“You can forgive yourself because I have forgiven you” ….

These words echoed around in my heart. Except for the one room, where there was a part of me, that I had judged as weak and shameful and so it remained locked up in darkness.

Before I knew the Creator of the universe loved me, valued me and living a transformed life, I was seeking love and comfort through relationships with men. These men would want physical intimacy and mistreat me, which reinforced my low self-esteem and left me feeling unloved and unlovable. This became an unhealthy pattern in my life, seeking love but allowing abuse because I did not value myself.

There came a day when I came to know and believe that Creator God was my Father. That He loved me so much; that He had given his son Jesus to die on a cross to take away all my immoral acts; all my failures and all my weaknesses.

He showed me that I was forgiven of everything, so I was to forgive others too. Which I did, except myself! Thus, part of me remained locked up in guilt and shame. This unforgiveness towards myself effected my ability to receive God’s love at a deeper experiential level.  I knew God loved me in my mind, but I had not received it into my heart; so my low self-value remained and unfortunately that’s what I lived out of.

Rob Warren, in his book about forgiveness, When Angry Hearts Forgive, [see Resources] tells the story of a woman confined to a mental institution because she was unable to forgive herself. She had become judge and jury over herself and thus retained her guilt. I was doing the same thing too!

Jesus spoke to my heart. “I am your judge. I have forgiven all of your sins and taken away all your guilt and shame. Are you greater than Me to judge yourself?” I realised if Jesus had forgiven me, who was I to harbour unforgiveness and judgement towards myself? I apologised to Jesus and chose to forgive myself. Since forgiving myself the blockage of unforgiveness has been removed so I am able to receive and live in the flow of God’s love freely.

By holding on to judgement and unforgiveness, I had refused the gift Jesus had given me: the gift of freedom! As I forgave myself Jesus healed my heart and set me free from all my guilt and shame. I felt like a bird released from a cage, flying in freedom.

Thank you, Jesus.