My childhood home was filled with abuse, fear and pain and I was deeply wounded as a result of it. My dad was an angry, abusive and controlling man and my mom was not strong enough to stand up to him and protect her children. Over the years of childhood abuse it felt like my nature, given to me by God, and my precious gentle soul had been aggressively forced into some other form that I did not recognize nor want.   By the time I was an adult I was so bound up in anger, rage, unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness that I became bound in knots of dysfunction, developed many ailments and was deeply depressed barely being able to put one foot in front of the other.

When I first attended an RLI conference many years ago, I knew the knowledge I gained was powerful but I really struggled with incorporating it into my everyday life.  I went home and pretty much set it aside for a while.  Several years later I decided to attend again. After that conference, RLI had started a group that met weekly to help with our walk out, now called Root Group. This definitely helped me a lot in applying the truth I was learning. By the time I attended my third conference things really began to click in my heart and mind!  I really had my eyes opened to forgiveness and the power it has in our lives.  I realized I had a lot of work to do.

As I began to do the very hard work of forgiving people one by one for the destructive words and abusive behavior toward me, my soul started rejuvenating and was becoming alive for the first time in my memory!  Day-by-day God had been changing me and bringing healing to my soul. This certainly did not happen overnight but rather in a process over time.  Little-by-little I learned to separate my dad (the person) from his sin (his evil choices). That was such a key understanding for my own growth process and healing. I realized that in forgiving my dad I was not condoning what he did or giving him a pass but rather I was learning to trust Jesus in the whole process from start to finish and to know He has my best interest at heart. In that process I also realized that my Heavenly Father had restored to me my choice, my voice, and the amazing power to bring healing to my body and my very soul by forgiving others. I can choose to forgive, voice that forgiveness and then open the snare that the enemy held me captive in, releasing my soul and my healing.

Jesus knows how difficult a struggle it can be for us to come to the point of forgiving an injustice to our body and soul. I believe He honors us for finally being able to release that forgiveness when it is needed.  Forgiveness is a choice that I make every day. I want to forgive as quickly and frequently as I can because in making that choice my soul prospers. I struggle to be able to effectively express the freedom that comes in forgiving those who wound us. It is a deep, healing, completely refreshing freedom that does not end. Forgiveness is not always easy. It is a gift that God gives first to us as he cleanses us from our own sin and then helps us learn how to offer that gift to others.  That gift when received by us is all encompassing and when it is offered to those of us who are so undeserving, it is amazingly beautiful beyond our comprehension. It is an expression of God’s immense, total and complete love for us all.  I want to thank Jesus for such amazing love, grace and mercy in my life and I thank Holy Spirit for using RLI to bring knowledge, information and understanding of truth that has set me free in so many areas. Jesus continues to do His good work in my life every day and I am continuing to grow as I walk out my freedom. I am still in the process of being healed and am not a completed work but I am committed, to the best of my ability, to follow Jesus and embrace His healing power in my life every day.  I am forever grateful to the Lord and to RLI for the deep understanding of forgiveness and for the gift of FREEDOM!

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