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Reaching Towards Forgiveness

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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THE RECALL – Shulanda Hastings – 8/14/13

REACHing towards forgiveness requires action. It’s great if both parties participate, but in order for healing to take place it only requires the willingness of the injured party.

Like you, I could choose from a list of people that I have had to forgive. While I’m being honest, there just might be a few still on that list. In Steve Harvey’s words, “Don’t judge me. God ain’t through with me yet”. Here is good news for you too: God is not through with you either!

I will pull from my list an example that is fairly recent and that was probably most difficult for me; forgiving my mother. My grandmother raised me and I lived with my mother for a short period during my preteen years. As any little girl or child for that matter, I was always curious about my mother and desired to be close to her. But all that I received was rejection. During my stay with her, she would treat other girls as if they were her daughters, make excuses not to do things with and for me. Many incidents occurred in a span of time and when I reached adulthood, I realized it had been years since I had spoken to my mother and how the barrier of un-forgiveness kept me in bondage.

In Dr. Worthington Jr.’s “REACH Forgiveness method” the ‘R’ stands for Recall My Hurtful Acts. As I started the process of forgiving my mother, I had to recall many hurtful acts. Since most of them occurred during my childhood, I had to dig deep into my memories in order for me to get to the root of my pain.

The most hurtful act that I blamed my mother for was the molestation I endured from her boyfriend. To add salt to my wound was how she continued to communicate and see him after everything had been exposed. I felt that she placed a man before her children because she didn’t seem to care about what had happened to me and how she allowed her boyfriend to mistreat not only me, but my brothers.

“Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” (Philippians 3:13, KJV).

 In order for me to start reaching forward towards forgiveness, I had to start recalling the hurtful acts I experienced that I associated with my mother. Before you expect to hear the fairytale with a happy ending, the process in between took a lot of work, action on my part. I’ll wave my wand and give you a little preview. It is worth digging up the past to step into the future.

WARNING: if you are only going to dig just to bury yourself in your pain, then you are only going to cause yourself more hurt and unhealthy thoughts. Consider your digging to be for gold because reaching for forgiveness can be worth a fortune.

I challenge you to REACH by starting with recalling today. The first step is always the hardest one, but ‘E’ is waiting for you. Break the barrier of un-forgiveness and claim your healthy mind!

Check out my novel Marriage Thorn that also deals with healing and forgiveness in marriages and families.

 


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