For the first 12 years of my life I withheld forgiveness from every person who had ever hurt me. No lie. No joke. I didn't know that it was only hurting me. That these people I was absolutely convinced were dying a little each day because I hadn't forgiven them, simply didn't care.
In 2011 I learned how to forgive.
I've always been in church. I've heard, "if you don't forgive you won't be forgiven." many times. Those were simply empty words on a page that meant nothing to me until I finally understood.
No forgiveness = no salvation. No salvation = no Jesus and no Heaven.
In the middle of the year, when I came back to the Lord completely, I had a lot of stuff that needed to change. He took me by the hand and led me day by day to what I needed to do to make things right. The first step was to forgive all the people who had hurt me.
That took a while. A lot of people believe (typically people who are in church) that forgiveness is something that should be simply a few words spoken, "I forgive you." and you've forgiven them. Not. True. Forgiveness is a process. If I tell someone I forgive them and I don't, and it only took one day, that's one day wasted. If I tell someone I forgive them, 3 months later, and truly do forgive them... all that time was worth it.
So after 3 months of going through every little thing that's hurt me by several people, I truly forgave. That doesn't mean just because I forgave them I allowed some of the people who weren't good for me back in my life. If you don't help me draw closer to the Lord and actually push me further from Him, you're not in my life. Not because I hate you or don't forgive you, but because God comes first to everything and everyone else.
Then came probably the hardest thing I've ever done before... asking forgiveness from other people.
In 2011 I learned to ask forgiveness.
After praying for a week, God showed me so many people I had hurt. One by one I went to each person and asked forgiveness. Most of them showed me mercy and forgave me, still some people didn't. Understandable. I pray that some day they can forgive me, not for my conscious sake, but for their soul's sake.
It's hard to swallow your pride and ask forgiveness... but it is something that needs to be done. There is power in forgiveness for us all. Without it, who would or could ever be saved? That's right. No one.
Stop holding onto the past. Those hurts and pains are very real. But it's time to get over it. Pray and seek His face and ask Him for His help to forgive other people. I definitely could not have forgiven anyone without His help. Ask the Lord to show you people you need to ask forgiveness from. Have a blessed day!! ^.^