Step Out & Thrive Ministries with Bethany Boring
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Ready To Walk On Water?

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?

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Facing Forgiveness: Face Your Pain

As we get ready to dive into the second post in our Facing 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 where we dive deeper into each post and get to know one another better. If you have been enjoying our weekly Forgiveness Interviews, you can connect with them inside of the group as well. Plus I go live every single week during the series 😃

 

******Click here to join the Step Out And Thrive Inner-Circle Facebook Group!******

 

I held the piece of notebook paper with fists clinched tight. Just a few days before, I had met with a close friend who was also a certified Caring For The Heart Biblical counselor. She willingly walked through my story – my whole story.

 

Through tears,

through silence,

through pure anger

and times I honestly could not look her in the eye – she stayed with me through it all.

 

After months of meeting, she handed back to me a piece of paper that I had completed. As the page came closer, I began to recognize my writing. I had to write the names of the people who had hurt me, the pain they had caused and accept the consequences of their actions. I completed the assignment by crossing out the directions and then writing “No way” in big letters.

 

I thought that had settled it. I was wrong. So very wrong.

 

Choosing not to forgive never brings peace. It’s a false positive that prevent true peace from beginning.

 

 

 

As we began to talk, honestly, my heart remained hard. You see, I knew all about the pain Jesus endured for me and my sin on the cross, but at that moment the only pain I could see was my own. I knew forgiveness could be freeing, but if I just let all of this go, who would I be? I was so comfortable holding onto the shame, loneliness of the secrets I had been carrying, anger, self-hatred and insurmountable rejection. This was my life. I couldn’t just let all that go. I didn’t know how. I had more questions than answers.

I left our meeting that day with my hand still clinched tightly to my incomplete assignment. I wasn’t being sent home to complete the piece of paper. No, she urged me to simply bring the matter before God.

 

It’s always better not to tell someone what they need to do, but allow God to do what only He can – no strings attached.

 

 

No matter how many times I folded that piece of paper, it would find a way to unfold itself, just so I knew it’s presence. Whether I placed it in my pocket, in a book, on my desk or even on the floor – it always found its way back to me.

 

God began to move in big ways. These quiet moments in-between appointments, God began to quietly speak to my heart.

 

It’s not the counselor, the pastor, the friend or the encourager that changes people. Instead, it’s the space these people allow God to have to work in the way only He can.

 

 

As I sat down to read my Bible over the weekend, the Spirit led me to the final hours of Jesus’ life. In one chapter, I read exactly how Jesus understood the darkest moments of my life through the darkest moments of His.

 

Matthew 26: 40-41: Jesus’ disciples leave Him alone in His greatest hour of need. He knows what loneliness and rejection feels like. He knows what it looks like to be misunderstood.

 

Matthew 26:50: Jesus’ friend Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. He knew how something could feel right yet be so wrong. Jesus knew betrayal and the loss of friendship. Jesus understands why it is so hard for me to really trust others.

 

Matthew 26:52-54: Jesus watched as Peter’s anger caused pain. He knew the pain God’s salvation plan would bring. Jesus understood submission. Jesus understood anger.

 

Matthew 26:62-63: Jesus understood the art of silence when human words seem useless. He understands when it feels like I’ve lost my voice. He understands the feeling of being lied about and disrespected. 

 

Matthew 26:67-68: They spit in Jesus’ face. I’ve had this happen to me as well. He was physically abused and He allowed it to happen. Jesus understands physical and emotional pain.

 

Jesus still has many more verses to get to the cross. His clothes would be stripped (this is sexual abuse), he would be flogged (physical abuse), hurled insults at (verbal abuse) while He carried His cross (physical and emotional abuse).

 

It’s one thing to know about the pain that Jesus endured.

It becomes personal and unbearable when you truly realize He went through every moment of His pain for you.

Not only does Jesus understand, He died and conquered death so that our pain can be forgiven.

 

Jesus spoke to my heart that day about my closed, clinched tight fist. After reading through Matthew 26, I felt Jesus asking me, “Bethany, can I please have the pain – the shame, anger, rejection, loneliness, hurt, betrayal and abuse – can I take this from you so that you can open your hand freely again?” 

 

When the Holy Spirit works, sometimes you are so glad you are all alone. I did the bitter cry that day – letting go of pain and tears that had been locked-up tight for so many years. My paper was useless because it had been drenched by my tears. God was clearly at work.

 

The forgiveness journey is not started by human words or actions, but instead by God revealing Himself in a new, fresh way. If our pain continues to be bigger than His salvation, we will miss God’s hand every single time. But when the power of the cross overshadows our deepest pain, tears of freedom can begin to flow.

 

 

Forgiveness is not something we do but instead it is God’s work displayed in and through us.

The pressure to forgive is off. Simply ask Jesus to speak directly to your pain. When you are ready to forgive, He will be waiting to walk with you the entire way. After all, He knows your pain.

 

 

This week’s free resource:

This “Sermon Jam” was published way back in 2013 and I stumbled upon it right when I began my forgiveness journey. I would stream the video as I exercised in the morning – every single morning! I needed this Truth of the cross in the center of my mind and rooted in my heart. We are Barabbas my friends and have been given salvation through Christ. You are so loved.

 

Recommended Resources

(The links below are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item from the link below, Step Out And Thrive Ministries will receive a portion of the sale which helps keep our community growing!).

 

Let’s Connect:

What pain word do you need to know that Jesus understands?

 

Linking up with Kelly Balarie this week!

About the Author Bethany

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!

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25 comments
Karen Del Tatto says April 9, 2018

Thank you for sharing your story so transparently and for pointing us to the One who set the ultimate example of what forgiveness truly is, but also to the One who understands our pain even when we struggle to forgive.

    Bethany says April 9, 2018

    So beautiful Karen! Yes – my goal in this series is to be transparent so others can grab the courage to share their story too. ❤️

Rebecca Jones says April 9, 2018

I’m not a certified coach but I had people fill out a similar paper, I wrote one as well, it was the 70×7 that was throwing me, it was like I kept forging the same stuff everyday. Then I decided I was not going to carry the sins of others, I forgive, God’s got it.

    Bethany says April 9, 2018

    Yes Rebecca! 70 times 7 – Forgiveness is continual. It’s an ongoing healing process. Painful, yes. Worth it – definitely!

Laura Melchor says April 9, 2018

A very thoughtful post on one of the hardest tasks of humanity!

    Bethany says April 11, 2018

    It is hard but God can take on hard! Thanks for your encouragement!

Laura Melchor says April 9, 2018

A very thoughtful post on one of the hardest tasks of humanity!

    Bethany says April 9, 2018

    Thank you! Hard but worth it! God is good!

Lola says April 9, 2018

I feel that for me forgiveness has been a process.. That 70 x 7 is the process, I had to continue to forgive and work through the pain to also work all of the bitterness and hate from me. Even if at times it didn’t feel like it…. but if I looked close God walked every painful step with me.
I also found that working through this pain and finding forgiveness is very much like grief when a love one dies.
There is no time limit, it takes as long as it takes. All of my emotions are real and I’m not crazy. God is always right there. People close to me want me to be over it, but people who really love me support me and walk with me through it.

    Bethany says April 15, 2018

    Lola – Yes. There really is no time limit. Forgiveness isn’t something we do but its what God does in and through us. Glad you are on the journey with us!

~Karrilee~ says April 10, 2018

Oh friend… yes and amen! Forgiveness is so important! It is hard and holy work… that sets us free! (And thanks for the Judah Smith link… love me some Judah preaching every once in awhile!)

    Bethany says April 15, 2018

    Glad you like Judah! He just has so much power in his voice! This was the first video I had ever watched of his. He has that type of way of talking to my hard heart but not right for every occasion. 🙂

Kira says April 10, 2018

So true! Forgiveness is only possible by the grace of God. When I’ve struggled to forgive in the past it’s because I’m holding on to bitterness. I just pray over and over again “God take away this bitterness, show me how to let go.” He is always faithful to answer that prayer

    Bethany says April 15, 2018

    Beautiful Kira! Thats part of the healing process allowing Him to do what He does best!

Crystal says April 13, 2018

I know many people who struggle to forgive. It is such a vital piece to growing in the Lord and I see often talked about in my home. As you point out–I think a major issue in being unable to forgive is the fact that pain was caused and has not yet left (and may never leave). But when we can give that pain you Jesus and allow him to renew us, amazing things can happen!

    Bethany says April 15, 2018

    Yes Crystal. Some pain is in the person that may be in our life every single day. That’s hard and requires boundaries as well. I’ll be talking about this very thing in my next post!

Anita Ojeda says April 13, 2018

YES! Have you ever read The Hidden Half of the Gospel? It’s all about how we focus on Jesus dying for our sins and foget to remember that he has gone through EVERY trial we have gone through so that he could come alongside us in authenticity.

    Bethany says April 15, 2018

    I haven’t read that…yet! Adding to my book list… 🙂

Amanda Pavich says April 13, 2018

I appreciate that you do not gloss over real feelings, like saying “no way,” or write from the position of perfect hindsight. It is very encouraging!

    Bethany says April 14, 2018

    Amanda – Thanks! It’s true and honestly, I bet many others have felt the same way as I have. I want others to know they have a real friend on the other side of the screen and a safe place to write their story.

Cindy says April 13, 2018

I knew Jesus understood what I have experienced in life but the way you described it and especially this, is very helpful.

Jesus still has many more verses to get to the cross. His clothes would be stripped (this is sexual abuse), he would be flogged (physical abuse), hurled insults at (verbal abuse) while He carried His cross (physical and emotional abuse).

As you name the various abuses He endured, I now see how He truly can identify with my past abuses.

Thank you for sharing this. It is very helpful to me and I’m sure to others as well.

    Bethany says April 14, 2018

    Cindy, Thank you for sharing here. This post, especially the portion you quoted was hard to write. It’s hard to realize but really changed my life. You are loved!

Prescott Williamson says April 13, 2018

I had a friend who always said not forgiving is like letting someone live inside your head rent free. Don’t live with that stress just let go and let God. Great post

    Bethany says April 14, 2018

    Prescott – What a great illustration! It’s like we allow another person to claim residence of our mind. Our mind cannot be the mind of Christ if it is under the name of another. Thank you for such great thoughts!

Dewi says April 17, 2018

I loved this so much. I went through some very devastating things a few years ago. Even though I know God didn’t cause any of that, I came to encounter Him so much more powerfully in those times because He carried me oh so close! His love alone helps me to walk it out and to forgive from the heart! Bless you!

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