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Hope Rays

Shining the light of hope into dark places

F-Forgive and Move Forward

Karen Sebastian - Friday, October 06, 2017

Forgive and Move Forward

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Certain moments in the blur of caregiving stand out. This was one of them. I had taken a much-needed break to go visit my parents in Northern California for Mom's birthday. My sister was there also and we were headed for our shopping trip to the outlet mall. My sister turned to me and asked, "So how are things going with Edith (my mother-in-love)?"

I don't remember everything that I said but I shared a long monologue that sounded something like this: "It's terrible. I don't think I can take it much longer. She is driving me crazy. She is angry and takes it out on Elizabeth. Bill thinks she's going to die if we don't keep living there but I'm convinced she will live another 20 years just to spite me."

I started to weep. 

"Do you want to pray about it," Mom said gently. 

"Not yet, Mom," I replied. "I'm just so angry," I said.

There was an uncomfortable silence in the car as my angry words seem to hang in the atmosphere. My Mom and sister proceeded to pray for me and my anger. I felt guilty and defeated. I felt like I had no option all the while doing my very best to forgive. The problem was that I believed that if I let go of my anger nothing would ever change. My anger stood as an ineffective weapon to bring about a change I felt incapable of facing. I felt like a horrible person.

I've learned a few things about anger that I want to share with you if you are feeling angry about your role as a caregiver. Anger is an honest emotion when there has been injustice. It rises and begs to be dealt with promptly. The problems begin when we try to deny it, stuff it or justify it. Anger becomes like the beach ball that you are trying to keep submerged under water. It doesn't work and pops up at the most inconvenient times - such as when you are trying to be spiritual. This was especially difficult as we were in full-time ministry at the time.

I am sharing the the steps of dealing with anger found in my book, The Power of Hope for Prodigals: Prepare the Way Home:
  1. Admit you are angry
  2. Explore motives behind your anger
  3. Figure out whom you are angry with
  4. Confess your anger
  5. Release your anger 
In future prayer ministry sessions, I discovered that I was primarily angry at myself for not standing up and expressing my needs and standing for the needs of our little family. Once I was able to release my anger, I discovered that the Lord was in the midst of it all. He had given me the strength that I needed. I was able to forgive myself and start remembering the good times that we had in that season.

Active Self Nurture

Here are three principles about forgiveness from Proverbs:

Release fear

Fools make a mockery of guilt and repentance [of unforgiveness], but those who do what is right [forgive] receive special standing. Proverbs 14:9 (Voice)

What's in brackets is mine. 
Forgiveness means releasing the doubt and fear you are feeling.

I was doing what was right but not for the right reasons. My motivation was fear. Fear is usually lurking behind a protective shield of anger. As I look back on that situation in my own life, I was afraid to set proper boundaries because I feared being wrong. I was afraid my mother-in-love would indeed die. I was afraid that I would fail my husband. Are you willing to let the Lord be your defense rather than holding on to anger and unforgiveness? 

Hope Tip: Write down what would happen if you let go of your anger. What do you fear?

Speak kind words

She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern. Proverbs 31:26 (Voice)

Here we have that amazing Proverbs 31 woman again! Ugh! I think back on all the unkind things I said about my mother-in-love behind her back. They showed in my attitude. when I was with her. There is a principle here that perhaps is best understood in the King James Version that says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness." There is a precept here that works every time. When you have bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart the words coming out will be the same. When, however, you start speaking kind words about those who have wronged you the mercy and favor of the Lord are released in your own life and the lives of all who surround you. Reframe your harsh words and find out where that attitude is coming from.  

Hope Tip: Sincerely praise God for the difficult person in your life. Lists all the blessings they provide.

Forgive fully

Hatred fuels dissension, but love calms all rebellions. Proverbs 10:12 NLT

My Dad has a wise saying, "You can only forgive someone who is wrong." So stop waiting for others to ask for forgiveness. Give it as a gift that only you can give. Release all expectations that things should work out a specific way. Let God deal with the heart of others. You'll know you have forgiven fully when you can talk about it without anger or tears. It can be a testimony of the miracle of God's forgiveness working in and through you.

Hope Tip: Practice the physical technique of closing your hand and then opening it quickly. Picture the unforgiveness as floating away.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for the emotions you have given me so that I can see what's truly in my heart. I ask you for wisdom to identify the reasons it has been so hard to let go of the anger I feel toward __________. I know that You love them and I do too. I want You to work in me a work of grace so that I can speak kind words consistently despite the inconveniences and extra work. I praise You that _________ is part of our lives. I am grateful that Your love covers and removes all rebellion in my heart against my current situation. I trust You, Lord in every detail.
In Jesus' name. Amen.



For the rest of the alphabet in the ABCs of Self Nurture for Caregivers please click here.

Karen Sebastian-Wirth has, over the years, lovingly cared for her mother-in-love, mother, father and husband. She certainly has learned the lessons of hope in what can become a treacherous ride over some rough waters. You will enjoy her candid approach to self nurture and the practical ways to take care of yourself. Her new book The Power of Hope for Caregivers: Honor the Ride will be released in November, 2017.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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Comments
Tammy McDonald commented on 06-Oct-2017 08:24 AM
"Like a beach ball you are trying to hold under the water" ...what a PERFECT description! Thank you for your help in this. I have found myself sandwiched between teen daughters preparing to launch and ailing parents...neither side seeming to appreciate me or what I do for them. Thank you for these words to I can try to let there be no bitterness or anger.
Chris commented on 06-Oct-2017 10:05 AM
Such a great post!
Anita Ojeda commented on 06-Oct-2017 01:53 PM
I can really relate to this, Karen! I worry that one day my mother-in-law will need to move in with us—it’s orobably time to start excising anger from my life now ;).

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Hopegrams

Hope Rays

F-Forgive and Move Forward

Karen Sebastian - Friday, October 06, 2017

Forgive and Move Forward

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Certain moments in the blur of caregiving stand out. This was one of them. I had taken a much-needed break to go visit my parents in Northern California for Mom's birthday. My sister was there also and we were headed for our shopping trip to the outlet mall. My sister turned to me and asked, "So how are things going with Edith (my mother-in-love)?"

I don't remember everything that I said but I shared a long monologue that sounded something like this: "It's terrible. I don't think I can take it much longer. She is driving me crazy. She is angry and takes it out on Elizabeth. Bill thinks she's going to die if we don't keep living there but I'm convinced she will live another 20 years just to spite me."

I started to weep. 

"Do you want to pray about it," Mom said gently. 

"Not yet, Mom," I replied. "I'm just so angry," I said.

There was an uncomfortable silence in the car as my angry words seem to hang in the atmosphere. My Mom and sister proceeded to pray for me and my anger. I felt guilty and defeated. I felt like I had no option all the while doing my very best to forgive. The problem was that I believed that if I let go of my anger nothing would ever change. My anger stood as an ineffective weapon to bring about a change I felt incapable of facing. I felt like a horrible person.

I've learned a few things about anger that I want to share with you if you are feeling angry about your role as a caregiver. Anger is an honest emotion when there has been injustice. It rises and begs to be dealt with promptly. The problems begin when we try to deny it, stuff it or justify it. Anger becomes like the beach ball that you are trying to keep submerged under water. It doesn't work and pops up at the most inconvenient times - such as when you are trying to be spiritual. This was especially difficult as we were in full-time ministry at the time.

I am sharing the the steps of dealing with anger found in my book, The Power of Hope for Prodigals: Prepare the Way Home:
  1. Admit you are angry
  2. Explore motives behind your anger
  3. Figure out whom you are angry with
  4. Confess your anger
  5. Release your anger 
In future prayer ministry sessions, I discovered that I was primarily angry at myself for not standing up and expressing my needs and standing for the needs of our little family. Once I was able to release my anger, I discovered that the Lord was in the midst of it all. He had given me the strength that I needed. I was able to forgive myself and start remembering the good times that we had in that season.

Active Self Nurture

Here are three principles about forgiveness from Proverbs:

Release fear

Fools make a mockery of guilt and repentance [of unforgiveness], but those who do what is right [forgive] receive special standing. Proverbs 14:9 (Voice)

What's in brackets is mine. 
Forgiveness means releasing the doubt and fear you are feeling.

I was doing what was right but not for the right reasons. My motivation was fear. Fear is usually lurking behind a protective shield of anger. As I look back on that situation in my own life, I was afraid to set proper boundaries because I feared being wrong. I was afraid my mother-in-love would indeed die. I was afraid that I would fail my husband. Are you willing to let the Lord be your defense rather than holding on to anger and unforgiveness? 

Hope Tip: Write down what would happen if you let go of your anger. What do you fear?

Speak kind words

She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern. Proverbs 31:26 (Voice)

Here we have that amazing Proverbs 31 woman again! Ugh! I think back on all the unkind things I said about my mother-in-love behind her back. They showed in my attitude. when I was with her. There is a principle here that perhaps is best understood in the King James Version that says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness." There is a precept here that works every time. When you have bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart the words coming out will be the same. When, however, you start speaking kind words about those who have wronged you the mercy and favor of the Lord are released in your own life and the lives of all who surround you. Reframe your harsh words and find out where that attitude is coming from.  

Hope Tip: Sincerely praise God for the difficult person in your life. Lists all the blessings they provide.

Forgive fully

Hatred fuels dissension, but love calms all rebellions. Proverbs 10:12 NLT

My Dad has a wise saying, "You can only forgive someone who is wrong." So stop waiting for others to ask for forgiveness. Give it as a gift that only you can give. Release all expectations that things should work out a specific way. Let God deal with the heart of others. You'll know you have forgiven fully when you can talk about it without anger or tears. It can be a testimony of the miracle of God's forgiveness working in and through you.

Hope Tip: Practice the physical technique of closing your hand and then opening it quickly. Picture the unforgiveness as floating away.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for the emotions you have given me so that I can see what's truly in my heart. I ask you for wisdom to identify the reasons it has been so hard to let go of the anger I feel toward __________. I know that You love them and I do too. I want You to work in me a work of grace so that I can speak kind words consistently despite the inconveniences and extra work. I praise You that _________ is part of our lives. I am grateful that Your love covers and removes all rebellion in my heart against my current situation. I trust You, Lord in every detail.
In Jesus' name. Amen.



For the rest of the alphabet in the ABCs of Self Nurture for Caregivers please click here.

Karen Sebastian-Wirth has, over the years, lovingly cared for her mother-in-love, mother, father and husband. She certainly has learned the lessons of hope in what can become a treacherous ride over some rough waters. You will enjoy her candid approach to self nurture and the practical ways to take care of yourself. Her new book The Power of Hope for Caregivers: Honor the Ride will be released in November, 2017.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home





Comments
Tammy McDonald commented on 06-Oct-2017 08:24 AM
"Like a beach ball you are trying to hold under the water" ...what a PERFECT description! Thank you for your help in this. I have found myself sandwiched between teen daughters preparing to launch and ailing parents...neither side seeming to appreciate me or what I do for them. Thank you for these words to I can try to let there be no bitterness or anger.
Chris commented on 06-Oct-2017 10:05 AM
Such a great post!
Anita Ojeda commented on 06-Oct-2017 01:53 PM
I can really relate to this, Karen! I worry that one day my mother-in-law will need to move in with us—it’s orobably time to start excising anger from my life now ;).

Post a Comment




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