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"How can I forgive the men who killed my son?" she whispered, her eyes brimming with tears.
My heart ached for her. I knew all too well the pain of trauma, and how it can hold a person captive for years.
"It starts with your heart," I said quietly. "Your heart must have the desire to forgive. Then, that desire must travel the eighteen inches from your heart to your mind. When it reaches your mind, you must make the courageous decision to forgive. Once you choose freely to forgive, then you must ask God unceasingly, to give you the grace to forgive. Only God can make that transformation in your heart and mind happen."
She nodded through her tears. I knew just by looking at her that the pain from the horrific loss of her son had held this woman captive for many years. She had gotten stuck in her grief, unable to forgive the men who had murdered her son. And, in her inability to forgive, she had unknowingly given Satan the power to hold her captive. Like a thief in the night he had stolen her joy. She had unwittingly allowed him to cunningly blind her from seeing all the blessings and plans that God had in store for her.
All because of unforgiveness.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this bondage to unforgiveness, as I have traveled and shared my story and my personal journey of unforgiveness.
I, too, know the pain of unforgiveness and the
many years that I lost to anger, bitterness and depression. I know the pain of being brutalized and finding myself on the brink of suicide, unable to understand a God who could allow such a trauma into my life, after all the abuses I had already suffered. And yet today, I know the joy and freedom that has come from forgiveness, and finding God in the midst of despair. I know the gratefulness and humility of living my purpose, as God has planned.
I know that even when I don't understand the hardships and traumas that come into my life, that I can trust God and in His plans for me.
Forgiveness is a difficult issue and one that many struggle with throughout their lifetime.
And yet, as followers of Christ, it is critical to forgive, so that God can also forgive us. It is vital to forgive, so that we can remove any barriers between us and God, and His plans for us.
If you are unable to forgive yourself, I invite you today to seek God. He is too loving, too compassionate and too merciful to not forgive you. Run to Him!
And, if you are struggling to forgive someone who has hurt you, ask God to open your heart and soften it with grace, so that you can forgive.
May God bless you and restore you for His glory!.

Joyce Villeneuve

"A sinner's humanity will cause him to fail from grace again and again, but his human pride, ego, or feeling of unworthiness should not prevent him from seeking God's forgiveness again and again."    ~Joyce Villeneuve~