What is Forgiveness?


Forgiveness for those who have wronged you in the past is essential to your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being and allows you to move forward in life.

I forgive you; it is easy to say, but immensely harder to do. – To stop blaming and grant forgiveness. – To let go of anger, bitterness, and grudges.

Many times, problems originating in the past “unknowingly” force their way into current situations. And unresolved issues reinforce dormant wounds and the need to blame others and not grant forgiveness.

If you suffered neglect, abandonment, and abuse, experienced tremendous heart-wrenching losses. It’s difficult to grant forgiveness and let go of the anger, bitterness, and resentment swelling inside your heart.

No, it’s nearly impossible!

Those terrible memories become triggered with ease. Feelings of anger cause you to lash out at others. Spewing heartfelt words of bitterness, contempt, and resentment.

You want the other person to experience the hurt too. To say, “I forgive you” is the last thing you want to do. In spite, you nurse old wounds and hold a grudge.

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Forgiveness – Ignoring Unresolved Issues

My heart was raging with anguish, and hatred, and hurt intensely for a long time. And I did the worst thing possible; ignored the past. Locked the painful memories away inside, stuffing them down into a dark corner deep inside.

And ignored what happened in the past — the neglect and childhood abuse — the domestic violence and loss of children. I placed an emotional wall around my heart and blocked out the immense anguish.

As the saying goes, life goes on, and so it did. However, the past continuously played out throughout the next twenty-two years.

The feeling of being unloved hovered over like a dark cloud. Despite many desperate attempts to obtain love. The sense of abandonment and being unsupported always reared its ugly head.

It feels as though you’re fighting to survive in this world alone. Others note; “you’re a strong woman,” when in reality you mastered the art of ignoring the pain and anguish welling up inside.

Frequently, I lashed out with harsh words when others didn’t live up to the expectations set. The dormant wounds still seeped with anger, bitterness, and resentment.

Nursing old injuries, I held a grudge and failed to stop blaming and grant forgiveness.

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Forgiveness – Understanding and Healing Old Scars

While ignoring the past was my way of dealing with the situation. God in His grace worked throughout those twenty-two years to grant understanding and healing.

After being saved at the mission in Oakland, California, I was lead by the Holy Spirit to take a Certified Nurses Aid and Home Health Aid course.

Little did I know, to be a caregiver for others was God’s way of granting understand and healing for the deep scars. And His way to supply genuine forgiveness.

Through working as a Certified Nurses Aid, and Home Health Aid, caring for others God showed me the meaning of His unconditional love. To have compassion, empathy, and mercy for those who are not able to help themselves.

Over time, I learned that love wasn’t a feeling or act of sexual desire. His unconditional love was a gift, freely given to everyone no matter their physical condition or personal circumstances — His gift of salvation, delivered through His son Jesus Christ.

Over time, old mindsets and personal beliefs changed. The Word of God granted a new understanding and transformed old patterns of thinking.

God was cleansing my heart of anger, and bitterness. By grace, I began to understand God’s point of view. And how He sees the world and problems that plague humanity.

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Forgiveness – The Key to Healing

Several years later, the opportunity to grant mercy to an abusive husband presented its self. God cleansed my heart of anger and bitterness. He enabled me to let go of the grudge. And by the grace of God, I was prepared to grant forgiveness by faith.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 KJV

Forgiveness was the key to healing. And the chains of fear, guilt, and shame were broken. The emotional wall surrounding my heart shattered into a million pieces.

After granting forgiveness, I awakened to the truth of God’s Word and the darkness was revealed. The process of emotional, physical and spiritual healing began, permitting me to move forward in life.

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L.M. Carleton

Hi! I'm Linda, an abuse survivor rescued by grace. I write to raise awareness and encourage abuse victims to grow in wisdom and restore their lives. I conquered adversity by faith and worked caring for the elderly and physically and mentally challenged for twenty-plus years.

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