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  • Elizabeth Billingsley

Forgiveness After Abuse


Hello everyone!

Today's subject is a bit tricky, tricky because it is difficult to do and for some to even consider.

How does one consider forgiveness let alone actually forgive someone after the wrongs of abuse? This a question I hope to answer or at least encourage in today's blog.

Forgiveness is an act of letting go. It allows you to regain control of your own emotions. Forgiveness protects you from the poison of bitterness. Forgiveness keeps the person who has done wrong to you from controlling you from afar or even from the grave. Forgiveness keeps you healthy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually - many of the very things affected by the abuse you have suffered.

Let me tell you my story of forgiveness. I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to forgive my late husband for - I could not tell him because he is not here. I had a list of 70 plus items - none of them pleasant - everything from verbal insults and manipulation to actual physical threats and altercations. One day, when I was ready, I read the list outloud to God and to myself and I forgave my late husband outloud for everything on that list and then some. When I was finished I tore up the list and threw it away. I tore the list up and threw it away to symbolize to myself that those things no longer held sway over me, they did not control me nor did they define me. They were past and I was going to leave them there. I can tell you that was one of the most freeing moments I have ever had! When I think of the things my late husband did to me now, I am not angry anymore. When I recognize something I have not forgiven him for, I take care of it immediately with God. I do not want roots of bitterness to grow in my heart, for bitterness chokes out all life and joy and leaves you powerless.

I recently finished a book from my pastor, Steve Eden, called Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness. I highly recommend it. In his book, he speaks of a woman who at the age of 40 questioned God about the abuse she had gone through. The Lord told her that everything that had been done to her, had also been done to Him! I want to tell you right now, everything that has been done to you He has seen and He knows exactly how it feels. Not only that, He took all of that on the cross for you! He died for the sins of abuse against you and He died to set you free from the aftermath of that abuse. He knows what was done, he felt what was done and He wants you to be free of that torment. His love has already won! Forgiveness is the key to your freedom from that torment. He can help you to forgive if you would only ask Him. I had to ask Him to help me and He did! I am not promising you it will be easy, but it will be worth it in the end!

Hebrews 12:15b: (Forgive)... so that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many have been defiled."

I am here to tell you forgiveness brings joy, it brings peace and it brings a settling like none other. Forgiveness does not mean you have to trust that person or even want to be near them. Forgivness does not mean the relationship can be fixed. Forgiveness allows you to move on with your life and not be under that person's control ever again!

I want to encourage you to find freedom in forgiveness today! You will never be the same!

Forgiven and forgiving,

Elizabeth


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