I will admit up front this is probably one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written and one of the hardest concepts for me to come to terms with in recovery. Understand I have been in recovery for over 10 years and I’m just now writing this, so be easy on yourself.
In my therapy session the other day I made the comment that I wish my abusers could feel the pain I am going through. To know the extent of what they did to me. You may be able to relate. We want some sort of justice. Yet, I pray each day for God to work out forgiveness in my heart.
I do believe they will answer to God for what they have done and if they don’t know God they will not receive His grace and mercy and enter Heaven.
Then I realize I also will have to answer to God for everything I have done too. I am not without sin. We are all sinners. As humans we see some sin as worse than others but in the eyes of God it is all the same. Sin is sin. It is why Jesus came to die so we don’t have to die for our sins if we accept Him. When we have to answer to God He’ll provide us with mercy and grace because of Jesus.
I don’t know what happened in the lives of my abusers to make them do what they did to me and for so long, but they did. As hard as it has been I do pray they come to God and recognize their need for Him in their lives. God came for all. I know I think of myself often as the one who was hurt, but I too have hurt people just in different ways.
I know in my life I have said harsh words to others, not been who they needed me to be. I have wounded people. No I never abused anyone, but I have sinned. Rolled through stop signs, gone over the speed limit. Said nasty words. Acted like a Christian for years when I wasn’t. So many things. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t need Jesus.
Realizing my need for the grace and mercy of God made me recognize how much my abusers need it too. I do not deserve the grace and mercy God gives to me freely though His son Jesus. It is His free gift to those of us who accept it.
As Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians: (emphasis underlined is mine)
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:1-10
All of us are deserving of wrath. But because God loves each of us so incredibly much He provides us mercy and grace for our sins if we profess faith in Him. This is His gift to us. The greatest gift ever given!
So as hard as it is I have begun to pray my abusers come to know God’s mercy and grace. Not only because I know I don’t deserve it either, but because God truly wants everyone to know Him. I do believe my abusers have endured a great deal of pain because they are living without God to get through this life. How very hopeless that must be.
I have realized the continued need to pray for me to be able to forgive them, and for them to receive mercy and grace. I truly believe this is what God wants. Because the gift of grace we have is just that, a gift. Opening our hearts for our abusers, if they are still alive, to receive it begins to heal more of our wounds as well. And no, it doesn’t mean we ever have to reconcile with them. So much more is involved with that process.
(I also realize that many are abused by Christians. This still applies. Christians fall away and we all sin. And if they were abusing they were not living in God’s will, mercy, grace and love. They also may not have ever truly known Jesus. We just don’t know each person’s heart.)
However, will you let God soften your heart today? I know it’s hard, but remember the grace He’s so freely given us after all we’ve done. I pray you find more healing in opening your heart to grace and mercy today.
Continue to work my heart toward forgiveness of (name your abusers). I pray today that you also bring them to know You and Your mercy and grace. I thank you for forgiving me of my sins and showing me the mercy and grace I don’t deserve. Thank you for continuing to provide me strength in recovery.
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.