I want to forgive but cant forget.!

Nokuthula - posted on 06/12/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I'm a single christian mom of a 2.5 year old boy. I feel ashamed to call my self a christian at times because i know if JESUS were in my position, He wouldnt do what i do.
When my "born again" husband & baby's father decided to divorce me and marry another woman It brought great pain to me...I had a lot of encouragement from other ladies at my church, but i still cant let go of the anger. I had to stop going to that particular church since my ex-mom-in-law goes to the same church. I want to bring myself closer to them as acknowledgement of forgiveness on myside, but have i really forgiven?
I allow my son visits every month with his gran & dad, but i have difficulty allowing the dad to take him for overnight visits.
can anyone help, how can i get past this?

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Heather - posted on 06/13/2010

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I for one, have been there. My ex husband left me for another woman also. It was hard. I never thought I would get past it. At first I tried being his friend thinking that God might eventually restore our relationship, but after the many extra heartaches caused by that, I chose to move to a new town. I can honestly tell you that I am thankful for my ex hurting me so much. It helped me grow as a mom, and as a Christian. I have two wonderful children that he is allowing my new husband to adopt (so he doesn't have to pay child support on), and I would have never moved away and met my new husband if it wasn't for him. He is no longer in our lives in anyway, but his parents are. My boys are actually going to spend several weeks this summer at their house. They might see their dad while there, but they might not. Their grandparents understand the situation and do their best to work with me to stay in contact with the kids. Last summer they didn't even tell the boys dad that they were staying with them...

I guess that what I want you to take from all this is that God has a plan for your life. Plans to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11) Your anger only allows your ex to keep hurting you. It keeps the pain fresh. I would recommend start looking at the positive side of the situation. He did divorce you and not spend years cheating on you, or beating you. Your marriage produced your child(ren). Find the things to be thankful for, and pray that God will not only grant you peace with your situation, but also forgive you for your anger and help you to look to the future instead of the past.

I will be praying for you.

Victoria - posted on 06/12/2010

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We can forgive, but that doesn't mean we forget....Only God forgets when He forgives. We can forgive, but still experience hurt & feelings of anger. Just because we forgive doesn't mean everything automatically changes and we have feeling of love & joy toward the person or persons.

Once we've determined to forgive, then that's when we truly need God to help us in that situation, lead us, does He even want us to continue in a friendship etc with that person. We can forgive someone, but if they haven't acknowledge their sin & what they did was wrong & asked God for forgiveness that can still cause a hinderance in relation to us & them. We can forgive them for what they have done towards us, but if they have stepped outside of Gods word & ways, they still have to ask him for forgiveness.

I will keep you in prayer. May God let His love flow in your life, may you be strengthened by His word.

Judy - posted on 04/15/2011

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Some injuries take a long time to heal. The tricky thing with forgiveness, and why it is so hard for you to let go is that it does not sound like you ex has asked for forgiveness. There are 2 components to forgiveness, the person & the behavior. When someone asks you for forgiveness, they acknowledge their behavior has hurt you. That is when you are forgiving both the person and the behavior. But when you can only forgive the person, and the behavior is still out there, it takes far more grace to let go. Keep praying for wisdom and grace. I would even suggest you let the ex-mom-in law know that even though you have forgiven the people, it is harder for you to forgive an ongoing behavior that continues to cause you pain. Ask her to pray for you too. It will get easier over time... I know everyone says that, but it really will. Just take one day at a time and ask God for enough grace to get through just that one day. As far as having trouble letting your son stay overnight with dad, keep in mind your child will be aware of your anxiety over this. So don't let him stay unless it is court ordered, and you have to. If the dad wants to know why, be honest and tell him that he has never acknowledged how his choices and actions hurt you and it is hard for you to trust.

Rebekah - posted on 04/12/2011

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Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetfulness - I wish we could be like God and forgive then throw it into the sea of forgetfulness, but we are humans, and God gave us memories.

All I can tell you is pray for the peace of God upon you, cast out the spirit of anger, and then give your heart to God to hold, He will take care of it, He will mend it, He will cherish it. People will hurt you, and it's hardest when it's the ones that you cherish most to your heart... but at some point you have to make the decision to be the Big Girl and get past it. I can promise you many women on this board have a story they can share, but those that have gotten over it, had to make the decision. It's a decision you must make.

Cindy - posted on 06/12/2010

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First of all I think that you need to stop thinking of forgiving and forgetting being one in the same because they are not. You can and do forgive but you never forget. In time in can seem to disappear and be forgotten about, but then something happens and it jumps right out at you. I know this as I was attacked 20 years ago last month and I have a beautiful 19 year old from the attack and believe it or not, I have forgiven the man, but I never forget. Many bad things happen to us in our lives but you must forgive in order to move on but don't feel like you have to forget. I believe that we are left with the memories of these things so that we can learn from them. If we forget what happens and causes injury, we will turn around and do the same things over and over again. So I say work on the forgiving and stop trying to forget. Ask God to help you to forgive and then move on and trust again. Not only for you but for your son as well. God is ther to help---NOW LET HIM!!!!!!!!!! (not yelling, just stressing) :)

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Lori - posted on 04/16/2011

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Pray, pray, pray...Remember, it's all in God's time. If I can overcome the way I have and am still being treated by my ex and still continue to pray for him, trust me, you will get there too!! God Bless you hon! :)

Kat - posted on 04/14/2011

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Forgivness is not the same as forgetting. It also does not mean that you are excusing him for whatever he did in the marriage, or whatever he is doing now. Forgivness is for YOUR benifite only, because until you forgive him, you will be linked to him in a sort of bondage.
For me - and yes, I have an Ex as well - instead of trying to do what I thought Jesus would do, etc, I just continued to seek Him. I didn't concentrate on my Ex, or what I was doing, or even how hard it was to forgive him. I just concentrated on Jesus. It was - and still is - a process, but God has changed my heart, and He will yours too.
As a Christian, Jesus is inside of me, He defines who I am, and every move I make. Instead of focusing on how hard it is to forgive, focus on how you can let your Ex and his family see Him in you. I know it's hard. My Ex sees my every 6 months, and only pays child support when his liscence is about to be suspended. But my Son still loves his Daddy, so whenever he wants to see him, and his family I let him, knowing that one day my son will know the truth.

If you can, find a DivorceCare group near you - www.divorcecare.org - and go through their course. It changed my life.

Carla - posted on 04/09/2011

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Sweetie, you will never forget. The memories and pain get less and less, but will always be there. We CHOOSE to forgive, and that in itself is a long process. You start out gritting your teeth saying 'I forgive you', and you say it a hundred times a day, each time it comes to your mind. It gets less and less often that you have to do it. Walking in forgiveness is the same as walking in faith. Sometimes your faith waivers, until you build it up. Forgiveness is the same way. But start walking it.

Love is a choice, and forgiveness is a choice. Keep at it, hold onto our Lord. 'The Shack' by Wm Young is a beautiful story about a tragic situation, about the love the Trinity has for us, and how forgiveness is possible. I can't recommend it enough.

God bless, honey, we are here for you.

Ifeoma - posted on 04/09/2011

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wow. the main reason for you to let go is so that you can move on with your life, secondly, your attitude will ruboff on your son. forgiving especially when the hurt is deep is difficult. difficult is not impossible. ask God to help you.

Shalaina - posted on 07/14/2010

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I had the same problem (different situation), it took me a very long time to forgive my parents....probably because I was in the situation so long....but I worked at it everyday and even talked to one of the Pastors at a church camp that I was a counselor at. He was a great help and with time I did forgive but I will NEVER forget, even though sometimes I wish I could.
Do you have a Pastor or anyone that you can talk to? Like the others have said, pray and it will take time! You are in our prayers!

C - posted on 07/09/2010

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Darling NK, You are Christ's work in progress. The fact that you know you can do better demonstrates that Christ is in your heart. Once you have prayed for forgiveness of the sin of unforgiveness, and have prayed for the ability to forgive, add to the prayer a reminder to you from the Holy Ghost that through the Blood of Jesus God hears and answers prayer. Then as you do not doubt in your heart that your mountain will be removed (Matt 11:22-24), pay attention and one day the Holy Ghost will make you aware that you have forgiven and you can share your son with your first husband and his family without malice. I am praying for you. Love, C

Amy - posted on 06/30/2010

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I am so sorry for this pain that you have not earned. Losses like these take longer for us to recover from. I think you need to dial your expectations back a bit. Don't be so hard on yourself! Perhaps you should set a goal, and mini goals to get there... baby steps. :)

While God wants us to forgive... expects us to forgive, I don't thinik he expects it of us at the snap of our fingers. Maybe you want to say "in 6 months, I want to have no feelings of anger when I see him or his family, or about visitation" and then work on seeing your ex mother in law at church, or in other social situations. Then work on something else... always working toward your goal.

I'll pray for you, and the quietness your spirit is seeking. For me, it helps to remember that God loves the people who wronged me, and will (or did) forgive them for their wrongs... and he also forgave me for all the ways I've wronged HIM. Makes it easier for me to forgive even the tough stuff knowing that I'm responsible for Him on the cross.

Renee - posted on 06/30/2010

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Sometimes in difficult situations like this it's helpful to quite trying to "get over it" and spend some time in quiet with the Lord "with" the anger. Take it out and really look at it. Even acknowledge where it sits in your body and give that to God. (I used to get stomach aches and being honest with Jesus about what was causing that helped.) This anger will have many facets - such betrayel is deep and very personal. It touches your expectations, your dreams, your values, your pride. God can truly unravel the tangle of emotion if you will take it wholly and piece by piece to Him.

It may sound silly but I also found that a physical outlet is helpful. Some physical way to express those powerful surges of emotion. I guess I'm kinesthetic enough that by dispersing some of the anger physically I was more capable of surrendering emotionally to the truth and healing of the Spirit.

Be willing, believe and let the Spirit transform your pain into wisdom and compassion.

Andrene - posted on 06/28/2010

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Just remember to be called a christain is to be Christlike and as you have said Christ would have forgiven. The bible says forgive seventy times 7 which I know is not easy as humans. What happened I am sure was difficult, but how does continious angry changes the situation? who is feeling the pain and do you need to continue punishing yourself. Think of these things. Or do you acknowlege life is not always fare and move on and I am sure your provider which is the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to provide for your every need.

What you need is peace, once you find this inner peace you will see forgiving will become natrually and you will do what is best for you and your son.

IFEOMA - posted on 06/26/2010

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forgiveness is sometimes difficult. Ask for God's help. you need to move on. for your own sake forgive and let go

Sherran - posted on 06/26/2010

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In my 15 years of marriage I've gone through so much hurt, and now we are legally separated, but I know what you as it relates to forgiveness....but what helps me the scripture. Matt 6:15. Its hard but I keep the word in my heart.

Janet - posted on 06/23/2010

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The same thing happened to me a long time ago. My husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore. We are both born again, but he had no problem asking me to leave. My daughter was 2 and I had to move back in with my parents. I thought the pain would never go away. FORGIVE, I didn't even consider it for about 4 years, then God made me realize that if I didn't forgive him, then I couldn't grow spiritually. I realized that God forgives us as we forgive those who trespass against us. I began to actually pray for my ex-husband - that helped me forgive him totally. It's hard to hold a grudge against someone you're praying for.

Darcy - posted on 06/23/2010

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You can't get past it you can just trust in the Lord and grow. It is always hard when one parent is saved and the other is not but trust in what you teach your son and in God that He will keep him safe. When he is with you make sure you let him know what is righ and wrong and trust your teaching will go with him. You have the Lord on you side Remember All things are possible in Christ Jesus Have Faith and write me anytime

Maria - posted on 06/22/2010

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you know what to do when u pray if u ve any pic to JESUS just stand infront of tht pic look at his eyes and tell him i know tht i m sinner and u always forgive me but i cant forgive him can u please help me to forgive bec i m really hurt

Cindy - posted on 06/22/2010

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Not to long ago my husband got angry and hit my daughter several times. I called the police and only filed a report, but come to find out, he had done this sort of thing before during the past 25 years. And yes, I can forgive him, but my daughter(not his) and I moved out back to my home. I will not forget what he has done, due to I cannot let it happen again. So forgetting is sometimes a thing where you sort of cannot forget what happened, or it may happen again. I know that does not sound Christian, but that is one of my things.
You are doing the best for your son by letting him see his dad and that is good. So, do not be to hard on yourself. Forgiving is the important part.

Debra - posted on 06/19/2010

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Hi Nokuthula, I have experienced a bad marriage in my life. My son was 10 months old when his father kept leaving us and going out doing what he was bad enough to do.He took our son to a crack house and left him. He was suppose to have been born again too! But, he did it. I use to tell God to let something happen to him just so, I would not feel so bad. I even thought of suicide. All of that went on for a while. But, finally my sister in Christ, I had to forgive and move on. Now, since I have forgiven God has been mighty in my life. He has given me the husband I should have waited on in the first place. Just, because we marry someone it does not mean that God called us to that marriage. I allowed this marriage to happen. I was lonely and wanted to say I was a married woman. you see I had my own issues and that is why it ended like it did. Forgive, and watch God move. Forget, no. I have not forgotten, but now I just use it to Glorify God in what it has brought me through. I love you in the Lord, and He wants you free. I have recently published a new book. It is entitled; The Woman On The Inside Is Greater Than You See! www.Xlibris.com. When you can you need to read this book, and you will see what I went through in my journey! You and your son be blessed. Don't allow your past to dictate your future!! God loves you and you are more valuable than that!!

Lorraine Alicia - posted on 06/19/2010

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Letting go of anger is not easy it's only through trusting in God can we truly forgive anyone. Just hold on God lay all your cares upon him ask him to take this anger away, it's because of your anger and hurt you can not forgive. When your anger and hurt starts to go away forgiveness will come. And remember forgiveness does not means everthing is ok it just mean you have decided to let go and move on with God.



I have been in a situation where i taught i could not let go of the hurt and anger and move on but it's only through God i made it through. I and i can throughly say i forgive that person and the taught of them does not send me crazy anymore.

Sunny - posted on 06/18/2010

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You have to find a day where you sit in the park with a friend and tell her or him how you feel and then cry and pray, ask the Lord to give you strength to carry on and over come this barrier. You will make it God promises that He will never leave you alone.

Dee - posted on 06/15/2010

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Forgiveness comes in time with the healing. We are told to forgive as God has forgiven us of our sins. Otherwise, his dying on the cross would have been in vain. Forgetting on the other hand is not as easy. However; God never closes one door without opening another. He may have closed the door on this chapter of your life, but he is starting a new chapter in your life as well. Hang in there. With God, all things are possible.

Mary - posted on 06/14/2010

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I'm going to try to keep this to as few words as possible so if it gets confusing email me for a longer clarification.
When the Bible says that God remembers someone it doesn't mean that He ever forgot them. It means that the time is ripe to act on a circumstance. When it says that He has forgotten something He doesn't really lose the knowledge of the event, He is omniscient, right; rather it means that He has chosen not to act on it again.
This is what it means for us to FORGIVE and FORGET. Since we are made in God's image and if we claim to be His children and believers than we strive to be like Him.
Therefore, you will never truly "let go" of the knowledge of what has happened. (BTW - I'm sorry for your loss and pain). However, with His help you can, moment by moment some days, choose to take your thoughts captive and ask Him to heal your pain. You can forgive because it is life and death for you to do it. Forgiving is also a decision of your will. You don't have to like it. You just have to do it. As you walk out this forgiveness daily He will honor your attempts and ease your failures with comfort and acceptance. You can always start again with Him.
Pray for help, pray for him too, he is in a dangerous place even though he seems not to be aware of it. Surround yourself with good and Godly council from Bible believing people. Get involved with others who can point you to a closer walk with the Lord and not let you nurse your pain.
Bitterness and unforgiveness can hinder not only your relationship with others but also your growth with God.
Sorry I've been so blunt but it is a deep and conflicting topic and I wanted to be as concise as possible. Hope it helped to hear the truth in love.

Stephanie Jo - posted on 06/13/2010

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hi, the only thing i can say is to pray and lean on the Lord. I have never been in that situation






Lean on the Lord.

Vicki - posted on 06/13/2010

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Hi, I don't have much to add - it has been said by the others very well - look to Christ, Pray for guidance and as someone who has been through this also, (I did not handle it well at the time) keep in mind what is best for the child/ren, one thing I did right was to keep up contact with the fathers parents. I am still good friends with his mum (his dad has passes away) and children really benefit from having their family around and there for them!

Melanie - posted on 06/13/2010

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Have you looked into finding Christian Counselling Services? You're going through the grieving process and what you're feeling is NORMAL. Being a Christian doesn't make you any less human! Having a Christian Counselor to help you through this may help. Praying for ya! :-)

Sherri - posted on 06/13/2010

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You will go on with your life. It does take time, but I promise you will look back and say wow. I can't believe that I was in that situation. God has a purpose for every move in our and your life. Give it to him, and watch the process of healing.

Mary - posted on 06/13/2010

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Well it isn't easy to forgive some things that have hurt us really bad. I also have many areas in my life where I need to forgive people for hurting me and I'm still working on this. It's not easy but it must be done because otherwise it will leave us feeling bitter and bitterness will make us unhappy people and will destroy us both mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and also cause many physical problems. Like my mil who is a very angry bitter person. However, just because you come to terms with these issues and forgive the person does NOT mean you will forget about it. However, when you do remember them they will be less painful. I don't know if you've ever heard of Joyce Meyer. She preaches on tv and on the radio as well. She talks a lot about her past abuse she suffered from sexually from her father etc. She obviously hasn't forgotten about it but she isn't still angry and bitter towards her parents for how they treated her. I hope someday to be able to reach this point myself so I'm not only preaching to you but to me as well. Anyway, our minds our like computer screens. What you put in them they remember. Sometimes it comes out in our dreams sometimes other ways but once someone has said something or done something to you it can't be forgotten. That's why it's so extremly important to be careful what we say to others like our kids because once the words have gone forth there is no taking them back and they can leave permentant scars for life sometimes. Remember you have the power of life or death in your tongue. What you say to someone you can actually cause to happen. Anyway, my point is that forgiveness is a must but that doesn't mean you will forget and it doesn't mean you have to go back to the person who hurt you and get close to them again and be friends with them and allow yourself to get hurt again. That would be unwise and God doesn't expect us to allow ourselves to continually get hurt over and over like that. While we don't have to hate the person we don't have to be best buddies with them either and allow ourselves to be used continuously. Hope some of what I said helps you. That's all I want to do is be used of God to help others. Have a great day.

Pam - posted on 06/13/2010

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Your ex mother in law can't help what her son did to you.Unless she is standing up for what he did then maybe you should go back to your church.Leaving the church didn't solve your problems that was running away from them.Think about how you would feel if it was the other way around how much you would miss your children.Forgive and put all in Gods hands,he can work miracles

Anne - posted on 06/12/2010

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HI Nokuthula, Forgiveness much like Love is not so much a felling as it is a decision. When we fail to forgive we hurt ourselves often more than the person we need to forgive. It takes like many of our moms have said lots and lots of Prayer, and staying in God's Word. I know for me when I have failed to forgive someone it has gotten in the way of my relationship with God. However God can and will help you to forgive all of the individuals that had a part in your pain.

I agree with what Victoria said about God wanting you to have a relationship with these people. I also will keep you in my Prayers.

CATHY - posted on 06/12/2010

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PLEASE DON'T MAKE THE CHILDREN PAY ,FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE,THEY LOVE AND NEED THE GUIDIANCE OF THEIR GRANDPARENTS TOO.JUST ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU THE COURAGE TO DO WHAT RIGHT FOR THE CHILDREN,THEN WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR MOVE,GOD WILL DO HIS,AND HEAL YOUR HEART,HURTS AND PAIN.PRAY THAT HELPS,BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER IS KEEPING ME FROM SEEING MY GRANDCHILDREN,AND ONE I HELPED HER ALMOST RAISE HIM TILL HE WAS 4 ,AND I HAVEN'T SEEN THEM IN 5 YRS,AND WE LIVE IN SAME TOWN,AND IT BREAKS MY HEART.,BECAUSE I KNOW THEY MISS AND LOVE ME AS MUCH AS I DO THEM.LIFE IS TOO SHORT ,AND SO IS THE TIME BEFORE JESUS COMES TO TAKE US HOME ,NOT TO FORGIVE,AND GOD WILL TAKE IT AWAY,YOU MAY BE KEEPING YOURSELF FROM RECIEVING BLESSING GOD HAS FOR YOU,BECAUSE OF IT.LET GO AND LET GOD.

Kat - posted on 06/12/2010

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Lots & lots of prayer. Reading the bible. And reminding yourself every day to try & be more like Jesus. Ask yourself all the time in every situation "What would Jesus do right now"?? Do it until it becomes 2nd nature. I know exactly how you feel. I am working through some forgiveness issues myself. One of my biggest hurdles is me - I don't forgive, I never have. I am so bad at it. I feel justified in my anger & don't seem to be able to let go of it. I have had to work extremely hard. It's an on going battle. I just hand it over to God to deal with & ask for his Will to be done in my life & let it go.
The anger you carry is hurting you & no one else. You are the one suffering. Let yourself be free of it, you deserve to be free of it.

Chrystal - posted on 06/12/2010

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That would be a very difficult situation to be in. It takes time for wounds to heal. Keep praying that the Lord will help you to forgive. I know that God has a plan. Perhaps you could pray that He will help you to understand His plan or just to have peace with your situation. I will be praying for you.

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