Time heals all wounds. I ran from my grief and suffering for years. The images left imprinted upon my mind were too horrible to revisit. After seven long years of suffering from shock, denial, depression, anger, and guilt, I became a mere existence of myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had to change.
I had to shed my cloak of grief. I felt the only way to do that was to face my fears head on. I knew without a doubt I could never face them alone. In long discussions with the Holy Spirit, we walked hand in hand through the darkest pits and depths of my hell. I saw through His eyes the grief and torment of our tragedy. I held on tightly as we cried together, but He never let me go.
I knew that I knew I had to surrender this grief. I questioned myself in absulute doubt. Could I surrender it all? Could I let go of the control I was clinging to in order to survive? Did I really believe I had any control of the offender’s fate? Lies, all lies.
I surrendered and Christ set me free. An indescribable freedom. A huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Nightmares, gone. Depression, gone. Hopelessness, gone. I was standing in the ultimate glory of God. Wrapped in an unfathomable peace.
Months later, I heard a voice whisper “Forgiveness. Forgive who? I thought. The answer didn’t come immediately. And I would hear it again and again. Finally, I realized who I was to forgive and I actually became angry. “How can you ask me to forgive him? He will never deserve, nor ever be granted my forgiveness.” But scripture says… “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
I knew what Christ was asking me to do. I couldn’t fathom the reason why because I had never experienced the freedom of being completely free. I thought after I surrendered the grief that was it. I was done. I was free. That was yet another lie. yes, I wanted freedom. But was I willing to walk the journey to gain my freedom? Forgiveness? It took me three years of struggling with forgiving Paul. I searched high and low on how to forgive such a heinous act of evil. I can honestly tell you, it was worth the trek, all the obstacles, the hurdles, the depths, the valleys, the ball and chains that weighed me down again and again. The Lord taught me so much about forgiveness. I first had to forgive myself as well as others in my life, some long gone. However, I was willing to do what the Lord asked of me. I wanted to be completely free.
I prayed many times asking the Lord to break my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, to show me who Paul was through His eyes. He did many times. Finally, I feel to my knees and cried out, “ Lord, I forgive Paul. I forgive him.” I was immediately in the presence of the Holy Spirit. A feeling my mere words could not do justice. I felt Him wrap His loving arms around me as we wept together. I am healed. I am free. No longer in bondage. A freedom I have never taken for granted. It was a long and painful journey. Unforgiveness is bondage; Forgiveness is Freedom. Until we have walked in His sandals, we will never fully understand true love.
We can’t change yesterday, but we can change tomorrow. I am truly grateful for the journey and for Christ walking beside me. I never would have made it on my own. January 29, 1999, I fell in to the Lords arms, a grieving mother. January 29, 2008 I lunged into His arms, a mother set free.
In 2010 the Lord called me into prison ministry. Honestly, it was the last place on earth I wanted to go. But I knew He was calling. After much prayer and seeking the Lord’s wisdom, I said to the Lord, “I will go where you send me, as long as I know You are there.” He has never left me, nor forsaken me.
Heal My Wounds Leave My Scars Prison Ministry goes behind the razor wire and iron doors to offer a message of HOPE and FORGIVENESS to offenders. The message is a personal testimony of trauma overpowered by grief, and transformed by the journey of forgiveness. Accountability and forgiveness are two main topics of discussion.
Our HOPE is that by sharing our story, the chains of bondage are broken and the captives set free.
“It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven.”
~ C.S. Lewis