A sorority sister once asked me if I found my boyfriends in the unemployment line. Because she was hilarious, and because she was sort of right, I forgave her. However, after a bad string of relationships in college it was much harder to forgive myself. In fact, I thought if I felt bad enough about my imperfect choices I could punish myself back into God’s good graces. Wrong! According to Psalm 103:12, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” My Heavenly Father forgives me, so I am forgiven.
...Because your past will always be there, my best advice is to deal with it. You are forgiven by God, but you can’t rely on feeling forgiven to remind you of your new freedom.
For me, I had to fill my mind with constant reminders of my identity as a forgiven person. When I didn’t feel forgiven, I would remind myself of certain verses. Instead of reliving a vivid memory when a certain song came on the radio, I would say “thank you God for forgiving me,” and then I would read Psalm 103. Salve to my wounded heart. If your heart feels raw when a particularly awful memory flashes through your mind, try having your own go-to verse to remind yourself that you are forgiven. The sting of bad memories can and does fade when you replace the devil’s lie with God’s truth of forgiveness.
When Anthony and I were dating—wow, our relationship was different than my others—he gave me a bookmark that had a chart on it. On one side of the chart were lies and the other truth of how God felt about me. I didn’t really understand all the words on the chart because it was written in churchy (annoying) language, so I made my own chart of what helped me the most…