You can watch the entire service by clicking on the link above.
This is the message spoken from the heart that was shared at my church on Sunday and now is the first thing you see on my website. If you have ever wondered how I have become to be the person I am today it came out of Forgiveness. Something so many struggle with. I struggled for the longest time with this concept and can even remember a time someone talked to me about forgiving one of my abusers and I thought they were out of their mind and was actually offended they would even think I should consider one day forgiving this person that did such horrible things to me.
You don’t truly know what forgiveness does until you experience it. Suddenly all that anger, rage, bitterness, and hatred I felt was lifted and the rest is history. An outspoken activist, author, and speaker was born. Something I never imagined I would be doing. I found the peace, joy, and freedom I longed for and suddenly started waking up everyday after that filled with so much gratitude and a mission.
After the service on Sunday I had many people coming up to speak to me. Many sharing with me their own experiences with abuse and how they just can’t imagine forgiving the person that did this to them. As I told each person that has ever said this to me. It takes time not something that happens overnight but one day you will wake up and realize you are not going to spend another day holding onto anger, rage, bitterness, and hatred towards the person or persons that hurt you. From that day forward you will wake with a new sense of peace, freedom, and realization how many days, weeks, months, or years you allowed this person who hurt you continue to hurt you by staying angry and not forgiving. In the end if you never reach that place of forgiveness you become your own worst enemy because you are always holding onto that anger, rage, and hatred that is just festering inside of you. You will discover the peace I am talking about when you reach that place of forgiveness and will discover the rewards it brings. My life changed when I choose to forgive and I wouldn’t change it for the life of me. I have witnessed God’s amazing grace on my life ever since.
A year ago today Governor Quinn signed Erin’s Law. Since then Missouri passed Erin’s Law and 9 more states (Indiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine) are introducing it in 2012. Here I am last week on CNN. None of this would be possible had I not taken the path to forgiveness. I will end this here as I have a conference call with several senators who are introducing Erin’s Law in Minnesota.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. –Luke 6:37
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you– Matt 5:44-45
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.-Mark 11:25