Saturday, March 20, 2010
A new heart.
Forgiveness. It's one of the hardest things that we, as people, are required to do by God. To some of us it's one of those words we would just rather not hear. But, on the contrary, it's one of the most beautiful words that you CAN hear. Forgiveness can breathe life into a dead relationship. It can bring healing to your broken heart. It can replace a lifetime of anger and turmoil with a future of love and peace. It can bring you to a place of freedom. In August of last year, I was scheduled to have a routine surgery. The night before the surgery, I had a very sleepless night. My nerves had somehow got the best of me, and I just couldn't rest. The surgery involved me being put to sleep, which I had done before, but not for this amount of time. My mind raced. During some point I was finally exhausted enough to fall asleep. While I was asleep I dreamed of a certain person in my life. In my dream this person was crying uncontrollably. This person had hurt my family in the past and I had allowed my heart to grow a huge seed of bitterness and unforgiveness. The thought of this person caused me to feel things that I had never felt before, bad things. And although on the outside I was still the joyful christian, the loving wife, the attentive mother to her children and doing all I could to lead a godly life, I was living a lie on the inside of my heart. Unforgiveness can take you to an ugly place within yourself. I awoke the next morning with a very heavy heart. How could I go into a surgery with this much bitterness and unforgiveness? What if something would happen to me during surgery and I go to meet God with all of this on my heart? I had to make things right with HIM. I prayed that HE would forgive me and replace my unforgiveness with compassion and love for this person. I believed that God forgave me and the heaviness that I once had felt was lifted from my spirit. My surgery came and went and everything seem to go well, or so we thought. The last thing I remember was feeling an excrutiating amount of pain. The pain medicine they had given me just wasn't helping. So, I had asked the nurse to please contact the doctor to see what she could do. That's it. The next thing I knew I was slowly waking up in a very groggy state. My husband was sitting on my left side holding my hand, and there were nurses and doctors, in every direction, where I looked in my hospital room. What had happened? I had died. The pain medication that they had given me had caused my heart to stop. After several minutes of performing CPR and other life saving techniques, my heart began to beat again. I do not have any memory of the experience itself. I do not know how long I was gone. I do not know if I had a heavenly experience or not. But I do know, for a few minutes in time, I was gone. A couple of days later when I returned home, the reality of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks. I died! The overwhelming feeling, that I had made it home to my family, was almost too much for me to bare. I began to cry like I had never cried before. And then it hit me...what if I hadn't asked for forgiveness from God and given it to that person who had hurt me. I might have faced God with all of that on my heart. But I didn't. My bitterness was replaced with forgiveness. Since then, my life has changed. I'm still the joyful christian, the loving wife, the attentive mother to my children and I'm still doing my best to lead a godly life. But, where there once was a heart that beat unforgiveness, there is now a heart that beats with God's forgiveness. So, did I get to see God's face that day? I may never know. The one thing I did get... was a new heart. Psalm 86:5 "You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call you." Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."