By Nancy Virden (c)2017
How does one’s heart become hard? By neglecting to keep it soft.
Charles Dickens’ character Ebeneezer Scrooge, from Dickens’ novel The Christmas Carol, is a perfect representation of that truth. From growing up a neglected child to embracing greed as an adult, Scrooge paid a terrible price for his hard heart. He lost his family and all human connection.
“How can I get over what’s been done to me?” “How can I move on when I have been so wronged?” These questions and more have bounced around inside many people’s heads.
For decades I took to the Lord my bitterness over the destruction of my childhood family. I would pray to forgive, work up a good acceptance, and never fully be able to let it go. I wondered why, when it was my heart’s desire, God did not take resentment away.
Then an epiphany – my efforts were directed at the wrong person! As long as self-blame was secreted away deep inside, all my effort at putting pain in the past would not work.
In childhood, there was no way to win. Either of any two options would lead to someone’s anger at me. Much of the false guilt collected as a child was never challenged. Some false guilt as an adult was born out of insecurity and self-loathing. It was an unwillingness to lay responsibility where it belonged that hid the truth from me; some things were personal failings! Extending forgiveness toward myself for actual parts played in ignorance or selfishness made it possible to move on and forgive others for their wrongs.
Thank God I was able to bless my parents before they died.
Today’s Helpful Word
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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