Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have
received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything
against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:24-25 (NIV)
I delayed telling this story for many years as I continued to learn from the lesson. I frequently thought of writing this blog post, but something always felt wrong about it.
Recently, it came to me…as if it were written in black and white, no grey areas remained. The Holy Spirit placed God’s answer to my prayers on my heart.
The story begins in our farmhouse.
I woke up to my normal routine, which was to make coffee, flip on the computer, and then let the dogs outside.
I felt peace as I sipped on the fresh warm brew. I decided to eat breakfast early that morning. As I reached up into the microwave to retrieve my food, something came over me.
I felt a rush of grief and fear. It swept over me like a current—an enormous wave that I might drown in.
I reached for the closest sturdy item for leverage, which was the oven door handle, and bowed my entire upper body as I began to pray. I shut my eyes and held them tightly closed for what felt like an eternity.
In a voice of desperation, I prayed out to God, “I don’t know, can you show me what is troubling me?” I then sensed that I was holding onto something internally, “What have I not let go of? Please show me, Father, please! I can no longer drag along with this weight that I have been carrying on my shoulders.” Was I really feeling weighed down? What IS this?
I didn’t know exactly what I was praying for, but I prayed the words that I felt were needed. A vision (as I called it at that time) came to me. It was a thought, I realize that now…my eyes were still closed. The Holy Spirit was working on my heart. God was answering my many prayers.
The vision was that of my blood father. In the vision, it looked like a blurry photograph, or an old black and white television screen full of static, but it was my father, in “plain sight.”
I gasped. I spoke out loud, “But God, I don’t…,” and I stopped in mid-sentence. The word understand did not come out of my mouth. In fact, suddenly I did fully understand. I gasped once more. “Oh, I see!”
I cried. I not only cried, but I also released. I said, “Thank you, Jesus…thank you, Jesus.”
I knew that the fear that had rushed over me moments before stemmed from me wanting to be loved. I feared loss. I craved my father’s love.
I asked, “Lord, he is gone, how can I still want him to love me?”
It then came to me that the “want” had stuck with me from an early age and it had shown up in nearly everything in my life—my marriage, my business, my family, my entire being.
I then realized in a flash that this desire had started when I was young and I had learned to not recognize it (brushed it under the rug?). The enemy can certainly trick us when we aren’t fully armored!
When I finished praying I realized that I had held onto this “want” for far too long and that it was not going to go away like magic, poof!
I began to feel a sense of peace, and even though I prayed once more, I didn’t expect a miracle. I did know that God was with me, and that meant change was on the way.
I went about my day, and by mid-afternoon, I realized that the “want” had washed away…completely. It felt like the day that I had given my life to Christ many years before.
I did cry, off and on, for several days in joy and relief.
I spoke with my closest family members. I wanted them to know what I had experienced, and that it was real…and very special. How could I not share what God had done for me? What a testimony!
Within a few months, I rejoiced that I still had not experienced any yearning for my father’s love. It has been years now, and I am happy to say it is GONE.
God answers our prayers with a yes, no, maybe, or later. This one was a yes, and it came later, and he definitely helped me to release a stronghold.
I forgive my birth father for not being loving, for saying hurtful things, and for anything that led me to feel traumatized. I hold no grudges, and I no longer crave his love. I have my heavenly Father’s love. I need nothing more.
Thank you, Father, for your love – even though I sometimes feel I am undeserving. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for answered prayer. Thank you for your patience in showing me how to forgive so that I was able to release what had kept me in bondage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How has God spoken in your life? Has he helped you release any “wants” or deep hurts that might have weighed you down in life? Your stories are needed…the world needs them. Please share.
2 thoughts on “A Lesson in Forgiveness”
What a beautiful testimony!
I discovered your blog last night as I was getting ready to go to bed. When I saw that you had a post about forgiveness, I bookmarked it so I could come back and read it this morning. I’m glad I did.
Forgiveness. For many years, I thought I would never be able to forgive my worst abusers. Finally, I prayed and asked God to give me the ability to forgive. And He has! I am still on that journey of freedom. God’s grace and mercy are so amazing!
I love the beautiful way you say ‘journey of freedom.’ Praise God for his love, his grace, and his mercy!