On Forgiveness – Step 1: Knowing who I am!

img_1596I needed to know who I am before I could forgive others and sometimes I found I had to forgive myself first.

It took me years to accept God’s unconditional love.  I gave God many of reasons to leave me but God never left.

I read about, heard about God’s unconditional love but to accept that I am lovable took years.  It also took people (“Jesus with skin on” as my friend Tory would say) to show me the way.  To actually love me and not just tell me about His great love.   It took reading scripture and going to mass to hear the word of love.

 

It is very easy to feel unlovable.   Myself I heard words that I didn’t belong in certain groups, or that I wouldn’t amount to anything because as a I didn’t run as fast as other team members.

There were times when I wanted to prove myself and even if I hit a triple in softball it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t a home run.  The stinking thinking had an effect on my personal life and my spiritual life.

Sometimes I wanted to prove myself to God, but truth is God didn’t need proof.  He created me, He called me, He loved me.  I simply had to turn my will over to His and follow Him.

Once I could accept that love, then as a child of God and a follower  —  I had to be the person God created me to be.  Forgiveness isn’t always about doing something but it is about being the person that I am created to be.   That life in Christ makes me die to self, to pride and self-righteousness.  God already died for all the sins, I just had to say “I am sorry” and “I forgive you”.

Knowing Christ died for all –  I remember that moment when the knowledge that Christ died for all moved from my head to my heart.  — Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, saving all..”   I was on retreat and the preacher said, Christ died for everyone– I had to think of everyone… those who I felt justified to hold a grudge, and I had to let go the grudge so God’s mercy could flow.

Maybe it is not just knowing who I am but who I am not – I am not the judge and I am not the creator.   God chose to give everyone free will, that ability to decide between good and evil.    There are times when I made the evil choice and times when someone chose to do evil that caused me pain and suffering.

When I made the bad choice then I have to repent, to make amends with those I hurt.

When others made the choice against me, I can take on the attitude of Christ.  I can choose to forgive.  Christ took it upon Himself to die for our sins.

Going to the next step and putting forgiveness into an action take time, God’s timing!  It takes God’s grace and courage to be a willing servant of God.   As always, my thoughts are scattered and I need more time for reflection.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. – Phil 2:5-11

 

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”. — Benedict XVI, December 25, 2005, Deus Caritas est

Mosaic Community

Ephesians 2:10
“We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning He meant us to live it”

I love my little wall hangings that remind me of how God’s heals the brokenness not by hiding the scars but by putting me back together making a beautiful work of art.   God’s love is the cement that puts back together the parts of me that seemed unsalvageable from the things I crumbled under.

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What I like about this wall hanging is it reminds me of community.  God’s healing touch was made known to me by others.   Without the stories of others who told me how God heals, without the support of others working to bring the message of healing and without the courage to join in to bring healing to others — I may not have turned things over to God – I may have stayed crumbled.

Grateful for God’s love, for God’s helpers and that I can choose today to bring healing and hope to others.

Ephesian 4:11-12
And He gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, …

[The challenge is always to do something good each day to build up a person or the body of Christ! — Still reflecting on this…. ]

Forgiveness –

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For me forgiveness has become simple.  I believe that Jesus died for everyone, He already did the work of forgiveness and I have to trust in His plan and hand all those who hurt me to Him.  I believe I am to follow Him and I have do whatever He tells me. (John 2:5 – His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.)

I am human and feelings and emotions gets in the way, and so whatever I am feeling I bring to God in prayer.   I have come to believe that forgiveness isn’t just for me to move forward but in the spiritual work of being part of the body of Christ it is so the whole world can begin to be at peace.

Forgiving to me is easier than saying I am sorry to those I have hurt.  Very happy the Church has given us the Sacrament of Reconciliation,  a grace needed for self-reflection.  A grace to humble myself and take responsibility for my actions.

Sometimes pride wants to get in the way of saying I am sorry, sometimes being afraid of the reaction of the other.  I am not responsible for the other person’s reaction, hoping always the time can heal.

Forgiveness is needed in my life for inner peace and to become the person God calls me to be in this world.

More reflection needed… but my thoughts today is to forgive, not only the small stuff but the big things.

 

 

 

In the quiet!

I am been trying to quiet my world, less tv, less radio and less Facebook.   Very easy to listen to the opinions of others and the directions of where others may want me to be in this world.    I know I am made for the next world.  And my mission here to to bring His kingdom here to earth before leaving earth for the kingdom.

At a very young age I was taught and believed that I was created to know, love and serve God. And the way to Him was to study, to pray and to put into practice His way.  There are many ways and directions to go…  But one way is to pick up the cross and follow Jesus.

I get easily distracted from God’s plan and God’s way.      I want to be comfortable and crosses are not comfortable.  I want to be love and to love but sometimes emotions and feelings get in the way.  Jesus loves us unconditionally but in my human way I sometimes put conditions.  Maybe I want things easy and not everything is easy.  It would be nice if everyone was fair, including myself, sometimes I am not fair.

I was reminded this morning of a sermon from Fr. Braun back in the 80’s.  He said we come to God with open hands.  Not only for what we can receive but to open ourselves to give our gifts to God.  We offer Him all we have and that God even takes our sins as a gift.  He takes our sins and in turn we receive His grace.

We can offer our brokenness so God can heal.  Sometimes the healing isn’t the cure but peace.

Today is a new day and  I go to God in prayer and ask God to be in the situations of my day.

Again my thoughts are scattered but my hope is to be with God always starting now in my everyday.

Revelation 3:20

Look I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God

1Kings 19:11-13

Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?

CCC

1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

Warrior or Worrier – Part II

Worry may be one of those sins that is hard to recognize.  OR maybe just an addiction of sorts.  Worrying for me is a sin of not trusting God. A sin of pride because I like to be the caretaker, I like being in control. I like fixing things. I remember being young and feeling — “I got this God, I can do this for you.”

Thankfully God had patience and mercy.  He probably laughed a little and being God He let me find my way. He didn’t need me to do anything, He needed me to be the person I was created to be.  Thankful that He put very wise people in my way. Thankfully I had His word. Thankfully I had the Church.

Maybe it took a few crosses to force me to look to God first, and for me to put more and more trust in God. I had to trust God, and had to learn God is enough.

Thankful that I learn about CoDA (Codependency Anonymous). And learned the Steps.. the first 3….  1) I can’t; 2) God can; 3) I will let Him.

Worrying and anxiety only puts the focus on myself and makes me self-centered, whether I worry about myself or worrying about how I will fix another person’s problem.  It all had to do with me.   Little by little I continue to learn that God had it all.  He has the big plan.  He already knows the outcome.

God created me and God can recreate me.  God made you and only He can recreate you.   It is a matter of surrendering to God.  Not a painful thing at all, unless I stubbornly want my way.  Surrendering is more like a hug from God.  My unwillingness to let go of control caused lots of pain in my life.

The times I wanted to figure out who deserved my forgiveness or apologies.  Christ died for all.. the decision about who to forgive is easy – Jesus did it on the cross, He forgave all, I only have to give each person to Him.   Then I am free to be with God and I allow each person to be free with God.

My thoughts are starting to wander… so may need a part III.  Always need to reflect more on God and God’s ways!

Moral of today’s story…. Don’t worry, Be happy!   Jesus, I trust in You!

Luke 10:41
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.