October 2015 Newsletter

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $ 7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $4,155.00

Remaining Need:( +carryover need from last month $6,077.00) $9,022 .00

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects 1.) We will still need to gravel our driveway and are in need of funds to do that to get it winter ready. We need at least 5k for gravel. Pray about supporting that major project. Living on a mountain takes upkeep to keep the road passable. 2.) Jocelyn, our newest PST=psychotherapist will be starting a “Codependent No More Group” for Women On November 9.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: Kevin was able to guide many men into the wilderness for the hunt of a lifetime.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) We need two scholarships for two women to join group. They can each cover half the expenses for the group, we need $150.00 total for both women to cover the group and expenses including paying a facilitator, rent, and curriculum. 2.) Pray that couples and families can experience the gift of forgiveness and possibly the miracle of reconciliation in their marriages.

Mountain Haven October 2015 Newsletter

How can I forgive you?

I’ve been pondering forgiveness a lot this last month. Perhaps it is the nature of marriage ministry, or perhaps it is just my nature to ponder. But, I am confronted with many questions about forgiveness that are expressed in the counseling relationship. To even understand the need for forgiveness, we must first understand the idea of what happened to warrant the forgiveness.

I believe that perhaps there is a continuum on which lay the forgivable offenses in our life. Understanding where those offenses lay, and what they mean can give us insight into what we can do about them. And then we can grapple with, not only, the paradoxical nature of forgiveness but also, with what forgiveness may ask of us. Then, if by God’s grace we get that far, we can walk out the forgiveness in our life.

In your life you may have core memories that revolve around a certain person (s) choices, actions, words or habits that have affected you either blatantly or benignly. It is important to close in on those hurts and try to reimagine how you can relate to those hurts, by first understanding the impact they had on your psyche, your spirit and your soul. There are minor offenses that are often times just character or personality qualities that affect you or rub you the wrong way but can be overlooked. Then there are ongoing habits or choices that another person makes that won’t change or stop no matter how long you plead with them. Then comes the hurtful and memorable reactions that have left a deep cut and now a scar that still hurts when it remembers; a blow up, a minor betrayal, a harsh ongoing tone. Last there are the traumas. The cuts, the gashes, the dismemberments.

In the greek this word literally means a wound. When you think about a wound you typically think long term care and long term healing. These traumas can be as searing as infidelity, or as wearing and taxing as an addiction that the person won’t give up, a perplexing and unnecessary betrayal, or even an ongoing pattern of relating that is destructive, unhealthy and continues to rip open the wound again. Whatever the level of pain; forgiveness is the mandatory and necessary response. But how?

Generally speaking, forgiveness is a choice to let go. A choice to no longer expect a debt paid from the person who offended or is currently offending you. The new testament greek words used for forgiveness are Aphiemi, Apoluo, and Charizomai.​The wide range of descriptions for forgiveness include cry, forsake, yield up, lay aside, relieve, release, dismiss, let die, depart, set at liberty, divorce, to grant as a favor, in kindness pardon or rescue, deliver, give or grant. Whew! I don’t know about you, but a lot of those actions sound like hard work. I think it’s because they are; especially when we try to conjure up our own strength to do it.

Forgiveness might awaken a feeling of futility in you, I know at times it does with me. It may feel akin to the myth of Sisyphus; forever condemned to the meaningless task of rolling a huge boulder up the mountain only to watch it fall down again. Is this what I must do day after day? When will it end? I think the new testament definitions of forgiveness portray to us that our individual walking out of forgiveness may take many different paths and produce many different outcomes in how we interact with the person we are forgiving. But the good news isthe futility can be lessened because we will be moving the boulders of our hurts, offenses and traumas up with a supernatural strength endowed upon us through Christ’s ultimate forgiving act on the cross, and the subsequent power that is ours as a result of that.

But further, at the top of that mountain we will be given the choice to drop the boulder off, release it, lay it aside,or forsake it… or just cry. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes alone. The walk of forgiveness may take many trips up the mountain, it may take the support of others, the counsel of a coach or therapist, it may take just a long rest on the side of the mountain on your way there. When you get to the top, and you drop your boulder off, this may create rockslides of other related memories and related wounds that once again must be retrieved at the bottom. They must be understood and prepared to be forgiven, and then they must be taken on their own journey up the mountain. The relationship with the person you are forgiving may be restored, which would be the full power of forgiveness working in both parties creating reconciliation.

Or the relationship may not look the same. The bottom line is we won’t know until WE first decide to take the journey. I challenge you today to examine your continuum of hurts, offenses, and betrayals­ list them out and list out who is involved with them. And then if you dare, start taking the journey towards forgiveness.

This is a journey that will allow you to be “gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt you and left you bereft​” (D. Whyte, Consolations).

Comments are closed.