I have been a little unwell lately and as close friends know, it's a
physical problem, an ailment that has caused me to become discouraged
psychologically. I did not use the word psychologically in a redundant
way. We all know it's the stuff in us(our minds, our hearts) that
really counts not a person's physical well being. Some who have birth
defects and handicaps from young have shown to be much much stronger
and tougher than those of us who have been blessed with a lot of good
things physically since birth. Hence despite a heart of willingness to
want to be positive, despite praying in faith to God for healing, I was
still troubled and feeling discouraged after some time.
I thought, oh no God. Not now, I have been healed from my depression
already, I have recognized that I don't need to be bitter and angry and
beat up myself over everything, I am freshly waiting to use my gifts in
the most positive way and to remove the familiar traces of "me" in the
center of my universe. And I am on the threshold of these great things
and working hard with these brilliant people who had faith in me. I
didn't want to disappoint anyone or stall time.
But just as soon as I stared at the injury and the pain in my body, the
persistent voice of bright positivity became an ardent lump in the
throat. The mind was willing but the flesh is weak. My fears slowly ate
into me and as I brushed them away telling myself I would be healed, I
became distracted by the all familiar seeds of doubt.
I can tell you for sure, that doubt is the worst friend you can ever
have and it doesn't matter whether you are a Christian or not. It is a
false 'friend" because doubt is almost predominantly always there to
start the flickering flames of fear and confusion. It doesn't matter if
you're in your 20s or 80.
I have a friend who told me he has never seen a miracle in his life and
that he didn't believe in such things. I told him, if I were him I
would really feel doomed. I've seen 6 doctors who told me they aren't
sure how to help me. It's not a terminal illness, it's not cancer but
it certainly is a condition you do not want to be stuck with forever.
It was not overnight but slowly I found myself wallowing in self pity
and being a frightened rabbit again.
And then I listened to this personal account of a lady that had been
healed of her illness. She had been stuck in a wheelchair for 20 odd
years. She had been a faithful Christian and believed that God would
heal her but strangely when she finally got out of her wheelchair and
began to walk, it wasn't because someone went to God for a healing
I was surprised, I wondered what this would lead to but was eager to find out.
The next thing I heard amazed me so much but made so much sense to me
that I believe it was no coincidence that I was meant to hear that. The
pastor that prayed for the lady told her she had to deal with her
issues of forgiveness. There were these things buried deeply etched in
her heart that she had kept with her for years. The lady protested and
said she knew she had all those issues just as everyone else did but
she prayed to God fervently daily to give her peace of mind and heart
in her attitude to people.
" But what about God? Have you forgiven God?"
At this point my eyebrows were raised. I wondered how it was possible
for anyone to forgive God when God is/was perfect and made no mistakes.
Erm, aren't we a little too narcissistic to think we can forgive God?
But the pastor said to her that she had an issue with God she had been
refusing to forgive Him for. As he said this, this old lady's tears
poured like the rain. She told of how a long time ago in her 20s, she
had been in love with a young man. They were so happy together and
wanted to marry but one day, he got into a motorcycle accident and he
lost his life. The lady explained that she knew it wasn't God that took
him away and she never blamed God. She even explained that sometimes
sickness and disease, or death could happen but one must not
necessarily blame God for every single thing. The pastor kept quiet but
the next minute, he told her calmly that she sounded "right" but truly
she had an interesting way of shoving her faith in God onto herself. It
was almost as if she believed it was wrong to blame God and she
hurriedly interjected each time someone suggested that she might have
As the pastor continued to pray, the lady started to weep. She wept and
wailed like a baby. He told her to forgive God even if she felt that it
wasn't God who had taken her friend away from her. As she uttered, she
started to release her denied repressed feelings. Why did God allow it
to happen? Why does God allow death to come even when we pray hard for
Him to restore people, or when we have disease stricken bodies? Why did
God allow us to lose the people whom we prayed and asked for, we loved
When the lady sobbed and said those words of forgiveness to God, a
beautiful thing happened. She went home that very night, went to sleep
and the next day she felt one of her legs move. The day after that the
other. The week after that, she was walking. And this amazing thing was
not an overnight miracle. She had also prayed and attended many healing
seminars before, but nothing worked. It was only after she really dug
out this deep issue denied within her that she finally finally managed
to let go. Why are diseases related to anger and unforgiveness? It's a
mystery to me, such a big mystery. But just as many people there are
who blame God for things that happen, there are just as many others who
will tell you from personal accounts of being healed through faith.
I'm one of those people who have a strange mixture of faith and doubt
whirling in my head. I believe in these miracles that belonged to
others and that God healed them, because some of these people are real
people who are in your family and lived as your friends. Yet, I wonder
why I have doubt the moment the arrow points to me.
I wondered why my pastor, this great anointed man of God, hasn't prayed
a healing prayer for me the way he had done so for others. I wondered
why he kept asking me to move the fear, the doubt and the questions out
of my line of vision. They were all me, my self pity slipping in. He
just wanted me to check myself for the forgiveness embedded within me
that I had not dealt with.
I protested. I had done that already, I explained to him. I had already
moved on from the hurts and anger, from the betrayals that I had found
difficult to let go. But he simply smiled and said that I have not. Not
all. And after I listened to that personal account above, I understood
We have levels of unforgiveness within us. Some parts of it may have
been removed and they may have given us such energy and hope to
motivate ourselves and others but there may still be remnants and
baggage we deny that we never knew still existed. And these things will
surface the next time a big obstacle bounces our way. And in this case,
it was a physical ailment.
I realize that I had not really understood what forgiveness was/is.
Someone asked me to forgive her for having tortured me when we were in
our teens. I remembered I told her, it was cool. I also said that there
wasn't anything really to forgive since we were all young and immature
and so that matter was closed. But it truly wasn't really closed.
Because I still remembered the events and I still have nightmares
despite being genuinely real to her when I see her. I asked myself why,
since I had forgiven her and moved on. Many people told me they were
sorry and I too asked for forgiveness and said my fair share of sorries
over the years.
But a horrifying discovery stunned me. I had never forgiven anyone
before. I had just thought when they said "sorry", immediately that my
"it's ok! no problem" were mere words and that sometimes I had actually
believed I was not good enough to "pardon" anybody but rather I would
still continue being nice. That I thought was the right thing to do. At
one point I even thought to myself that God would be pleased to know
that I was able to "forgive" people and not stay mad.
It horrifies me now to know the embedded bitterness and anger in me had
made home in my heart for years and years. It wasn't even about being
bullied or being a mat where people could walk all over you. I started
to wonder why I felt so "full" and unable to contain anymore "stuff".
This very minute as I write, I tell myself, it's ok. Even a 5 year old
understands what forgiveness is. I will start from scratch and learn
how to forgive. Don't get me wrong. I am definitely not going on a
rampage saying that I'm this magnificent being that has so much to
pardon people for their crimes against me. It's just that since I was
little my mum told me it was wrong to stay angry at people and that we
could not bear grudges and that Jesus wanted us to turn the other
cheek. My warped feelings of forgiveness were false. They were forced
upon me by myself thinking it was resolving a quarrel, talking things
out with someone that no matter how unfair the matter had been I was
cool with it. But it had never really been the real forgiveness that it
was all about. Because in my head, the unfairness was blatantly there,
I just had to force myself to swallow the hard fact that life was
unfair. Forgiveness is not like that. So what is it? I have an idea but
I'm going to watch and learn from others who know, even if they are 5.
So forgive me, if you're someone I haven't known how to forgive but
thought I had already done so. I had to take this long to understand
what it was all about.
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