Recently, a friend shared how burdened she is with regret in a particular relationship. She worried that a friend would forever be wounded by how she treated her and doubted whether she could ever forgive herself. Have you ever felt like that? I think most of us have.
Today I thought I’d share an adaptation from “The Beauty of Redemption,” a chapter in my book, Becoming A Peaceful Mom ~ Through Every Season of Raising Your Child. I hope that you’re encouraged.
“We have regrets. Decisions we made. Words we never spoke—or wish we could take back. We would like a redo for the way we handled some things. We wish we knew then what we know now. Some events are recent and others old.
God is timeless. To him all of time is. He sees our entire life, not segments. When we invite him into a segment or memory of our life, however long ago, he knows that time. He was there; he is here with us in the present; he is in the future. He is with us always.
When we pray, God responds. He wants us to approach his throne of grace. We can talk to him about the past, present, and future. Regret is not the end of the story. Our past is not a missed opportunity for God’s forgiveness and healing. His love, grace, and power are beyond our comprehension.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7–8a)
We have a Redeemer. His name is Jesus Christ. Through him, we can seek God’s forgiveness and healing for any day or season of our life.
Jesus wants us to talk to him about these thoughts and feelings. Haunting memories rob us of the peace and joy he brings. We seek forgiveness for our past in the same manner we pray for present circumstances. Jesus died for all our transgressions—past, present, and future.
Believing God has forgiven you, forgive yourself. Sometimes it is helpful to claim this out loud. Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. I receive it. Because you have forgiven me, I forgive myself. Otherwise we tend to hold our guilty feelings. It is as though God’s gift of forgiveness sits on the kitchen table wrapped, because we will not unwrap and receive his gift.
In Christ, our life can be redeemed. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) It’s a waste of time to worry whether someone remembers the experience or how our inappropriate behavior has impacted them. Instead, we take those experiences and our sorrow to God, and he reaps change. Through Jesus, we experience forgiveness and redemption, and the person receives healing.
Be still and trust that God will bring to your mind the matters that he wants you to talk with him about.
Humility opens the door to healing and freedom. What an amazing Heavenly Father we have! He gives us the opportunity to look to our past with gratitude and awe because he forgives and heals. Here is an example of prayer for forgiveness and healing.
1. Invite God to reveal when and how you have hurt or offended the person: God, please show me the experiences that I need to bring to you.
2. Name these to God, including emotions he may reveal. If you see a pattern of behavior, repent of the pattern. This expresses a desire to turn around from the behavior. (ex) Dear God, you are showing me how often I yell. I repent of yelling. Please help me learn to respond with a calmer voice.
3. Seek forgiveness: God, I am so sorry. Please forgive me.
4. Ask God to heal that place in the person’s heart and memories, to restore her, and to restore your
5. Thank God for forgiveness, redemption, and healing.
6. God has forgiven you, so forgive yourself: I receive your forgiveness, and I forgive myself.
7. Pray for God’s help: God, change me and help me be the person you know I can be.”
* Hi Friends! Is there someone you know who could use some encouragement right about now? Here’s the link to my website: celebratethefamily.org where you can connect to purchase a copy of my book from a variety of sources. It’s available in audio, paperback or Kindle.
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