Do you sometimes feel a weight on your shoulders but can't figure out why it's there?
There are 2 aspects of forgiveness I would like to cover.
When I was a young girl, between the ages of, well I can't remember (maybe 2 1/2) and 8, I was molested. In most cases, you love the person because you're a child and don't know any better because they are someone close to you. You also feel that it's wrong and you feel ashamed and/or at fault. It's confusing.
As I got older and this person was no longer in my life, I felt anger. I realized that what this person did was wrong.
It wasn't until I forgave this person that I was free.
Is not forgiving someone holding you down?
I can answer that one, yes.
We can feel joy in our lives when we forgive.
We are human and we make mistakes all the time. God knew that we would and that's why he sent Jesus to atone for us. Sometimes we sin because we are weak, we don't want to say no. Sometimes we sin out of ignorance. Sometimes we sin willfully.
And then we feel terrible. It starts to weigh us down because we know what we did was wrong. We become hard on ourselves and dwell on our mistake day in and day out. This causes us to hit a wall in our lives. We don't realize how much it effects us and prevents us from moving forward.
Until we ask for forgiveness, the above continues.
I was beating myself up over a sin I had willingly took part in (even though it was years ago). I didn't realize that this sin was weighing me down so much. I had to talk to someone. So I went to my Bishop and told him what I was feeling. He offered me advice, 1) instead of taking the sacrament every week I was to think about my sin 2)I was to read a book called "The Miracle of Forgiveness" and 3) talk with my Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness. I mean true, deep forgiveness.
A week went by and what happened next was "the miracle of forgiveness". I was sitting in sacrament in the 2nd or 3rd row. We had someone from the stake visiting and sitting with the bishopric that day. The topic for the day was on "Temples" and the wonderful work that is done in the temple. I have a huge testimony of temples. I had never met this man, nor did I know of him. He asked my bishop (as he pointed to me) if I would come up and bare my testimony of the Temple. My bishop told him no, that I was going through a repenting and he didn't think it was a good idea. The gentleman was upset.
A couple days later I was following up with my bishop. He informed me what happened that Sunday and asked me how I was doing. I told him the book was incredible and how it made me realize how much Jesus had done for me. I wept as I read the book and I was starting to forgive myself. He told me the gentleman from the stake wanted to talk to him that night about me and that he would follow up with me.
A couple of days later he told me that the gentleman was bothered by my bishop's response to not allowing me to bare my testimony because the spirit had moved him so much to ask me to do it and he didn't know why. He found out my story of the Temple later on and understood why. The gentleman then told my bishop that the spirit had wanted him to tell my bishop to tell me "it is done". I was forgiven! Those three words lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and I felt joy that I had missed for so long.
Forgiveness is something that has to be done constantly. It renews our spirits.
If we will forgive and ask to be forgiven then we will live a life full of joy and happiness and be positive at the same time.