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Have you ever found yourself wanting desperately to get closer to God and others only to feel dry, numb, or frustrated?

Maybe you’ve desperately wanted to feel a deeper spiritual connection and get on fire for God, but you bump into a mysterious and frustrating blockage. Well, keep reading and don’t give up!

To enter REST, we’re going to have to enter this connection with God that goes beyond religious activities and personal zeal… and open up our heart to him (ya, the real stuff that doesn’t smell or look so good – all the stuff that religion tells we have to deny they even exist.)

And yet, this “guts open” relationship can be easier said than done. If we’ve been hurt by people, especially parents or leaders, we might unknowingly steer clear of free falling into the arms of God with all of our messes, mistakes, and hurts. Your subconscious steps in to protect you from getting hurt again and asks the question, ”Didn’t you get hurt the last time you were that open? I would think twice about letting anyone in that deep.”

You may be surprised to hear this but my personal experience with this resistance and the many transparent conversations I’ve had with others who were attempting to get closer to God indicate that the resistance is most often the result of unforgiveness, unforgiveness they had no idea they had. It hides!

Asking you to forgive those who have hurt you may be asking a lot. I know that the abuse and devastation some have faced are unimaginable. However, unforgiveness is the blockage in the spiritual heart. It’s the hair ball in the drain blocking the flow. As difficult as this may be, if you can release the unforgiveness from your heart, you will feel a freedom enter your being immediately. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what someone did to you was okay, and it doesn’t mean you must reconcile with that person. What it means is that you are no longer going to hold the person captive in your heart. 

Pause here and lean into the significance of this moment – your opportunity to put some drano down the pipes. The most important thing you can do right now is to pause and ask God to help you forgive your family and friends, especially for disturbing memories from your childhood. Take a moment to stop and do this if someone just popped in your mind. “Lord, because you shed your blood for my sins, I extend that same forgiveness to  _________. Right now, I release them from my heart and all judgements, opinions and hurt. I lay down bitterness as my way of protecting myself and step behind Your heart as my protection and my comfort. I command all – name all the feelings that are attached to this specific hurt – (anger, self pity, betrayal, slander, rejection, neglect, abuse, ____________) to bow under the authority of Christ. I pick up love from Father God as my replacement.”

Great job! Do this as many times and for as many people as you need to! Most of us just move on and leave that trauma in the past. But where hurt has been unresolved, we can carry unforgiveness. Unforgiveness that is not dealt with becomes bitterness. Bitterness can grow into a nasty root that grows deep in our insides, making us miserable, bringing harm to our physical bodies, and eroding the quality of our relationships with others. Bitterness should never be tolerated because it is so destructive.

Asking you to forgive those who have hurt you may be asking a lot. I know that the abuse and devastation some have faced are unimaginable. However, unforgiveness is the blockage in the spiritual heart. It’s the hair ball in the drain blocking the flow. As difficult as this may be, if you can release the unforgiveness from your heart, you will feel a freedom enter your being immediately. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what someone did to you was okay, and it doesn’t mean you must reconcile with that person. What it means is that you are no longer going to hold the person captive in your heart. 

It’s also critical to note here that I don’t know a single person who doesn’t need to forgive themselves. God knew you wouldn’t be perfect and that you would choose evil over good. That is why he sent his Son Jesus to die in your place as a payment for your sins. Forgive yourself and receive the forgiveness of Jesus. Then choose not to rehearse what God has already forgiven you for and live for what lies ahead, not behind.

My prayer is that God’s true nature will be revealed to you and that his all-consuming love will heal your heart and reveal and restore your worth. I had some good ideas about God and others not so good. I had to allow him to reveal himself to me through his Word and through his presence. No other person could represent him any longer. People are flawed and cannot live up to the full capacity of God’s love for us.

If you ask God to reveal his heart for you, he will. But here’s a warning for you: if you ask with a sincere heart, the love gusher will come! He is all love, and his love for you is personal and powerful.

– From Still: 7 Ways to Find Calm in the Chaos

9 Comments

  • Jacqueline S Parmer Cortez says:

    Jenny, once you have been brutally abused…..the process of healing and forgiving is a tough road. Deep agony….lays deep below the surface and the excavation process sometimes peels off in many, many layers. We are even taught by counselors…..even Christian counselors….ways to STOP abuse….ways to FORGIVE ABUSE…..and that process does work for a while. Bad experiences have a way of resurfacing….even after years and years of scraping away the debris in our hearts, minds, and emotions. I have begun writing a book about my experiences….as a child from an abusive alcoholic Father. I am calling the book Damaged and Delivered……..the biggest challenge is to forge deep personal relationships….once a firewall is established to guard ourselves from continued/future abuse. Allowing others….the opportunity to hurt us again….allowing ourselves to be hurt again…..requires self-assurance that we with God’s help can withstand any and all things that others inflict upon us…..through Christ and in Christlikeness. It is NOT an easy road…..we travel.

  • Rebecca Taylor says:

    Jenny, thank you so much for your obedience to the Lord, this article and prayer are powerful! I’m in awe right now!

  • YES! I practiced forgiveness once again just now after a critic delighted in their cutting remarks towards me. Ohhh ..I know better than to personalize these kinds of comments born of their own pain, but it still hurt. I don’t ever want to give bitterness a place to grow like a silent undetected cancer in my soul. Thank you Jenny for nudging us all to take good care of our soul health! Forgiveness is key to our daily emotional hygiene. No hairballs allowed! ♥️

  • Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  • who are wishing in favor of blogging.

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