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How do you *really* forgive yourself for a terrible sin? (cc)


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#1 ---

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Let me preface this by saying I DO believe all sin is equal in the eyes of the Lord. However in my life experience, some sins are easier to forgive *yourself* for than others.

Six days from now, February 13, it will be 12 years since I made a horrific, life-changing, awful decision. I am STILL so ashamed of the grievous nature of that sin that I can't even bring myself to say what it was.

I was not saved at the time. I *know* that since I am saved and have repented of my sin, that it is covered in the blood of Jesus. I know He forgives me. I know he keeps no record of my wrong; that He does not see my sin when he looks at me.

But this particular sinful decision I made has left me with a permanent loss. It is/was an irreversible, permanent thing. I feel the pain and loss of that decision just as strongly today as ever.

(I realize at this point, many may have an idea of what I did. I'm just so terribly ashamed, I can't bring myself to type the word.)

My question is, I know I am supposed to forgive myself since the Lord has forgiven me. But what does that LOOK like? What does that FEEL like, to forgive yourself of something so egregious?

It's like the sin has left a scar on my heart that will never go away. Is it WRONG that I still feel guilt and sadness over it? Because if it is, then I feel guilty for that, too.

I'm not walking around in a depression over it. And it's not as if I dwell on it every day. But certain situations bring it to mind, and I still do cry about it sometimes. This time of year is always hard for me because of it being the 'anniversary' of the event. I mourn not only the fact that I sinned so terribly, but I also very acutely feel the loss that is a result of that sin.

If you have any advice about what forgiving myself looks or feels like, I'd appreciate your insight. And if you feel led to pray for me over the next week or so, I could specifically use prayer for peace and to feel the Lord's comfort right now.

#2 cloudsmom

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

I don't have any advice since I have a terrible time letting go of guilt myself, but I just wanted to give you a virtual hug.

:grouphug:

#3 SwallowTail

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

If you could process it as grief, rather than guilt and shame, that might be a good start. I am sorry for your loss. :hug

#4 1bassoon

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

You know I'm praying, dear one.

I think it perfectly normal to feel that sadness; God didn't tell us that our emotions are wrong - He made us, emotions and all. For example, when He says, "Be angry, and sin not. . . " the emotion itself is not the sin.

I may pm you more later when I think about it; but just wanted to offer you :grouphug: and tell you that you are not alone, and you are loved.

#5 OH_Homeschooler

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

Well, I'm not a Christian but I know a lot about guilt and trying to forgive myself.

No, it's NOT wrong that you still feel bad. Like any loss, the pain diminishes but never goes away completely. (And of course, it can intensify again at any point).

You are a different person today than you were when you were in that situation. It may be that you're looking back on your decision from the lens of who you are now, as a Christian, as someone in a more stable position in life, and applying that to who you were then. It sounds like the decision you made was not one you came to easily even then.

So maybe think of it as not forgiving YOURSELF, but a younger, less experienced person who had to make a terrible decision. What would you say to someone else who is going through that situation? Would you beat them up about it? Or would you try to show some compassion and understanding, even if you don't personally believe it is the best thing? Try to apply that to yourself.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

You know I'm praying, dear one.

I think it perfectly normal to feel that sadness; God didn't tell us that our emotions are wrong - He made us, emotions and all. For example, when He says, "Be angry, and sin not. . . " the emotion itself is not the sin.

I may pm you more later when I think about it; but just wanted to offer you :grouphug: and tell you that you are not alone, and you are loved.


Heather, my dh and I *just* studied that scripture together the other day. I never really thought about it in terms of the emotion itself not being sin; rather, I've always concentrated on the "and sin not" aspect. Thank you for pointing that out.

And I appreciate you thinking of me.

#7 ---

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

Well, I'm not a Christian but I know a lot about guilt and trying to forgive myself.

No, it's NOT wrong that you still feel bad. Like any loss, the pain diminishes but never goes away completely. (And of course, it can intensify again at any point).

You are a different person today than you were when you were in that situation. It may be that you're looking back on your decision from the lens of who you are now, as a Christian, as someone in a more stable position in life, and applying that to who you were then. It sounds like the decision you made was not one you came to easily even then.

So maybe think of it as not forgiving YOURSELF, but a younger, less experienced person who had to make a terrible decision. What would you say to someone else who is going through that situation? Would you beat them up about it? Or would you try to show some compassion and understanding, even if you don't personally believe it is the best thing? Try to apply that to yourself.


This is good advice; I appreciate your perspective.

I do have one girlfriend who I know has been through the same thing. And of course I don't think less of her or look down on her for it. Somehow it's easier to forgive others than myself I guess.

#8 Laurie4b

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

Grief is different from guilt. We may have done something that caused damage to ourselves or others and grieving that is normal--like grieving other kinds of losses. Separating out the grief from the guilt can be really helpful.

#9 Mergath

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

If you could process it as grief, rather than guilt and shame, that might be a good start. I am sorry for your loss. :hug


:iagree: I can imagine it might be hard to let yourself really grieve, OP, because you might feel like you don't have the right to mourn your loss in this situation the way other people suffering a loss do, but that's the only way to let the wound start to heal. :grouphug:

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Grief is different from guilt. We may have done something that caused damage to ourselves or others and grieving that is normal--like grieving other kinds of losses. Separating out the grief from the guilt can be really helpful.



What does that *look* like though? When I ask myself "Do I feel grief or guilt?", I honestly don't know what the answer is. I've never thought about it that way.

I guess it really is more grief than guilt. Grief for the loss. But I do still feel guilty for what I did. The guilt would be because a precious soul who SHOULD be here with my family is not. Oh Lord forgive me. And the pain of that loss only grew stronger after having my boys.

Perhaps the pain of that loss, the guilt, is just a natural consequence of the sinful decision. The Lord never promises to remove the pain of poor choices when he forgives the sin, does he.

#11 transientChris

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

I will pm you. I will also pray for you. And thanks to the person who quoted, Be angry and sin not. I needed to hear that too since I have often felt guilt at having a quick temper but now I see I should only feel bad if I am doing something wrong (like yelling at someone), not just for the quick anger.

#12 PrincessMommy

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Feeling regret and grief over our choices is not always the same as forgiving ourselves. I think there are some things we do in our lives that will follow us forever. I doubt there's any way to get around it or at least I haven't found one yet. It's probably part of being a human being.

I do not think it's all bad to cry over our sins or failings (even when we've asked for forgiveness and *know* that God provides). It probably keeps us from living a clueless life and hurting others. It can make us change for the better. I still deeply regret not being there for my grandmother's death 25yrs ago. I even had one of those 6th sense things and knew I needed to go visit her - right then. But I ignored it and she was alone. I still cry sometimes when I remember that. Now I am committed to volunteering in hospice care and feel very strongly about people not being alone at the end. That's just one example from my life that I'm comfortable sharing. :grouphug:

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

:iagree: I can imagine it might be hard to let yourself really grieve, OP, because you might feel like you don't have the right to mourn your loss in this situation the way other people suffering a loss do, but that's the only way to let the wound start to heal. :grouphug:



That's so very true, Mergath. I don't feel like it's *fair* for me to mourn a loss that is my own fault.It's kind of like I tell myself, "Well you did it to YOURSELF. You don't deserve to ever "get over it".

#14 besroma

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

Bethany,

Here is a link to an article that might help:

http://www.allaboutg...ng-yourself.htm

:grouphug: and prayers for you.

#15 Juniper

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Sweetie there was more than one victim that day. Maybe try practicing being merciful to the younger you. I know with my mom it helped if she gave herself that day to really grieve. She was sad for the loss, sad for the situation that led to the loss, just sad. It is okay to be sad and it is okay to extend that young woman some grace. Then step forward and live the life that dear one would want you to. ((((((hugs))))))

#16 I.Dup.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

Many women are in your position. And God was there, He knows what drove you to do that, He sees us inside and out and He holds your little one.

I do not have any advice on letting go of guilt, I struggle with tremendous guilt over many things.

#17 Whereneverever

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:18 PM

Would you be able to volunteer with women in the same situation? Perhaps by helping walk them down this road and praying with them you will feel some peace, as well.

#18 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

Jeremiah 31:34 "and I will remember their sins no more".....
Isaiah 43:25
Hebrews 8:12

I believe that God does not take away the memory of the sins that we have committed because they serve as a warning to us not to commit those sins again. That said, this quote is one of my favorites: "Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ." (taken from this talk: https://www.lds.org/...ess?lang=eng#4-) I would keep praying and ask to feel of God's love for you.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

Would you be able to volunteer with women in the same situation? Perhaps by helping walk them down this road and praying with them you will feel some peace, as well.



I have considered it. However, I have not found an organization to volunteer at that would fully line up with our religious beliefs. I pray one day the Lord will open up an opportunity for me to do so.

I *have* had the opportunity to share with a personal friend who is in the same position. It was, and continues to be, a blessing to both of us to not feel so alone. According to the statistics, 40 percent of women have been in my situation. But it's such a taboo subject that I only know ONE of my girlfriends who has been through it. Which means there are a lot of us carrying this burden alone, suffering in silence instead of allowing our sisters to come along side, bear our burdens with us, and lift us up in prayer.

#20 Mergath

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

That's so very true, Mergath. I don't feel like it's *fair* for me to mourn a loss that is my own fault.It's kind of like I tell myself, "Well you did it to YOURSELF. You don't deserve to ever "get over it".


But you DO deserve to heal, and your little one deserves to be grieved by his or her mother, the same as any other child would. :grouphug:

#21 BigMamaBird

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

No wisdom, just prayers. You will be in my thoughts.

#22 kristinannie

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

Our God wants to heal us. We are all damaged human beings, damaged by our own sins and those of others. I often find it easier to forgive others (even for horrible things) than to forgive myself. God has given me such great gifts, but I still constantly let him down. I realized one day that there are two reasons why I fail to forgive (myself and others): pride and anger. True humility is knowing that you are not worthy of the forgiveness of God, yet accepting his mercy. Pride can work in mysterious ways. A type of false humility is not accepting your own faults. We think that we should be better, be perfect even. This is a type of pride that I really suffered from. There have also been some instances where anger has kept me back. I was so angry at the actions of myself or others that I couldn't truly let it go.

I obviously don't know your situation, but let me just give an example. Let's say I had an abortion when I was younger. I might not be able to forgive myself due to pride (i.e. I should have never gotten into that situation. These types of things only happen to "bad" people. I should be perfect.) or anger (i.e. My boyfriend sort of pushed me into it and I am still mad at him. I am angry because I felt like I had to do it because my parents would have reacted really badly. I am angry because I didn't have anyone to help me through this situation. I am angry at myself for taking the easy way out.)

I am Catholic and I truly love the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is so much cleansing from being completely forgiven by God. However, I think a Protestant can also seek this total forgiveness. Tell God (out loud) how sorry you are for what you did. Do some sort of reparation. For example, if you had an abortion (like above), do 10 hours of pro-life work. Be resolute that you will not commit this sin again (it seems like you already are there). Even after God has forgiven you, you must forgive yourself. You must heal from whatever happened. Sure you sinned, but there were probably other hurtful circumstances going on as well. You need to pray for God to heal you and to help you to be released from this pain. This might be a long process, but God will heal you.

I truly believe that we only find God in the present. When we are dwelling in regret of the past or in anxiety over the future, we are not living with God. This is the territory of the enemy. What better for the enemy than to keep you from truly internalizing the forgiveness that God has granted you. I know this is easier said than done. Believe me when I say that I have spent many years in the past and in the future and not enough time in the present. It is a conscious choice to choose to live in the present and a habit that you can form in your life.

All of this is said in love and, like I said, I don't know your situation. Just know that Jesus loves you. You are made in the image of God. He knew you before He formed you in your mother's womb. He wants to heal you of this. There is nothing that you can do to make God stop loving you. Think of how much you love your children in the limited way that humans can love and then think of the infinite love that God has for you. Let his love wash over you and heal you. Let God take this cross from you. Offer up your suffering over this to God to use how he sees fit and leave your sin at the foot of his cross. He died for your sins. Accept the grace and forgiveness he is offering you! I will pray for you.

#23 Laurie4b

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

What does that *look* like though? When I ask myself "Do I feel grief or guilt?", I honestly don't know what the answer is. I've never thought about it that way.

I guess it really is more grief than guilt. Grief for the loss. But I do still feel guilty for what I did. The guilt would be because a precious soul who SHOULD be here with my family is not. Oh Lord forgive me. And the pain of that loss only grew stronger after having my boys.

Perhaps the pain of that loss, the guilt, is just a natural consequence of the sinful decision. The Lord never promises to remove the pain of poor choices when he forgives the sin, does he.


I think it looks similar to grief for anyone you have lost. Finding rituals to honor the person (volunteer work, a donation, etc. in his/her honor), journaling a letter to the person and asking Jesus to convey the message, putting your emotions into art, allowing yourself to be sad. Sometimes a group of people in the same situation will have memorial services together, or individually, with a pastor or priest. Jesus also grieves with you and for you. He shares the *grief* not just bearing the sin.

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Our sorrows were taken up by Jesus on the cross just as much as our sins. How could they not be? Sin always leaves damage in its wake and with it, sorrow. Some is greater than other sorrow, but he carried it all.

#24 SunnyDays

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:30 PM

Sweetie there was more than one victim that day. Maybe try practicing being merciful to the younger you. I know with my mom it helped if she gave herself that day to really grieve. She was sad for the loss, sad for the situation that led to the loss, just sad. It is okay to be sad and it is okay to extend that young woman some grace. Then step forward and live the life that dear one would want you to. ((((((hugs))))))


You've gotten a great deal of sage advice, and Juniper's post stood out to me. I completely agree... if this were a younger friend or family member of yours, you would comfort her and extend grace to her. You need to do that with your younger self as well.

I've nothing else to add, but wanted to send you a warm embrace. :grouphug:

#25 Scarlett

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:32 PM

:(. My heart is just breaking for you Bethany. I have a good friend who confided to me something she had done that grieved her terribly.

We are imperfect people...so just because you still feel bad does NOT mean you are guilty of further sin. It means you are human and you are suffering the consequence of a sin.

I am not good at forgiving myself....I find it much easier to forgive others than myself. My dh talks me down from the ledge all of the time. He tells me the ransom covers my sins just like it covers others.

I wish I had magic words to help you. I don't but I do know how you feel not being able to forgive yourself for things you've done wrong.



#26 Clear Creek

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

:grouphug: If you can find a local Rachel's Vineyard retreat, I know several people that have attended them and one person that works as a counselor at them (in my area), and they are supposed to be incredibly healing.

#27 sheryl

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:34 PM

Oh, sweet Bethany, I read your post. You know that you sinned (who hasn't btw - not to diminish yours at all!). Have you confessed? Have you repented? If not, do so. You are right when you say there is "no" degree to sinning. It's ALL bad, displeasing and dishonoring to God. We are ALL sinners and fall short of God's glory. I feel VERY strongly to remind you to NOT practice your relationship with Jesus based on "feelings". That will get people in trouble very fast. Sometimes I don't "feel" saved b/c I've angered over something. Ah, but I know I'm saved and remind myself what I shared with you above. Secondly, guilt is not from the Lord; it's a tactic from the enemy. He wants you to feel guilty, ashamed and condemned. NO, my friend! "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". Yes, you may always remember this event, but you must not let it dictate your identity in our Savior. It's done and now it's covered at the cross. Turn this event into a ministry.....turning something negative in your life to something positive in someone else's. Bless you! Adding you to my prayer list. :grouphug:

#28 Scarlett

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

I have considered it. However, I have not found an organization to volunteer at that would fully line up with our religious beliefs. I pray one day the Lord will open up an opportunity for me to do so.

I *have* had the opportunity to share with a personal friend who is in the same position. It was, and continues to be, a blessing to both of us to not feel so alone. According to the statistics, 40 percent of women have been in my situation. But it's such a taboo subject that I only know ONE of my girlfriends who has been through it. Which means there are a lot of us carrying this burden alone, suffering in silence instead of allowing our sisters to come along side, bear our burdens with us, and lift us up in prayer.


I think the sharing did help my friend process it. She was so deeply ashamed and she told me about it half fearful I think that I write her off. :(. Or maybe she HOPED I would write her of so she would have proof of her unworthiness The other people she told were her children. 2 girls and a boy all late teens at the time. I think she wanted them to know how horrible she felt 20 years later so that if they were ever in that situation they would choose differently.

#29 kalanamak

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

Not a Christian, but I don't see why it wouldn't work for one:

Making it right by anyone who was harmed.
Vowing to do better in future.

When I have a memory of something I did, I just remind myself I've done both of those things.
If I can't stop the thoughts, I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror and say STOP THAT very sharply.

Works for me.

#30 ---

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:46 PM

Not a Christian, but I don't see why it wouldn't work for one:

Making it right by anyone who was harmed.
Vowing to do better in future.

When I have a memory of something I did, I just remind myself I've done both of those things.
If I can't stop the thoughts, I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror and say STOP THAT very sharply.

Works for me.


But you see, the bolded is impossible in this situation.

#31 kalanamak

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

But you see, the bolded is impossible in this situation.


In AA, you do what you can, and you do some sort of service if you can't. Was the person a Vet? Donate to the local VA hospital time or books or some such thing.

#32 MercyA

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

:grouphug: to you, Bethany. Perhaps this Bible study would be helpful to you?
http://www.healinghearts.org/index.php

I have ministered in a related area for many years, and this is the best program of its kind I've seen. It is Scripturally based, and is written and led by women who have experienced the same loss and pain. You can either sign up for a group study in your area or do the study independently online. There is also a study specifically for men.

Praying for you today. :grouphug: You can't change the past, but this will be made right in eternity.

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3

#33 fairfarmhand

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

#34 Catwoman

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

I don't feel like it's *fair* for me to mourn a loss that is my own fault.It's kind of like I tell myself, "Well you did it to YOURSELF. You don't deserve to ever "get over it".


I think we all have a pretty good idea what you're talking about, and PLEASE try to remember that you were very young back then, and you did what you felt was best at the time. I'm sure you weren't happy about it, and that you felt trapped in a very scary situation and didn't know what else to do. It's very easy to look back now and say you should have done things differently, but you made the best decision you could at the time, based on both your maturity level, and on what was probably very intense fear and worry.

I believe that sometimes things happen as they do for a reason, and your life would be entirely different right now if you'd made a different choice. You wouldn't have the same children you have now. You might not even be alive today. You just don't know.

So please try to forgive yourself. It's OK to be sad sometimes and to wonder "what if," but you can't change the past, and if you had a crystal ball that let you see what would have happened if you'd made a different choice, you might not even want to change what you did.

:grouphug:

#35 HoppyTheToad

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

Bethany, I'll be praying for you.

I've noticed from your other posts over the last few months that you often seem to be very hard on yourself. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Let him take some of that burden from you.

#36 Twigs

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

This is the verse I thought of as I read your post. And remember, when God makes something new, it is good, perfect, and flawless.

Revelation 21:5 - Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

God will use even this hurt for good.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

#37 jrn

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

:grouphug:

#38 ---

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Bethany, I'll be praying for you.

I've noticed from your other posts over the last few months that you often seem to be very hard on yourself. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Let him take some of that burden from you.


I appreciate your observation. I've never thought of myself as being hard on myself. I'll pray about what you said.

#39 ktgrok

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:12 PM

First, you can forgive yourself and still be sad. I believe Jesus is sad too, and grieves with you. But forgiving means not being angry about it, or holding a grudge. Sadness is ok though, if it is something you are sad about.

If it is what I think it is, perhaps looking into Project Rachel. It is a way for people suffering the effects of that sin to find some comfort. I THINK the Catholic church runs it, but I can't imagine they would turn away someone that is of another denomination.

#40 misty.warden

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:13 PM

Sweetie there was more than one victim that day. Maybe try practicing being merciful to the younger you. I know with my mom it helped if she gave herself that day to really grieve. She was sad for the loss, sad for the situation that led to the loss, just sad. It is okay to be sad and it is okay to extend that young woman some grace. Then step forward and live the life that dear one would want you to. ((((((hugs))))))


:grouphug: I think sometimes God's forgiveness is even more precious when we really feel how our own is incomplete.

#41 aggieamy

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

Bethany - can I just give you a hug? I know you are going through so much right now. I'm also a person that's very hard on myself. When I read your title I instantly knew what you meant about forgiving yourself. My grandmother once told me in respect to me continually praying about forgiveness - "God has already forgiven you and forgotten about it. Why do you keep reminding him?" My grandmother had a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes it helps me to think of that.

#42 pdalley

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:17 PM

:grouphug:

#43 magnificent_baby

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

I don't have any advice but wanted to offer support and a hug, or three. :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

I will be praying for peace for you, and God's comfort and reassurance that you are indeed forgiven.

#44 justasque

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

......it's such a taboo subject that I only know ONE of my girlfriends who has been through it. Which means there are a lot of us carrying this burden alone, suffering in silence instead of allowing our sisters to come along side, bear our burdens with us, and lift us up in prayer.


You have every right to grieve.

I have found these quotes from poet Audre Lorde to be helpful in a variety of situations.

“Your silence will not protect you.”

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

Through hearing real women's real, complex stories, we can all move forward, stronger together than if we hide our truth from each other Lean into your truth.

:grouphug: :grouphug:
:grouphug:

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

Bethany - can I just give you a hug? I know you are going through so much right now. I'm also a person that's very hard on myself. When I read your title I instantly knew what you meant about forgiving yourself. My grandmother once told me in respect to me continually praying about forgiveness - "God has already forgiven you and forgotten about it. Why do you keep reminding him?" My grandmother had a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes it helps me to think of that.


Ha! Your grandmother sounds like a wise woman.

#46 ktgrok

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:21 PM

Also, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That doesn't just mean being nice to our neighbor. It means being as nice and loving and forgiving to ourselves as we are to our neighbor. But do contact Project Rachel. http://hopeafterabor...com/?page_id=88

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:21 PM

Sisters, ladies, thank you.

I already feel your prayers. Thank you for bearing my burden with me.

#48 Chelli

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Would you be able to volunteer with women in the same situation? Perhaps by helping walk them down this road and praying with them you will feel some peace, as well.


:iagree: This is what I did. I made the same decision as you when I was barely 18. It was very difficult for me and I still get a little depressed around the "anniversaries."

The thing that helped the most was going through post-@ counseling at a local crisis pregnancy center. Our last "assignment" was to write a letter to my child, apologizing for my decision, committing that child to the care of God, and knowing that I would see that child again. The verses about the death of David and Bathsheba's child were and are very comforting to me. When the baby dies, David stops grieving and this surprises the servants so they ask him why he is not fasting and praying now that the baby had died. He tells them that the baby can not come back to where he is, but he can go to the child one day. That is my promise as well. I have all of eternity to be the mother to my child that I was not at 18. Until that time I know my child is cradled in the arms of God and His angels.

At that point I began volunteering at the crisis pregnancy center. I have also used my story over the years to council other Christian women who have been or are in the same position and there are quite a few. This helped me to open up about my past and see that others don't judge because they see your strength, your humility, and your heart.

When my dh preaches on the subject or friends post things on Facebook about it, I still get twinges of guilt but I know that it is just Satan trying to bring me back from God's forgiveness.

I am always available to talk if it would make you feel better. Please pm me if would like.

So many prayers and hugs for you. A million times over.

#49 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

I need to go back and read all the suggestions because I know exactly how you feel, Bethany. :grouphug: I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me and then we should be fine, right? :grouphug:

#50 54879525

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

I have no advice, but wanted to offer a :grouphug: .


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