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Forgiveness and surrender

By Tonya S. Swindell

Forgiveness involves surrender when my heart is open and tender. Awareness of my own mistakes helps me to reflect and show others grace. But whenever I’m not “there” yet and it’s difficult to let go due to feelings of regret, forgiveness gives me a clue about what Jesus would do.

It helps when I consider the nature of surrender. It truly involves a choice that is activated by my voice. As I learn to lay down my pride and let compassion be my guide, my feelings of deep bitterness can morph into forgiveness.

It is definitely hard to do, especially when I’m faced with the truth. And even though it seems strange, it is possible for my heart to change. It typically does not happen in a smooth or easy fashion. True forgiveness may take time, like the aging of fine wine.

Forgiveness asks good questions and teaches unexpected lessons, like how can I cast a stone when my sins are widely known. It makes me look in the mirror for my own flaws to consider, then remember what I see so that I can develop empathy.

True forgiveness involves a journey that is filled with the awkwardness of learning how to exchange my deep mistakes with profound depths of grace. Forgiveness helps me to release the barriers to my peace. Forgiveness allows me to overcome when resentment may have won.

The true submission of my heart’s spiritual condition can help set me free from the emotional baggage I carry. Forgiveness helps me to resist when I am tempted to insist that another person’s actions must meet my satisfaction.

Forgiveness allows me to go to a higher height of understanding and to let go of my tendency to be so demanding. Forgiveness lets me loose to love all over again, but, Oh God, I need Your help, to show mercy to my friend.

It is not necessarily a feeling. But it’s important for my healing. It is something to do on purpose, not an action that is worthless.

Lord, I need Your help because of the pain that I have felt. And at the end of every day, it’s so hard to hear You say: “Forgive them, daughter, for they know not what they do.” Then I quickly recall that I have been forgiven, too.

Oh, to be forgiven by a God who keeps on giving. His love is immense and He has pardoned my offense. I’m eternally grateful for His loving example. His forgiveness helps me do this, even when my emotions seem so intense.

Forgiveness and surrender created a recipe to deliver my heart from regret about the goals I’ve never met. Forgiveness and surrender allowed me to receive the vastness of love that my heavenly Father conceived.

Forgiveness and surrender helped me lay to rest, uncertainties about my future when I failed to pass a test. Forgiveness and surrender helped me to stay humble and avoid swelling up with pride when I saw other people stumble.

Forgiveness and surrender allowed me to let go when I wanted to be in charge instead of relinquishing control. Forgiveness and surrender gave me another way to let love be my guide and to receive healing when I pray.

Forgiveness and surrender brought freedom to my soul and helps my relationships to stay healthy and whole.

Tonya Swindell is an occupational therapist. She is also a teacher for Kingdom Building Institute (kingdombuildinginstitute.org). She can be reached at tonyathewriter1@gmail.com.