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Fighting to Forgive by Jennifer Slattery

headshot2013It was a beautiful spring day. Praise music drifted from my car speakers, and I didn’t have a care on my mind…until I stepped from the vehicle. Standing with my hand on the gas hose, my thoughts took a wayward, and very unexpected turn. Out of nowhere, a memory resurfaced, bringing with it a surge of anger.

Dazed, I finished filling my tank and tried to make sense of the situation. I’d forgiven this person long ago. Lord, don’t you remember all the prayers I sent out? Don’t you remember the tears I shed? Don’t you remember my surrender?

At first I felt defeated. Maybe my forgiveness hadn’t been genuine. So I poured my heart out to God once again, asking Him to remove this sudden surge of anger, committing myself, yet again, put the “offense” and offender behind me.

Since then, I’ve learned forgiveness isn’t always a one-time event. Nor does it always begin with emotion. Rather, it begins with a decision to forgive, a teeth-gritting commitment followed by a desperate cry to God for help. Then, as we continue to draw near to Him, surrendering our hurt, angry, and bitter thoughts, He begins to align our feelings to match our commitment.

But while God’s working to bring us wholeness and freedom, our adversary the devil’s devising counter measures to keep us in bondage and isolation. The last thing Satan wants is unity, but he probably won’t attack us when we’re in the middle of prayer. No, he’ll wait until we’re caught up in life to bombard us because then, just maybe we’ll be surprised enough to give in.

Satan is a thief and destroyer. He wants to rob us of your joy, victory, and peace. He wants to destroy us and our family. (John 10:10) The minute we take a step toward healing and wholeness, Satan begins plotting ways to steal it from us.

But here’s the good news. If we are in Christ, Satan has absolutely no power or authority over us. Though he wants to destroy us, Christ, who defeated Satan on the cross, came to give us life.

Each day, we have a choice to grab one or the other. We grab onto life by drawing near to Christ in surrendered obedience, regardless how we feel. He takes care of the rest.

James 4:7-8 is one of my favorite verses, one I claim as a promise. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

About the Author:

Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it at Amazon in the link below as well as CBD.

Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

BeyondIDocoverAbout Beyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage … it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Be sure to read Inner Source’s interview with heroine, Ainsley Meadows, and with her author, Jennifer Slattery.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Been there 🙂

    August 29, 2014
    • Jen, I’m sorry to learn that, as that tells me you’ve been hurt deeply. Hopefully God has brought you deep and total healing. If not, I know He will in His time and His way. Hugs!

      August 29, 2014
  2. Jean Herian #

    I had someone in my life who was impossible for me to forgive. What happened was unforgivable in my eyes……..because this person damaged two people that I love. I tried to forgive because I knew it was the right thing to do. I was visiting my parents church…..when the pastor said ” if there is anything not right in your life you need to make it right before taking communion.” I said..”God, I have someone in my life that I just can’t forgive……I have tried and tried……you will have to do it for me. I give my problem to you.” As I sat there, it was like water starting at the top of my head and washing the anger out of my heart. That was the best communion that I can remember…where I truely felt Gods power. Taking the bread and grape juice and praising Jesus for dying on the cross.

    August 29, 2014
    • Jean: What a lovely testimony. The Apostle Paul warns us not to take communion lightly, and this is usually the time when God will remind me “you have something to deal with here.” It’s a holy time when we lay it out before the Father and we seek Him and ask Him to open our eyes to our sins. Sometimes we feel justified when we withhold our forgiveness, but the truth is, where would we be if Jesus withheld His forgiveness from us?

      Jennifer’s post spoke to my heart, and I ‘m so glad it spoke to yours and allowed you to share with us as well.

      August 29, 2014
    • Jean, that is so incredibly beautiful. It is so hard to forgive those who hurt those we love. But what a beautiful testimony not only of God’s intimate involvement in the life of the believer, but also in the freedom that comes from forgiving. 🙂 You are a precious woman in Christ, Jean.

      August 29, 2014

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