Unshackle Yourself!

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I enjoy thinking about all the romantic aspects of love; the kindness, tenderness, compassion, kisses, and hugs. I believe the more we focus on the beauty of the loves in our lives – the positive things – the more joy we seemingly have. But what if we can’t move forward in love due to some hurts and resentments from the past? They can be like a ball and chain, clamping us down and sapping our everyday energy, keeping us in a place of desolation and ugliness.

I want to plead with you today to take off that ball and chain. It isn’t locked on you; you have a choice to either wear it or walk away from it.

There are several causes of resentment in our lives, including what people say about us, what they think about us, and what they do to us. When I first married Dan, his ex-wife and I would periodically talk on the phone when there was a situation with one of the kids. Resentment abounded. She caused chaos; and she planted seeds of doubt in my mind regarding my ability as a parent. I didn’t want another woman in my husband’s life! I was handful enough for Dan! Take a moment to let God reveal to you where you have some resentments in your life.

The problem with resentment is it is unreasonable, unhelpful, and unhealthy. The book of Job gives us very clear scriptures regarding resentment. Job 5:2 says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.” Job 18:4 says, “You are only hurting yourself with your anger.” Finally, Job 21:23-25 says, “Some men stay healthy till the day they die; others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts.” I can remember the days when I allowed Dan’s ex-wife to suck all the energy from me … to go through the day in anger and frustration and allow the bitterness to blacken my day and my mood which then, of course, spread to everyone else in the household. I am slow to learn, but through God’s guiding hand and by Dan’s patient example, I was able to learn to let go – take the ball and chain of resentment off – walk in freedom and breathe deep and fresh.

First off, I found healing in being able to share with Dan, revealing to him my hurt. Many times I did this through writing. I was able to get all my thoughts out and Dan was able to read and think through what I had written before we sat down and talked about it.

Then, I had to forgive and release Dan’s ex-wife. Peter, in Matthew 18:21-22, asked Jesus, “‘Lord how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered … ‘not seven times, but seventy times seven times!'” I realized that my anger towards Dan’s ex was not her fault; it was my choice of reaction. The very reality of unforgiveness is that if I didn’t release her, I was going to start resembling her … ouch! We see the worst in others. Be careful! You may start looking more and more like your husband’s ex-wife if you hang on to the destruction and mayhem, instead of choosing to forgive.

This gave me the jolt I needed to truly let go of the drama, offer this woman understanding and forgiveness, and then set about refocusing my life on what I needed to be consumed by – my marriage, my blended family and the other things that God was calling me to. Job 11:13-16 is a beautiful passage: “Put your heart right, reach out to God […] then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.” Woman, unshackle thyself and walk in freedom and in love!

Blessings in Your Blending!

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