even those I hold captive in my heart.
I look out of my window and all I see is gloom. The grounds are saturated from the early morning thunderstorms. I’m sure as reports come in this morning, I’ll learn of the devastation that occurred throughout the state last night.
While the day seems dim from the storms, there is a sun shining ever so brightly in my heart this morning.
As I talked with a close friend(A) last night, I was triggered by a comment she made concerning a mutual friend(B). I was immediately taken back to a place of deep pain as I thought about my past interactions with friend(B). A place in which I thought I had been making progress. The reality is, I have been making progress. But, as I recently learned, sometimes this “healing business” is like peeling back layers on an onion.
I told myself, following a conference I attended this past weekend, that I would try to immediately take my “triggered feelings” to God. Triggers come from unresolved traumatic experiences. My goal is to not run from the pain. And when I feel it, take it directly to Jesus to see what He wants to say about it.
I gave it to Jesus last night and went to sleep.
I shared my triggering moment with a prayer partner this morning who was happy to help me take it to Jesus again and see if He had anything to say. We began by reflecting on an “appreciation moment”. This is simply a moment that you feel strong appreciation for something. Like an “ah!” moment. They generally involve warm and pleasant feelings (i.e. a baby’s smile, nature’s beauty, moment of kindness from someone, etc.). The following is what we saw.
I saw my friend(B) as young child. With terror in her eyes she clinched a stuffed animal tightly in her arms while being scolded by her mother. Jesus comes and kneels down beside her and puts an arm around her to bring comfort. He turns his head to the left, looks at me, and says, “Please forgive her.” Then, He rises up, walks over to the mother and places His hand on her heart until she calms down.
Prayer of release
Friend(B), I forgive you. I forgive you for manipulating me, whether you knew what you were doing or not. You were only doing what you knew how to do. I release you from this debt. You do not owe me anything. You do not have to pay me back for the time I lost with my other friends. I release you from this prison. I forgive you.
Of course, many tears accompanied this prayer. Oh, how I had been carrying that pain for a while now. I couldn’t help but go back to my “place of appreciation” with Jesus. He has done it again. He has taken my gloom and filled my life with His glory!
At the visions end, Jesus walks over to me and embraces me in His arms. I feel His extreme pleasure and delight. I feel like I can love again without fear of being manipulated. I feel like I can move on without the guilt of allowing myself to be taken advantage of.
I was a captive in the same prison I erected in my heart for my friend(B). Jesus came this morning to set us both free.
Whom the Son sets free, is FREE indeed! Have you tasted of the freedom Jesus brings? Does it take you back to a place of appreciation?