all I’m truly called to be,
Knowing Christ reveals my hope and destiny!
He calls me child! He calls me to his side eternally!
He calls what once was lost now found, once bound to sin – now free!
He calls me holy! Calls me righteous! By the blood redeemed!
He calls me overcomer, crowned with victory!
This is my destiny!
What once bound me is no more! What was stolen is restored
By the resurrection power of my King!
What was old has been made new; lies and doubts replaced by truth!
What was silent now resounds, “I am redeemed!”
He calls me servant, calls me warrior;
Calls me royalty!
He calls me resurrected one!
He calls me His redeemed!
He calls me higher, calls me for beyond my wildest dream!
He calls my heart to come and be all he can see!
This is my destiny!
He calls me chosen! New creation! Trophy of his His grace!
He gives me strength to fight the fight and run to win the race!
He tells me he delights in me while singing over me,
Accepting me as His beloved bride-to-be! This is my destiny!
This is my destiny!
(Just a reminder that Step Out & Thrive Ministries will receive proceeds from the affiliate links below).
What has God been showing to you through this Facing Forgiveness Series?
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
Facing Forgiveness: Video Interview With Jeanette Engel
Facing Forgiveness: Face Your Words
Facing Forgiveness: Video Interview With Tricia Grow
Facing Forgiveness: Face Your Truth
Facing Forgiveness: Video Interview With Cheryl Rucker