At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my "word" and back in March I gave a little update. My word for 2015 is "forgive." Before I chose this word, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to apply it. For me, the application of forgiveness looks like prayer, reading books, asking friends to keep me accountable, and being more vulnerable. You'll see shortly how I have been doing with that.
Now that we are more than half way through the year (HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!), it's definitely time for another update. I would be lying if I said that the application of this word has been easy. It hasn't. Sometimes I forget about it completely and other times I pray passionately about it. Currently, I'm in a stage of needing forgiveness desperately, but I'm truly struggling with it and needing a TON of grace and Jesus.
In an effort to stay consistent and keep this a positive experience, I have added to my old list of the things I am doing well to apply my word and the things I might be able to do better in the last quarter of the year.
How I am Applying FORGIVE so Far:1. I have the recording from the "Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness" class through the Influence Network that I plan to watch once life slows down a bit. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm ashamed that I still haven't watched this...
2. I have been more honest and straightforward with our small group about my struggles with forgiveness, something that I didn't always talk about as much as I should have.
3. Prayer has been playing a large role in this journey. I know I cannot apply forgiveness on my own, and I pray that the Holy Spirit works in me to make it possible.
4. I have started making a list of the books related to forgiveness that I would like to read over the next year. Suggestions are welcome! I haven't touched one, nor have I received any suggestions. I'm still open to recommendations!
5. I'm working on staying more cognizant of when I have an unforgiving attitude or say unforgiving things. This one is a work in progress.
6. I have become painfully aware of my failure to forgive people on a daily basis, and I'm trying to seek God prayerfully in those moments instead of feeling bad about it.
7. I have asked others to keep me accountable to this goal. A number of close friends know this is something I'm working on this year and they aren't shy to ask me about it. Accountability is key, ya'll.
8. I have been journaling about my lack of forgiveness on a more regular basis. It's always helpful for me to look back on journaling and see if I have made any progress or not.
How I Can Do Better at Applying FORGIVE in the Future:1. I need to ask more people in my life to keep me accountable. I want to go outside my comfort zone and ask people to help me carry this burden so I don't have to do it alone. Thankfully, I know I have a community that will be glad to help. Thankfully, I feel like I have been able to do this and I have definitely seen the positive benefits.
2. More apologies need to be offered to those around me. I have been in contact with people from my past that hurt me, but I have not been able to come straight out and apologize yet. I really hope to do this more. I have been trying to do this more, but there are still a few people that need to hear sorry from me.
3. I would like to be better about writing my thoughts on forgiveness in my journal. I'm not always great at seeing God move in my life while it is happening. Usually, I realize His works in retrospect, and I know that journaling through this process will be an encouragement to me. I've really been trying to increase my journaling about this goal and I can't wait to look back when 2015 is over and see how things have gone over the last year.
4. I really need to read some books on forgiveness. Often times, books are really helpful for me because they offer an outside perspective. It's also helpful in reminding me that I'm not alone in this struggle.
5. I want to learn more about the balance between being forgiving and being a pushover. I don't want to be prideful but I also don't want to become a stepping stone because I am overly forgiving. Anyone else still trying to figure out this balance?
6. I need to lay down my pride and realize I don't DESERVE anything from people and it's up to me to forgive them for the things that have hurt me. Holding grudges is prideful and unhelpful.
How are you living out your 2015 word? How can I encourage you?