Stories of Forgiveness – Sexual and Emotional AbuseForgiveness – I think we all underestimate its significance. We think of it as a nice gesture to extend to someone who may have done us wrong in some capacity. While that is true, the biggest piece of it is related to the connection between your capacity to forgive others as the “portal” to being able to receive forgiveness from ourselves and from God.
I had to learn the hard way that forgiveness is not for them as much as it is for us. Personally, I never realized that my capacity to love and receive love from others and from God himself was being blocked by a spirit of unforgiveness. I was bitter, angry and vengeful for a long time and I didn’t like myself very much. Why?
I will be 40 years old in January of 2012 and it took the past four years of debilitating trials in every area of my life to force me to deal with the shackles that have held me back my entire life.
As a child, I was sexually and emotionally abused for 14 years. I was an adult before I ever told anyone about it, but unfortunately that was years after I had been raped multiple times in my teen and young adult years. I blamed myself for everything that happened to me because I was known to be permiscuous. In each situation, I was either drunk or high or both and likely some place I wasn’t supposed to be, so I used how people (especially men) hurt me as an excuse for my bitterness and treatment of others.
BUT GOD… took me back to the time and place where I was first violated, which created the thought in my mind that I deserved what happened to me and allowed me to feel unworthy of love, acceptance (as I was – even wounded) and forgiveness. Those thoughts ultimately made me feel that it was ok for people to hurt me because “I deserved it,” thus putting myself in vulnerable situations and surrounding myself with untrustworthy people.
It was a very painful process to wholeness, focusing heavily on my need to forgive those who abused me as well as those who I felt didn’t protect me, but mostly being able to forgive myself for the bad choices that I made in my state of pain and confusion. Of course at the time, you don’t make the connection between the things that happened that were out of your control and the things that were, but in hind sight I am grateful for God carrying me through all of those experiences to allow me to minister to others with similar backgrounds and challenges.
I know now that forgiveness is what sets you free from what ever it is that keeps you connected to whomever hurt you. Sometimes, that unhealthy soul tie is within ourselves and more often than not, its both! But that’s what the enemy wants… He wants us to secretly wallow in guilt and shame to keep us from our destiny and accomplishing our purpose.
You can’t forgive yourself in a world that thrives on judgement and guilt unless you can bypass the middle man and build a relationship with God himself that is not based on the standards or examples of earthly love because life has given us all a warped perception of what truly unconditional love is.
Once I achieved that, by letting God’s love replace the understanding of love that I formed based on the father who abandoned me and the men who abused me, while telling me they loved me more than anything in this world, then I had a clean slate to build upon, finally able to receive God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, thus allowing me to forgive myself and free to extend it to others.
Once you get that down… the rest comes much easier because you stop interpreting everything that goes wrong in your life through a victim mentality. We were not made to be victims, we were made to be victors!learn more about Kimberly’s story and her journey to complete restoration and wholeness visit her at www.kimberlyjjames.com.
And don’t miss out on Kimberly’s launch for her book, “Running on G,” where she is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card and tons of free gifts THIS Tuesday November 22nd. Get all the details here.
Thank you so much, Kimberly, for sharing your story of forgiveness and path of healing.