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Betrayal. Hurt feelings. Disappointment.
We’ve all experienced these things and the pain that results from them. Then we sometimes wall off our hearts in an attempt to protect ourselves from any more pain in the future.
But then we hear from pop psychologists, our friends and family, and even (especially!) our pastors that we need to forgive to move on from the pain.
Ok, but how does one do that? What does it look like?
A Road Map For Forgiveness
When I came across Mary DeMuth’s newest book, The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You, I feel like I finally found the answer to my question…how do I forgive?
You see, a few years ago, one of my very close friends and I had a disagreement. At first, I thought it was a minor squabble, however, a few weeks later, I discovered that she had actually betrayed me in a very big way.
To say that I was hurt would be a huge understatement. I turned to a mutual friend for advice and comfort. Surprisingly, that person turned on me as well, hurling insults at me and then twisting the knife, so to speak, by passing around lies to everyone we knew. I felt blindsided, hurt and angry.
My sweet husband tried to act as a go-between in order to clear the air and facilitate a reconciliation. Unfortunately, that only ended in more angry words and his feelings being hurt.
How in the world could I ever forgive these people after what they had done, and continue to do? I had no idea…I only knew that Jesus wanted me to forgive.
Using the Lord’s Prayer for Healing
In her book, The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You, Mary advises using the Lord’s Prayer as a method for finding one’s way to forgiveness.
Each line in the prayer is interpreted as it relates to forgiving those that have been hurtful. For example, in the chapter entitled “May Your Kingdom Come Soon,” Mary writes about staying out of “The Woe-is-Me Kingdom,” in which we rehearse every word we’ve said to that person or practice what we think we should have said. (Oh, that is so me!)
This book is not just about dealing with the person who has hurt you, however. Mary delves into the importance of your own repentance, looking at what things you may have done wrong, what really lies in your heart, and how you can improve yourself, with the Lord’s help.
What I like the best about the book are the practical steps that the Mary gives to help one come to a place of forgiveness. I have found that I can’t just make a decision to forgive and then “poof!” it’s over and done with, like so many other books suggest. For me, forgiveness is a process that I have to work through.
Taking the steps to forgive
Working through the Lord’s Prayer, along with Mary’s guidance, has truly helped me take big strides in the process of forgiving those who have hurt me. I still have a long way to go, but this book has been a huge source of healing for me.
For those of you who need real advice and practical steps to take to work through the process of forgiveness, I would highly recommend that you pick up this book. You will be so thankful that you did.