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Forgiveness and my religion (Read 2048 times)
Tracey
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Forgiveness and my religion
Dec 28th, 2011 at 9:34am
 
Hi everyone, long time since Iíve been here and wishing everyone a Happy Christmas period.

I think Christmas is how Iíve found my way back here and a small thing triggering me and dwelling on my mind since our local Christmas Eve church service.  Before I go on, I know this isnít a religious board and hope those of you reading this donít mind what I have to write.

I am a Christian, however not a regularly practicing one.  I have only been to church once since my motherís death over a year ago. I do find a sense of peace in sitting alone in a quiet church (not during service times) and not sure if that is just me being in awe of the old building itself with the stained glass windows, etc.

Our local parish has been without its own vicar for nearly 2 years and a month ago, we have a new female vicar.  The Christmas Eve service is the first time Iíve met her.  Her speech at the end was about Ďforgivenessí and that Christianity is all about forgiveness and of bringing friends and family back together again and of how God forgave those who turned against him.

Now, I canít get that word out of my head and what it means to me and how I can do it; forgive and with that, with respect to forgiving my brother?  Yet forgiveness for me goes deeper with me first being able to forgive God first as I feel he abandoned me as a child.  Where was He when my brother was sleeping with me?  Did He look down on that little 8 year old and think that this would be my lesson in forgiveness one day when I am older?  I am older now and am finding forgiveness of what my brother did so hard and I donít know if I can find it in my heart to do it and that makes me feel a failed Christian.

How do you forgive someone when justice hasnít been done?  My brother has got away with it and I am meant to forgive him?  I want to do the right thing and I want to be loved by God.

I would love to ask these questions of our new vicar in the hope that she has the answers, but am too afraid.  I hope one or two of you here may help guide me in the right direction to answering ďhow do you forgive a brother who had sex with you?Ē

Thanks.
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Ty
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Re: Forgiveness and my religion
Reply #1 - Jan 22nd, 2012 at 9:38pm
 
Hey Tracey!
It is almost the end of January, and I am just getting a response to you. I sincerely apologize for my late, late, reply....I hope that you receive this.

I think (believe) that forgiveness is a perfectly suitable subject for this forum. Although we all may have different beliefs, I know that this is a subject that truly plays into our healing journey...at least it did for mine.

The things you ask are hard to address. I feel as if I have found the answers, for myself...but whether or not they help you is something I cannot be certain of...

Forgiveness really hit me when my husband was in school. We were in the middle of a bible study and we came across a text in the bible that says (in short) unless you can forgive your enemy your Father (God) cannot forgive you.
At first this could make someone really mad. Who would want to believe in a God that expects you to forgive someone who has done horrific things?
First I had to understand what forgiveness is...what it means. What I have come to understand it as is: Freedom. Forgiving someone has loosened me from them having a hold on me any longer. It doesn't mean that I accept their actions, that I dismiss their actions, that I am willing to embrace them as a person. It simply means that I am no longer going to hold hatred towards them...because when I do, they have a hold on me.
Second I realized that unless I truly understood what forgiveness was, I couldn't embrace God's forgiveness for me. When I completely came to understand what forgiveness was, I was able to understand how freely God's forgiveness is given to me. Does that mean I won't let Him down? No. It simply means that He is always there waiting for me.
As far as the evil that lies within a person...that is between them and God...and that is where I leave it. I have come to be able to understand that I have a right to say 'no', I have come to understand that what someone has done to me does not go away...but yet it no longer has to have a hold on me.

As far as being angry at God...that is perfectly understandable. I have come to a point (thanks to the book of Job) where I no longer feel angry at God, but at Satan....God gives us freedom, Satan takes it away.

There is a whole lot that took place on my journey to understand forgiveness...and although I thought that I had understood it, I didn't really get it until years later.

Don't rush yourself....and know that (from my own personal belief) that God understands your heart....and He doesn't love you any less at the anger or unforgiveness you may have. He simply wants you to have freedom...and that can't always come quickly...

Let me know how you are doing...and your thoughts on this...
Thank you so much for being willing to reach out and share your thoughts Smiley

Journeying With You,
Ty
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