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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