Mark 11:25-26 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
This seemed like a perfect verse for the last day of the year. To start 2012 a new, with no grudges against anyone. To start 2012 with total forgivness .... to start 2012 being totally forgiven.
I remember getting to this verse my first time through the Bible... it really terrified me!! I knew I had unforgivness in my heart! Big things that were so hard to forgive... then there were stupid little things that people had done to me, probably not even knowing ..... that were still lingering there, unforgiven. For some reason we tend to hold on to some things... almost as if stiring up a bit of anger gives us energy. Then there are the things that seem impossible to forgive.... those big hurts that are kept seceret from the world.... often from the people you trust the most. They felt just impossible to forgive.
Then I got started saying my "I forgive's" at the beginning of every prayer. If I still felt unforgiveness deep in the pit of my stomach... in my soul...I would forgive yet again the thing that I had forgiven yesterday, and the day before, and the week before that. The amazing thing is that when God sees that we are earnest in wanting to do what He ask of us He sends down His grace and makes us able. I actually remember praying one day and saying my "I forgive" over something I had been praying a couple of months over and realizing that I didn't have that feeling in my gut any more...that my shoulders were not held down by the pain of my memories... because, with God's grace, I had forgiven. Do I still, sometimes, remember those hurts long, long, long ago?... I do! But they are not painful.... it amazes me when it happens! The devil tires to put unforgivness in my head, but my forgiveness came from my heart. I am now able to tell the devil that is done with and forgiven... I am a child of God and God makes it possible for me to have forgiveness.
Sometimes still I find new things lingering that I have forgotten to forgive.... sometimes I have to be reminded to forgive. That is where reading my Bible over and over comes in handy... it reminds me what God ask of me. It also reminds me that Jesus in his great gift for us makes all things possible. That God wants my life better, full of joy and that He doesn't ask me to do anything he has not given me the strength and ability to do.
I look forward to another year of reading and learning about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and me. I am so excited about the changes there are to come... I can't wait to see how much stronger God makes me in 2012... God did amazing things in my life in 2011... when I spend time with God my life just gets better and better!
Did I go through hard things in 2011? I did! I lost my mom.... that is the hardest thing I have ever faced. But, facing it with God made all the difference! It made me stronger... I knew that I didn't have to do it alone.... I knew that God was there! Every time that the devil wanted to make me feel guilt or pain I just turned to God and said "God I know that you are there! I know that you will help me!" That moment of intense pain would pass.... God would give me strength. I know that God is the God of the mountains and the God of the valleys. He is always, always with me! He even gives me His grace so I can forgive!