grace: the power of forgiveness

Today, Anna is returning to share of some of the revelations the Lord has been gifting her in the quiet of her rest, which she prays will encourage those praying for Prodigals.

The Beloved Prodigal Team is taking two weeks off after this post to rest and be refreshed in the Lord. May God bless you and your families this Easter with fresh revelations of His incredible love for you and your Prodigals.

 

Colossians 1: 18 – 20 (MSG)

18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

I thought I understood what grace is. As a returned Prodigal I have experienced the power of confession and repentance on a deep level. However, recently, God revealed that grace is so much more powerful than I ever realized.

Strangely, this discovery all started as a wave of grief overwhelmed me. As I cried out to God to reveal Himself to me in that pain. What He revealed was an empty place in my heart. A place I needed to acknowledge and forgive. A place I had always denied existed. A place I had graced away.

I was the oldest girl who saw her mother barely surviving. A mother with six children, supporting a husband in full-time Christian ministry, working part-time herself, running the whole household, struggling to bond to and love her newly adopted son who was repeatedly testing the boundaries. A mother still recovering from almost six years of incredibly fruitful but also incredibly exhausting missionary work on the other side of the world. 

So, I learnt to shut off my heart. To be the “I am fine” Anna. Trying so hard, where I could, to shield my Mum from more. More burden. More heartache. More weight.

But God. As I felt Him press into me, I spoke the words my Mum so yearned for me to speak as she lay dying. As she told me oh how she wished she had done things differently. Slowed. Received. Received so much more. As she told me: “Anna, be different. Learn from my mistakes.”

And so tears streaming I finally prayed: “Mum, I forgive you. I forgive you that you were not the Mum I so needed you to be. Mum, I’m sorry I didn’t free you from the shame as you confessed. I’m so sorry.”

And as I spoke those words a force of Love overpowered me. I could grieve freely. I could weep. I could let my husband hold me as I shook with grief. And I could give words to the pain that went so very deep.

I am not just grieving the loss of an incredible Mum, whose love I know without a shadow of a doubt ran so deep for me, each one of her children and in her final years oh so very much for my own children.

Anna with her Mum and youngest daughter, not long after her Mum was diagnosed with brain tumors.


I am also grieving all those moments stolen from the two of us in my preteen and teen years. Moments when I needed a Mama the most. When the enemy kept my Mum and I both enslaved to striving and pleasing and doing. When the enemy made me believe I was one burden too many for my very own Mum.

I am also grieving all those years my Mum’s heart broke as she prayed so hard for my confidence to return, not knowing how I longed to give words to all that was shut tight in my heart. The trauma that held me captive, the fear, the shame, the oh so deep longing for a love I didn’t think could ever be mine. All those years a blindness kept me from her and my Savior’s arms.

I am grieving for us both. But as I finally, finally begin to do so, the birth pangs for heaven are only enlarging my joy. He loves us this much! So much so that He longs to restore and redeem every piece of our wounded hearts. So much so, He wept, nailed to His Cross, crying: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to sweep my loss and hurt under a rug. Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to leave my loved ones and myself shackled to shame. Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to pridefully deny I do not need a Savior to renew and heal my wounded heart.

Will you join me today, as I open my palms to this incredible gift?

Father God, forgive me for all the moments I have excused the impact of others’ sin on my life. Forgive me for believing that giving grace is excusing sin. Help me to see myself and others in the Light of Your love. A complete and whole love.

Help me not to stifle the yearnings of my heart, but to lift them up to You. To allow You to bring wholeness and healing to the empty places in my heart. To the places I have needed love and have never received it. 

Father, forgive me for living in my own strength all these years. For withholding pieces of my own heart from you and those I love. For believing the enemy’s lie that I am too big of a burden for those You have placed in my life to love and care for me. 

Thank You for all the ways You have been moving to restore and redeem my past and the past of my loved ones. I praise You for fearfully and wonderfully weaving me in my mother’s womb. Help me to honor the legacy of faith and the body, mind and heart You have given me by loving You and others wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

As a special gift this Easter, Anna has recorded a poem of hers, Abba’s Own, she prays will fill your heart with Hope for your Prodigals:

And may these worship songs bless you too:

Joel 2:23-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 
So rejoice, O children of Zion,
And delight in the Lord, your God;
For He has given you the early [autumn] rain in vindication
And He has poured down the rain for you,
The early [autumn] rain and the late [spring] rain, as before.
24 
And the threshing floors shall be full of grain,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25 
“And I will compensate you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust—
My great army which I sent among you.
26 
“You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 
“And you shall know [without any doubt] that I am in the midst of Israel [to protect and bless you],
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
My people will never be put to shame.

 

13 thoughts on “grace: the power of forgiveness

Add yours

  1. Dear Anna,
    I am so thankful to read your words here again today, especially as Easter approaches. Oh, His Grace runs so much deeper than we realize. There is so much He wants to offer us, and we do just sweep or “grace it away” as you have spoken here. He sees the hurt and shame we have covered over and He wants to UNCOVER there–not to shame us as the world does, but to free us from the shame! Oh Praise Him for His goodness to us. My eyes are filling with tears now, thinking of the way that the Lord restores all that has been lost to us. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts about forgiveness and grace today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Bettie,
    God is so good to keep bringing His grace deeper to restore and heal even those places we have swept under the carpet. So thankful for His kind and patient pursuit of our hearts. And no, He never shames us – oh what freedom we experience at the Cross. Hugs to you today. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Anna, oh what a wondrous work God has wrought in your life and heart! This is an awesome testimony of His goodness and grace. I can especially relate to your beautiful prayer. So so much. And I love the bonus poem you have spoken to us too. Thank you for sharing your personal beloved prodigal journey and helping us to trace God’s hand at work in our own lives as well. Blessings and hugs! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joy, it blesses me to hear that you can relate to my prayer and that it helps you to trace God’s work in your own life as well. I’m so thankful to share this journey with kindred spirits – across the oceans 😊. God is so good. Thank you for your encouragement. xxx

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh, sweet Anna, your words ring powerfully and deeply for me. God truly does want to cleanse us and bring us to wholeness. It is the moments such as this that remind me of all that has surfaced and evaporated for me over the years. I know there is more buried but certainly much, much less. I am blessed and know that God’s Grace has poured upon me and into deep crevices. Praising Him this morning. PS…Ken is holding his own in many ways, although somewhat weaker too, and we celebrate every new day as His mercies are new each morning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, Linda, even in the midst of all you and Ken are walking through. Your comment so encourages me.

      I am so thankful to hear this post blessed you. Yes: “God truly does want to cleanse us and bring us to wholeness.” Praise Him!

      I can only imagine all you are walking through. I am so very glad you are not alone on this journey. Thank you, Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, Anna, what a burden you carried. I’m so glad you found relief and release as you cried out to God. Thank you so much for sharing this from your heart to give us hope and remind us that God wants all of us. We don’t need to hold anything back. He knows what is in our hearts and he still loves us. Anna, you are such a blessing, more than you know. May God bless you! Love and hugs to you! xo And I loved hearing your voice read your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna, just now reading this. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing the God’s healing work in your life. So encouraged to see what He does with our pain.

    Like

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