Freedom and Forgiveness-My Story
The following is my personal journey that taught me there is freedom when we forgive. For me it was true freedom-freedom from spending my life in prison. The following is the gory details of my journey from wanting to kill some people to forgiving them.
I should mention I have been an angry person, anger to the extreme at times, but I was never a violent person. I am 64 years old and have only been in a physical fight one time, when I was forced to fight someone when I was probably around 14 years old. I just let them beat me up.
The experience I am about to share took place when I was around 26 years old. I am so thankful for this experience. It took me to a journey of forgiveness that has followed me to this day. I truly know how to walk in freedom and forgiveness. I am in no way saying forgiveness is easy and may not take some time, but I am saying a person can live a life of freedom from the bondage of unforgiveness.
I was around 26 years old. i had been married for a little over a year, but had been living with the same person for a couple of years. After being an atheist for years I became a born again Christian around the time of this event. I can say that Judy (name changed) was a sex addict. But as far as I had know, up to this time, she had never cheated on me. We were with each other most of the time. However, for the last year both of us were working full-time opposite shifts at two different grocery stores. I was working graveyard shift and Judy was working day or evening shift, so we saw very little of each other. Our sex life became almost non-existent.
I became suspicious that Judy was cheating on me with an employee at her grocery store. I was working a graveyard shift and I heard some employees at Judy’s store were having a party. I figured Judy may be at that party and that it was at the house of the guy she most likely was cheating with on a regular basis. (Cannot remember what triggered my suspicions.) I could not work so I took a break and drove over to the party. I saw Judy’s car there with other people’s cars. I drove back to work. Thoughts were haunting to the extreme for the next few hours. I could not take it. I took off of work and drove over to the house. The only cars at the house was Judy’s and the guy that lived at the house. I absolutely knew what was going on. I was filled with rage I had never felt before. Extreme rage. The first thought on my mind was to drive home and get my pistol. I was determined to kill someone. Not sure if the guy, her, both. All I knew is I was filled with rage and am going to act upon my rage.
My Encounter with God
I left the house to drive to my house to get my gun. I had only been a Christian for a few months, but I was already leading a youth group. I was just a babe in Christ but had a strong call in my life and I wanted to serve God with all my heart, but at the same time I was filled with anger and rage and ready to kill someone. (Remember I am a person who never been physically violent whatsoever.) As I drove to my house I had a powerful encounter with God. It was not a physical encounter, or an audible voice, but it was clear as can be in my spirit, “Christians don’t kill people, they forgive people.” I knew if I was going to be a servant of God I must forgive. I had no other option. I am to forgive in the same way as I was forgiven by Jesus Christ. It was settled in my heart, I must go to the house, confront them, and forgive BOTH OF THEM.
The Act of Forgiveness
As soon as I made the conscious choice to forgive, a supernatural power came over me. I found the FREEDOM to forgive. I found the ability to forgive rather than go to prison for murder. I found the ability to bestow grace and mercy upon two people who did not deserve it, especially Judy.
I pulled up to the house and the guy at the house opened the door with just his underwear on. He almost immediately told me he loved my wife. Can you believe that? I calmly told him “if you loved her you would honor her marriage”. Without Christ and a gun that would be the justification to kill him on the spot and face the courts later. I then went into the bedroom and my wife was laying in the bed naked. I knelt down at the bed and said “I am to forgive you. If you go home I will not hold this against you.” I then left the house and went to work with a spirit of peace over me. FREEDOM. I experienced the freedom and peace that comes from forgiveness. It was the supernatural power to forgive.
Forgiveness-Walk It Out
My loving Heavenly Father gave me the experience of learning how to walk out forgiveness. How? After this event, I received some phone messages at my house that said “your wife is good in bed”. It was not the voice of the gentleman that I had forgiven. Thus, after I forgave my wife she was having sex with more men. WOW!!!! But God gave me the grace to continue to forgive her.
Soon afterwards we moved to Alaska. The night before we drove to Alaska we stayed at our Christian neighbor’s for the night. I later found out a year later that the Christian neighbor (he had to be around 50 or older) had asked her to have sex with her, she says she said no. I had to forgive him.
While living in Alaska I knew Judy was cheating on me. I continued to forgive. Finally she ended up visiting her father in California and came back saying she wanted a divorce and going to marry an old boyfriend from years ago. WOW!
Another Opportunity to Forgive
While we were still married in Alaska Judy got pregnant. She was determined to get an abortion. She knew how I felt about abortion. Years before I had forced her to get an abortion. When I became a Christian my entire position on abortion had changed. Judy knew this. She knew I was a strong advocate for saving the lives of the unborn. She knew I was willing to raise the child regardless of who was the father. But she decided to have the unborn child killed. That was one of the hardest days of my life. But I had only one option-to forgive.
Freedom and Forgiveness
I can say based upon personal experience there is much freedom that comes when we forgive. i can say God can give the power to forgive. His grace is sufficient. Listen, forgiveness is not about forgetting. I can remember all of the details, they just don;t have power over me. I will never forget.
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