There is one topic that I had hoped never to have to write about: relapse. I have had such victories in my life, and I have been reminded of them as I write these posts. These personal revelations have been such a testimony of what God is doing in my life! I have come so far. Dumb, Stupid, and Ugly have been laid to rest, I have worked through many fears and phobias, and I have really dealt with issues of forgiveness and bitterness. But this week, I suffered a relapse along my path to healing and health. Life was cruising along, and then it happened: a relapse.
As I have mentioned in previous accounts, I have had to forgive some people for some hurtful situations in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. I have written letters to the offenders, dated the letters, and filed them in a place where I could be reminded that I had let go of that situation and, so, laid it to rest. At least, that is what I thought I had done. But God knows our hearts. He is always working on us so that we can be approved, tried, and tested, so that one day we can stand before Him and say that we have finished our course and finished it well.
Well, one particular situation—one particular person—that I thought I had given completely to God and that I would never have to face again suddenly reappeared in my life. (How easy it is to forgive someone, knowing that he is out of your life and out of your hands.) But one day, out of the blue and entirely unexpected, a person I had forgiven and put away slipped back into my life. Let’s just say my reaction to the news was horrible.
I relapsed into a former emotional state immediately. I started crying uncontrollably, feeling those old feelings of hurt and anger. Bad feelings overwhelmed me. But wait a minute. Hadn’t I already forgiven and moved on? What was happening? Had I really forgiven? I just kept beating myself up. A situation that I had written about only weeks earlier was now crashing mercilessly around me. What was happening?
I was so out of whack that I stopped and called my counselor for help. She reminded me about what I had written on this topic, and she reminded me that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I had fallen for the enemy’s tactic again. But this time I was not going to stay under his control. I would remember the Truth. I would go to the same Scriptures that I had leaned on before.
The Truth is this: Yes, I had forgiven, but now I needed to make the choice to forgive again. I had to give the situation to God again and continue to believe all the promises that He had been showing me. I must rest in Him again and always.
God spoke to me through the next Sunday’s sermon, a lesson about having victories in our lives and finishing the job God had given us to do. 1 John 5:4 says this: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (NAS). Our victory comes not from what we say but from what we do. It comes from finishing the race. According to Revelation 21:7, “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son” (NAS). Every day God tests me and tries me so that I can be true, so that I can inherit all the things that He has promised. So I must walk one day at a time with my forgiveness and bitterness, and I must be diligent so that I can be an overcomer.
Have you had a relapse into a former state of mind and spirit? Have you fallen or slipped? Stop now! Confess it to God, recall the past victories, move forward daily, forgive, pray for your enemies, read the Scriptures, and pray for strength to be an overcomer. I messed up this week. It happens, but I want to be an overcomer. Do you? If so, then let’s cry, weep if we must, get over it, and move on. God is waiting to give you your inheritance and to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You finished the job well.”
Blessings – Lisa