My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

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9 Responses to “My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past”

  1. serena e Says:

    Wow! Forgiveness is a powerful thing that requires constant effort. I can remember making a decision 2 forgive my father for my childhood, but when things came up as an adult I experience some of the same negative emotions. I had John there 2 quickly remind me of that decision and 2 love him inspite of his flaws. I didn’t realize at the time I forgave him that it would take sooo much work on my part even years later… Great post!

  2. John Wilder Says:

    Hey Joanna:
    We must remember thzt Satan is walking about like a roaring lion seeking those he can destroy.

    Forgiveness is for you more than for the rapist. It restores your innner peace and no longer gives power to Satan and your attacker.

    My own father was horribly abusive and sadistic and loved to inflict pain on me and my brothers. I have forgiven him but have excluded him from my life. He is poisonous and there is nothing wrong with excluding him. I was also sexually abused by a catholic priest. I could have joined in the lawsuits against the Catholic church but chose not to.

    It caused me to question all of catholic doctrine and study scripture for myself. I then realized that catholic doctrine is a cult and mostly contrary to what the bible teaches.

    Roimans 8:28 still applies and I have become a better man because of my experiences. I now work in the helping professions and can relate to the horror stores told to me.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  3. joannawillis Says:

    Thank you both so much for reading and sharing! God is faithful! He gives us the strength needed to walk in love n forgiveness!

  4. Janna Thomas Says:


  5. Danielle Ferguson Says:

    This was beautifully written, and so true. You’re growth and healing show. If it didn’t you would have been in a much different place. It could have triggered hidden responses that would affect you right now, but you truly moved past it and put your trust in God. Your peace is proof. Thank the Lord for you!

  6. Lalisha Says:

    This is truly encouraging! There are things I’m holding on to from the past that I’m slowly letting go and letting God guide the way!!
    I thank God that he saw you through this situation and it just encourages me to stay close to him because I know he will see me through the things that I am holding on to!

    • joannawillis Says:

      Hey lady! Thanks for reading! I’m glad the post can be encouraging to others who are on their journey toward forgiveness. I know the road seems long but God is walking with you every step of the way!! Let go and give the issues over to God! Its one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!!

  7. Diane M. Waltman Says:

    Diane M Waltman‎My Life with Jesus

    I was sexually, mentally, emotionally and verbally abused by my grandfather as far back as I can remember. He did many terrible things, some of which are too distasteful for me to talk about publicly. I want to share my testimony, because so many people have been hurt, and they need to realize that someone has made it through their struggles so they can have hope. More than anything, I want you to know and really understand that anyone who has been abused can fully recover if they will give their life completely to the Lord…It may seem impossible, but God’s truth has set me free from a life of pretense and lies and has restored my soul. I am living proof that nothing is too hard for God. No matter what you’ve been through or how bad you’ve been hurt, there is hope!
    My book is available at Amazon and I would love for each person who has liked this page to order a copy. Each copy sold will go toward the prevention of child abuse across the country and world. To order a copy of, The Little Girl Inside, go to God Bless you

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