Firstly, a big thanks for all the encouragement I get from you all! Someone on the chat wrote anonymously this morning: "Beautiful voice, music & your lyrics and words Elisabeth! God bless you always!". That definitely made my day! THANKS whoever you are!
I had a dream last night And, I want to share it with you. In my dream, I saw my beautiful stone kitchen counter top, when a sushi chef came and began to make a meal on it. He worked quickly and then, poof, he was gone and so was the food - left was a countertop full of scratches and scrapes in intricate patterns! I was shocked! What would the landlord say? Could this ever be fixed? Then I woke up with the name of a person on my mind. I take dreams seriously. Often, I have found that they are the door to something I need to think about, change or do. Could it be that I hadn't really forgiven that person? I went though my heart's inventory in prayer and came out without scratches in my soul. Let me share what happened.
In the dream, the scratches in the counter top were reminiscent of the damage done to my heart by a single man's words years earlier. He was and is a leader and, in my dream, his sharp words left my heart with scratches. Years ago, I had gone though the process of forgiving him for what he had said to me directly and had bounced back but now, my heart was telling me that there was another aspect of the scratches - how what he had said about me had alienated my friends from me. I needed to forgive him for doing that and forgive them for listening to him instead of asking me directly where I stood/who I am.
A healing thing was, that even while I was in the group, a guy came forward and explained that he had gotten a wrong notion of me (from leadership) and that now, when he'd gotten to know me, he saw it wasn't as he'd been told. He even asked for forgiveness - which he received immediately from me. No hard feelings at all. At that time, I even forgave the others for backing away without reason. It wasn't everyone and I left it all in God's hands. I kept on loving them and we stayed in that fellowship a few more months until it was time to move on.
This was many years ago. Lately, a nagging feeling of loneliness and estrangement had been popping up and I guess this dream was God's way of helping me detect the source. Then it hit me:
I had forgive the things he said to me, but I had to forgive WHAT his words had done to others' opinion of me and how that had made me feel like I had a label on my head saying "leprous, don't touch!". I needed to forgive being mobbed by the group.
The great thing about walking with the Lord is how he never stops loving on us, and healing us. He couldn't just let me let this bog me down. So, I took this dream as wake up call and an opportunity to go before the Lord and get my heart healed. I named each person in the group who had been estranged from me by his words and wrong attitudes (mine and theirs), forgiving each one. And I forgave the source once again.
Identifying the scratches
There were some scratches that I'd already worked through and new insights as to others that had been lying under the surface.
Once again I went through my heart and took the scratches before God. I laid each hurt feeling, every scratch on the cross. I asked God to forgive them and I told him that I forgive them. A feeling of freedom set in. Letting go and letting God take care of those who've hurt you frees you.
Forgiveness is a major deal when you are close to dying
Recently, I have been speaking with various elderly people who are very sick and/or close to death, The more they have received forgiveness from others for the scratches they've caused through their lives, the more peaceful they are. They more forgiveness they have given others who have scratched their hearts, the more free they are to face death without remorse. All they want is forgiveness as their life comes to a close.
We all want to be forgiven desperately and completely by others. But we have such a tough time forgiving others completely. In a way that is a double standard. The scratches we inflict on others are just as painful as the ones they inflict on us. Somehow we think that we have a right not to forgive - we were so hurt......
But by not forgiving the ones who've hurt us we keep ourselves locked in the pain. The scratches remain and it is ugly on the countertop called your heart. Crap can easily get stuck in the scratches and infect us. We need to get rid of the scratches in order to be free from infecting ideas that create hopelessness, bitterness anger, rage and pain.
The most painful thing I've experienced lately is hearing the cry for forgiveness from a man who scratched deep furrows into others' hearts for decades, asking those "victims" for forgiveness but not receiving it. It is understandable. But is it freeing for anyone? I would argue that the victims will remain victims as long as they see themselves as victims. The minute they can let go and forgive, that is when healing can begin.
The most beautiful thing I have seen, on the other hand, is when one of those victims unequivocally said, "I love you. I forgive you, completely" to that same offender. I saw how they hugged. I saw the tears, I saw the healing right before my eyes. In that moment both were released to be able to give and receive love once again.
He didn't say "I forgive you" because the toxic man had changed, he said it because he made a decision to love and forgive a broken man just like he had been loved and forgiven when he was broken - wholly and unconditionally by Jesus Christ. He had in his mind: Romans 5:8 - "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." He figured, if God could forgive us while we were still doing wrong, who was he to not forgive this man?
In the same way, I have no right, according to the Bible not to forgive. So I had to let go of even this little bit I hadn't been aware of.
In the Lord's prayer it says
"and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who cause us pain" and after the Lord's prayer, Jesus says that if we don't forgive those who have hurt us, our heavenly Father will not forgive us our sins. That is potent.
But how do we forgive when the other person is not repentant? We just do it. It is an act of will that opens up up for healing.
Jesus forgave us before we said "Please forgive me"
We turned away from him already in the Garden of Eden and have been reckless rebels ever since. Jesus came and died for you and me so that we could come to God once again. He didn't wait for us to say "I'm sorry" first. He said I forgive you first.
Jesus makes forgiveness between impossible people possible. He helps us get healing for all the scratches if we allow him to. And he helps us see others' brokenness so we can forgive. My husband and I have seen the power that forgiveness has in healing our hearts scratches. We have learned not to wait until the offender is nice and asking for forgiveness, we just give it. Why? Because it frees us to love and it frees others to be loved and love heals relationships.
Unscratch Your Heart
Is yours? You can say this prayer with me and find real freedom:
"Jesus, my heart is scratched and aching because of what (insert name) did to me (explain what hurts) . I am so angry/sad/----. Please help me forgive them now just like you forgave me- completely and unconditionally. By an act of will, I forgive (name). I ask you to forgive them for what they did to me. I forgive myself for (.....) and I refuse to take it up again. Thank you for forgiving and freeing me and healing the scratches in my heart. Please bring healing to our relationship and give me faith to do what is right now, no matter what! Please help me guard my heart with your Word"
Protect your heart from scratches When they do occur in the future, give your "enemy" a chance to make it right. Tell them "When you did/said this I felt that!" without calling them names. It is a good way to clear the air. Forgive quickly even if they don't change because then you free yourself from bitterness and pain! You will heal faster!
There's a lot more to say about this but I'll leave it at that for now.
Click on the picture and it takes you to a downloadable version for free!
P.s. THE MUSIC
The music is going slowly forward. Two songs are ready for mastering and two more are almost there. I am adjusting the automation and doing some final fixes on the one and I am waiting for Sonic Media to help me with the other, When both of them have been sent to Australia for a final check by my mastering studio, then 1/3 of the album is ready for mastering. If you don't know about mixing but would like to know more, or wonder why this music is taking so long to be completed, you can follow the project on Wattpad for free. Just click on the picture of the book cover to go to my Indie Musician's Diary. Now, we are up to 78 chapters!
If you want to help me out so I can pay for the mastering, buy acoustic treatment panels for the studio or just be an encouraging groupie, join me on Patreon where those who give at least 1 USD a month will be getting special treatment.
Until Next time....
Keep your eyes on Jesus and your heart unscratched!