This is a story from my everyday life, of how God worked in my heart, to heal a deep, 30 year old wound.
I was in San Antonio during November, 2015, to babysit my sisters children while she and her husband went on a much-needed vacation.
While the kids were at school one day, I decided to go down to the River Walk in downtown San Antonio. It was a glorious day, as you can see in the photo I took above.
I enjoyed discovering all of the beautiful sights along the River Walk. I walked for hours and enjoyed every moment. I visited a very old church and took this photo of a beautiful stained glass cross inside the church.
As I walked, I talked with God about how I wanted to write stories of how He has worked in my everyday life, and I wanted to share those stories with others, stories of what a life looks like following Jesus every day.
I wanted others to understand that a life lived following Jesus is not a “religious” life, based on “rules”, but it is a truly wonderful life. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it.
I try to live my life living out the lessons Jesus teaches in The Bible. And one of the major lessons Jesus teaches is on forgiveness.
I told God that I wanted to share how He has healed wounds and addictions in my life, so that after hearing my stories others would want to turn to Him, so He can heal their wounds and addictions too.
I felt so connected with God while at the River Walk. And it was a turning point of healing in my life.
Little did I know, God was orchestrating events in my life to heal old wounds, and this is the story I am writing, in my very first blog post.
One of the things I love to do wherever I go, is to collect a rock to remind me of that event. I found a beautiful rock at the River Walk and on my way back to my car I was talking with God about starting a blog and said that I could call it “the Walk” with a lowercase “t” in “the” to symbolize the Cross, and then a capital “W” in “Walk” to symbolize my everyday walk with Jesus. This title was inspired by my time on the River Walk.
On the way back to my car, I stopped in a local Starbucks to get some coffee and water, and I borrowed a permanent marker from the barista and wrote “the Walk” on the front of the rock and the date on the back to remind me of that sacred day with God.
But here is the amazing thing about God. He works behind the scenes in our lives every single day when we are not even aware of it.
Later that evening while I was helping my nephew study for a test for school, I told the kids about going to the River Walk that day, and how I wanted to take them there the next day. I got on my phone to check the weather for the following day and up popped an article about a musician, for whom I have harboured a bitter resentment towards for over 30 years. This person had visited the Alamo at the same time that I was enjoying my beautiful sacred day with God on the River Walk. The Alamo and the River Walk are right next to each other.
Upon learing about this, the proverbial floor dropped out from under me and up comes a very old wound from the dark abyss that has been with me for 30 years, since 1985. I literally started feeling the old roots of anger and resentment well up in me and grow into full bloom. This musician is someone whom I have never met, and it sounds funny writing about a resentment I have for someone I have never met, but, things are not always logical when we harbor resentments.
This musician is someone who was associated with something that happened in my life when I was a teenager in 1985, so by association, I have held onto this deep resentment for 30 years. I carried it around and shoved it deep down into my heart, so deep that it became a part of who I was, because it could affect me so quickly and deeply.
I sat there, trying to remain normal on the outside, while swirling in a vortex of emotion on the inside, I looked down at my nephews school book in my hands and I read the words “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, words said my Jesus himself.
What!!! No this could not be, I thought to myself. This musician is going to ruin my memories of my beautiful day with God. This is how illogical we can think when anger and resentment plays a prominent role in our lives.
I could have said to God in that moment, “No, I will not forgive this person. No, No, No! I am completely justified in my anger, I have no desire to let it go, thanks anyway, but no thanks. I will just hold on to this anger and resentment, I have lived with it this long, why let go of it now?”
I could have said all that, but I didn’t.
I knew that I needed His help to heal. Softly and very gently I heard God saying to my heart, “It is time to let this go, this has hurt you long enough. Let me heal you.”
I excused myself, and went into the bathroom and cried. I cried rivers of tears from the loss and the pain that I have held onto for 30 years. Let me say that again, 30 YEARS!!! That is a very long time to hold on to anger and resentment that would fester every time I would hear this musicians music.
But in that moment, I knew it was time to let it go, to forgive and to let God heal me. I knew I could not do it for myself, I was not strong enough to do it on my own. I needed God’s help.
I knew that with God’s help this wound could be healed, because I am a living testimony of how God heals lives.
I knew it first hand, so I had no doubts that He could do it.
Here is the thing, as I said before, I have never even met this person, the hatred I had carried around with me all those years was completely from association with another event in my life that had wounded my heart and soul. So I was never going to find myself in a situation with this person and hear an apology and then tell them I forgive them.
This was truly a situation where the wound has been coddled and nurtured all these years. Whenever this musicians name or music was mentioned or played, anger and resentment reared its ugly head, and I always justified the resentment with all the lies I would tell myself as to why I felt the way I felt, and why it was okay to feel that way.
I knew it was time to allow God to heal me.
I had believed that I had forgiven everyone who had ever hurt me, and honestly, I thought I was truly living out what I tell others, “Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself”.
God showed me a place deep in my heart where I still held on to anger which grew into bittereness. It was tucked away so deep, I only saw it pop up in certain circumstances, and when that happened, it triggered that ugly place to open up and show its dark abyss. Usually, I kept it at bay, hidden in the depths.
I really didn’t think anything about it because I thought I did all the forgiving I needed to do, but I was not fooling anyone else, I was only fooling myself.
God loves me enough to show me that I needed to choose to let go of this bitterness in my heart. Because the bitterness has been keeping me from growing into the person God wants me to be.
When I heard God whisper in my heart, I knew He was right.
I have placed myself on the path of healing and I have asked God to reach into the deep and dark crevices of my heart and soul, and bring the light into those dark places.
It was my choice, I asked Him, and He answered.
Yes, forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves, but it is not an easy gift to give.
When I give myself gifts, they are usually things like a new book or a shopping trip for a new outfit or a day in a local park out in nature. These are easy gifts to give to myself
But forgiveness, can be a hard one to do. We justify why “they” don’t deserve our forgiveness, and in our justification, we keep injuring ourselves. And we don’t let ourselves heal.
I made the choice to let God heal me of that deep wound. And do you know how I know I am healed. Just yesterday, I heard the beginning of this musicians music, and I stopped in my tracks, and I realized I didn’t feel those old feelings of anger and resentment welling up in me. I felt peace in its place.
I will never be at the place where I listen to his music, but I can, with God’s help, live a life free from the chains of bitterness.
Thank you my Dear Reader, for spending a few minutes with me today, taking your sweet time and reading a story of what a life is like following Jesus everyday.
He helps us and He heals us.
Come back again and I will share more God stores with you.
For now, have a most excellent day.