Forgiveness and releasing a sense of entitlement
This is a story of a lady who was sexually abused as a child by a family member and her subsequent journey. For obvious reasons, names and location have been changed.
Rowena has been part of a prayer group for many years, praying for her city and neighbours. For example, going up a hill overlooking the city she lives in, three times a week, with two other grandmothers to pray for everything they have become aware of in different parts of the city and for God to move.
While this was happening, God started to speak to her about things that had gone on in her life. She says, "We want to transform the world which God wants too but there were things in my own family, my own life, which were not dealt with. How can I go out there when there are unresolved issues in my family, my life? Things like trust issues, resentment."
Her grandfather, a person in authority in the family, sexually abused her between the ages of 9-13. To mask the pain, she started taking drugs and was arrested by the police when she was 12. Coming from a 'nice' family, she felt her duty was to stay quiet, pretend nothing was going on. It was a painful secret.
She reflects, "It's like you put a concrete slab on a sewer and you call it good, but that stuff leaks out and trips you up."
Since becoming a Christian, she's been trying to deal with this incredible amount of hurt for a while. One of the things she knew she had to do was to forgive her grandfather. However, she also found that she had to release him from her 'pay-back'. He died before he got exposed and so she felt an injustice had happened. She wanted someone to pay for this. "You can't do bad things to people and get away with it."
She had a tremendous sense of anger, things kept surfacing and she wondered why she could not move forward. One of the things in dealing with this, was that she had to let go of 'entitlement'. She says, "You feel that if someone has hurt you, you have that right to hurt them. And God said, 'Well, you've got to give that up.' That was a stronghold. Of course, I'm going to forgive but there's more to that forgiveness."
After she forgave her grandfather and released her sense of entitlement, some shifts started to happen. Her relationship with her husband and family changed for the better. An adult son who had become estranged - not speaking to her for four years - called her out of the blue and wanted to come home. It was a prodigal son moment - a party.
Rowena and her husband now run a sports hall. It's covered in prayer and has become a place for competition, training and fun for children and adults. It's also a place of outreach. One comment from a customer who travels a distance to get there, "It's so good when I'm here. It's better than every other part of my life."
If this has triggered issues in your own life, please share with a pastoral contact at church or contact a Christian counsellor in your area here.
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