I’m a really private person.
If you were to talk to my closest friends, they’d tell you this is true.
I typically keep my personal info PERSONAL!
But, my friend Shannon prompted me to share more freely today.
It happened many years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I remember embracing my precious friends one final time.
I remember pulling out of the long driveway of that brand-new, specially crafted, beautiful house for the last time.
I remember the forever drive to our new location.
I remember feeling so sad, so heartbroken, and so disappointed as we traveled.
I remember numbly unloading our belongings in the freezing cold weather.
And, I remember why we had to go through all of this.
All of this pain, change and hurt sprung from the actions of one man and his wife.
Without going into great detail, I can tell you that we were crushed by the situation and strongly compelled to leave.
We knew that our only option was to move to another position and another city.
It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
And, in the aftermath, I faced a really tough question:
Would I forgive this man and his wife?
Actually, I believe that ALL OF US will face injustice, betrayal, deceit, and rejection by friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, employers, and even by Christian leaders and pastors.
No one is immune to being wounded!
Not even a fierce woman!
How does a fierce woman forgive when she is wounded by someone else?
First, a fierce woman forgives by looking to Jesus and trusting that He knows best.
Trusting God was not my first thought, and it will likely not be yours either. But, God gave us a verse during this season, and I’ll share it with you.
‘But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”‘ (Genesis 50:19-20)
Joseph trusted God’s hand and His plans even when his own brothers sold him into slavery. It ultimately led to great joy and the salvation of many.
Similarly, in our lives, God’s plans will often lead through dark valleys of pain and rejection. When we are in these deep, dark valleys we must determine to trust God – no matter what. Why? Because He is able to use these moments in our lives for our good and for His glory.Fierce women forgive by trusting God no matter how hard it is to trust Him. #fiercelyHis… Click To Tweet
Second, a fierce woman forgives by praying for that one who has hurt her.
Oh, this one is so hard!
Your initial prayers may start out, “Get him, Lord! Get her, Lord!”
In time, however, you can learn to pray for God to bless that person who hurt you. You can begin to pray for God to heal them, restore them, encourage them, and help them.
Jesus told us to do this in Matthew 5:44, “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.”
And, somehow, praying for someone who has hurt you frees up your heart to forgive. It enables you to let that person go. Praying for your enemies will remove that root of bitterness that wants to make itself at home in your heart.
Fierce women forgive by praying for those who wounded them. #fiercelyHis @melanieredd Click To Tweet
Third, a fierce woman forgives by shutting her mouth when she wants to speak ill of that one who has hurt her.
It is so easy for hurt people to gripe, whine, and complain to everyone who will listen. We are struggling, and it’s natural to want to vent and vent and vent.
Don’t do this! Talk to a few trusted friends and prayer partners. Get the story out with a very small group of people – if you must. (And, most of us must!)
Then, move on.
Hush! Let the only time you talk about the hurt be with the Lord. He can handle it!
Pastor Adrian Rogers used to say, “When someone hurts you, tell Jesus on them.” Fierce women forgive by hushing their mouths! #fiercelyHis @melanieredd Click To Tweet
Lastly, a fierce woman forgives by showing kindness to that one who has hurt her.
This last step to forgiveness may be the most difficult.
To show kindness to a person who has wounded you or broken your heart, this is the ultimate test for most of us.
Look at what Solomon writes in Proverbs 25:21-22:
“If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.”
When we show kindness to our enemies, we heap burning coals of shame on their heads. (Some of you are enjoying this picture a little too much right now!) And, we are promised the reward of the Lord. Fierce women forgive by showing kindness to their enemies. #fiercelyHis @melanieredd Click To Tweet
Today, if you and I were to meet for coffee, you would be able to look into my eyes and know that I’ve been able to forgive that man and his wife.
Does the story still touch a tender place in my heart? Absolutely.
But, I’ve had the opportunity to practice all of the steps I’ve shared (even the last one) with this couple, and my heart is completely free.
The ultimate truth about unforgiveness is this:
“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong, it makes you bitter.
Forgiving doesn’t make you weak, it sets you free.”
Melanie’s passion is to offer HOPE! She wrote curriculum for Lifeway for over 10 years before launching her own writing and speaking ministry.
Melanie is the author of three books and hosts an inspirational blog at www.melanieredd.com. Married to Randy for over 25 years; the couple enjoys travel, golf, eating out, and hanging out with their two college-aged kids.
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