5 Steps You Need to Heal after Forgiveness

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You did it! You forgave the unforgivable, but how in the world are you supposed to heal your hurting heart?

You did it! You forgave the unforgivable, but how in the world are you supposed to heal your hurting heart?

5 Steps to Heal After Forgiveness

1. Accept the loss.

Whatever the loss . . . love, trust, reputation, hopes and dreams—accept the fact that you can’t change the past.

When you struggle with “if only” thoughts, remember you can’t undo what happened. But you can control how it affects you.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:17-21 (MSG)

You can’t change the past, but you can change your future.

2. Thank God for freedom.

“Apoluo” is a Greek word for forgiveness that means to “set free or release.” It means you choose to release your offender from the debt they owe you. You free them from having to apologize even though what was lost may never be restored or replaced.

“Apoluo” also means that through forgiveness you choose to be set free from anger, bitterness, and resentment. Praise God!

“To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Louis B. Smedes

3. Stop reliving and retelling the story.

It’s hard to stop dwelling on a painful experience, but healing is almost impossible when you choose to replay the negative. As tempting as it is to want sympathy from your friends and family, once you share the details of your story you have no control of its future . . . where it goes or how it grows.

He who hates his neighbor does not think well, but a man of understanding keeps quiet. He who is always telling stories makes secrets known, but he who can be trusted keeps a thing hidden. Proverbs 11:12-13

4. Trust God with your future.

God is able and He wants to give you strength and hope. He will help you heal.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in Him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope. Romans 15:13

5. Be happy.

You may feel like allowing yourself to be happy denies or excuses what happened. It doesn’t. Take the time you need to grieve what was lost, but then give yourself permission to do things you enjoy. Laugh. Have fun. It’s okay. It’s good for you.

There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance with joy. Ecclesiastes 3:4

I know from experience . . . healing is possible. It’s a process and may not happen quickly, but I promise . . . you will heal.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~Robert Muller

Repeat #1-5 as often as necessary. 

Thank you so much for joining me today.

And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.

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12 thoughts on “5 Steps You Need to Heal after Forgiveness

  1. Wow, Deb! What a great post, with great encouragement for healing! As I have been healing over this past year, it has been so tempting to dwell on the painful incident. However, like you, I have found that often that just amplifies the pain. We aren’t to shove things under the rug, but, when we forgive, we should (and can) move on. As we trust God for our futures, He will guide us. Also, I fully agree with it being ok to be happy! That doesn’t diminish the importance or depth of what happened, but it does help us in our day to day life. Coincidentally, I just posted “Can’t Steal My Joy”…when we keep our eyes on Jesus, rather than on our pain, we find joy in Him! He wants us to celebrate life and our relationship with Him and there are so many ways to do that. Right now, I’m celebrating by enjoying my new home and all the beauty He has provided around me. Thanks again for these 5 steps…I’m going to read this over many times I know!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. Hi Joan, You’re right, no one can steal our joy unless we allow it. I’m so happy you’re enjoying your new home and that you’re back in the area you love. As our hearts heal we will continue to pray for restoration and trust that God is at work for our good and His glory. Praising Him and keeping our focus right where it belongs. Enjoy a blessing-filled weekend.

  2. This is such a great post! They are all very good points, but I think #3 may be one of the most important. We need to lay our issues at the foot of His cross and then leave them there. We can’t give them to Him, but keep taking them back. Thank you for that encouraging reminder today and for the link-up!

    1. Thank you Heather, I am so thankful that He allows me to lay my struggles at the cross as often as necessary. Never rejected but taken in love. His awesome and amazing grace! Blessings!

  3. What a great, important post this is, Deb! Forgiveness is so important but it is so true, healing after forgiveness is a process of its own and can be quite difficult at that. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Thank you so much Ronja. The healing process can take longer than we’d like, but with God’s help it is possible. I know. He’s healed me! Many blessings to you!

  4. Hi Deb! I really like your point about the pointlessness of telling and retelling the hurts. Boy, that’s me for sure. My head will get stuck in a groove of hurt and the exchange, and just won’t let me go.
    It’s really a choice, I have that choice or ‘freedom’ as you said, to jump off that merry-go-round. It’s so much healthier for me and healing to let go. How can I heal if I keep picking at the scab? (Eww…that was a little gross huh? Sorry!)
    I always enjoy your posts Deb. So practical and so to the truth.
    Have a peaceful Sunday!

    1. Not gross at all . . . it’s a real truth. And we remember it in those terms, hopefully we’ll be motivated to let it be, change our thoughts, control our words, and allow God to heal the wound and turn it into a scar. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Blessings and Hugs!

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