This is why you may still feel hurt even though you've forgiven that person.
This is why you may still feel hurt even though you've forgiven that person. (Kristopher Roller | Unsplash)

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The heart of a woman is the residence of her relationship to God, her character, spiritual depth, compassion, affection, personality, feelings and passions. Her heart is created to be a source of joy and thankfulness so that she can share her joy with the people that she is close to including her family, relatives, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

If someone asked you to describe the condition of your heart at this moment, what would you say? Would you use words like tender, merciful, caring, involved or loving? Are you joyful, enthusiastic or full of gratitude?

On the other hand, would you say that part of your heart is grateful but you are also sad? Do you feel like some of your relationships weigh your spirit and soul down? Have you been betrayed, rejected or abandoned by someone close to you?

Some people wall off their feelings so that they don't have to honor and recognize them. Walling off your feelings is a coping mechanism for getting through many difficult days, months or years.

Do you feel as though you are dragging your past with you? The solution for you to let go of the past is the wound care of forgiveness. The wound care process is an opportunity for a new beginning. It begins with forgiveness because every sin of your own unforgiveness toward another person wounds your soul and their soul. Unforgiveness binds you to the one you will not forgive until you release them by processing through the steps forgiveness.

Many women are not aware that they have any wounds. They think that they can get along by themselves and don't need to share the difficult situations in their lives. They do not think of themselves as neglected, needy or wounded. Other people seem to know at a surface level that they have wounds but they have no idea where they came from or how they can be healed.

When I learned about the healing power of forgiveness, I asked God to reveal my wounds to me. Over a period of many months, He began to show me my wounds and the roots of my wounds. I knew that I was wounded because of my reactions to some of the people and events in my life. I was uncomfortable around certain people, and I had difficulties in my relationships with other people. I decided to make a list of the people whom I had offended and wounded. Then I made a list of the people who had wounded and offended me. Both lists were very convicting. I realized many of my wounds needed wound care.

God is willing to reveal your wounds and the roots of your wounds to you. The healing power of forgiveness is love and grace from the heart of God. He will provide direction for each step of your life's journey to bring you to a place of healing. His grace and mercy are always sufficient for every one of your needs. Forgiveness is the ultimate gift that He provides for you. It is the greatest expression of His unconditional love and acceptance of you.

There are three kinds of unforgiveness wounds. The first one is an abrasion. It is a surface wound of the skin. It is easier to heal because it only happens one time. An example would be if you asked a friend to help you out with a project you could not do by yourself. Your friend completely forgot to come and help you. This wound is an opportunity to forgive your friend.

Another kind of wound is a bruise, which is caused by an injury. One of my parents' friends often came for dinner when I was growing up. He made comments about how I was growing and changing when I was young. It made me sad to hear his comments. He continued to comment on my appearance as I became an adult. I felt hurt and bruised. The healing of a bruise requires forgiveness and patience as the skin changes colors and heals. If you press on a bruise before it completely heals, it hurts.

A repeated or deep wound takes longer to heal than abrasions or bruises. There is damage to the skin and underlying tissues that might be caused by an accident or an act of violence. The devitalized and damaged tissue must be removed and repaired. An operation might be necessary to repair the injury.

As you look at the wounds you have received from your own unforgiveness or the unforgiveness of others, you will notice that the wounds need cleansing, medication, bandages and the healing process of time and attention. The deeper wounds require patience and more care that other wounds.

The Process of Wound Care

Before you start applying the steps of wound care, you can be sure that God has provided everything that you will need to prepare your wounds for healing.

The first step of wound care is to stop the bleeding of your wound by feeling the feelings that have surfaced because of your wound. Name your feelings and take them to God. Don't run from them.

The second step is to cleanse your wounds to prevent infection by grieving any pain you have felt from your wound. Cleansing and grieving are important parts of the second step of wound care.

The third step is to cut out the damaged tissue by confessing your sin of unforgiveness toward your offender.

Step four is to apply the medicine provided for you by asking God to forgive you for your sin. Forsake and repent of your sin as you fall out of agreement with it. As you extend grace to others by forgiving them, extend grace to yourself.

What holds your wounds together so that they can heal? Step five: You suture your wound by asking God to put your sin to death on the cross as you confess and name what your sin is. Ask Him to reveal any other roots of your sin. You can remove them through confession and repentance.

Jeremiah 30:12-13 (AMPC) says, " For thus says the Lord: Your hurt is incurable and your wound is grievous. There is none to plead your cause; for [the pressing together of] your wound you have no healing [device], no binding plaster." Forgiveness is the healing method and the binding plaster that holds your wounds together so that they can heal.

Step Six: Bandage your wounds as you ask God to take the unforgiveness out of your heart and replace it with a heart of forgiveness. Ask Him to meet the needs that were not met in your childhood, such as unconditional love, acceptance, security, worth and value, recognition, comfort, nurture or emotional nourishment. Those needs are basic needs for children. However, they are also basic needs for adults. Many adults have never had their basic needs met. Pray and ask God to meet those needs. He is willing and able to meet those needs for you.

Step Seven: Securely bandage the wound by asking forgiveness of the person that you offended, in person, if possible. Ask God to show you the right time and place. Be patient while your wound heals.

Step Eight: Completely close your wounds by actively choosing not to remember the sin against you. Not remembering is active and not passive. It means that I will not bring up your past sins to you or others. God forgives your sins and confirms that He will not remember them in Hebrews 8:12.

Step Nine: Be patient while your wound heals from the inside out. Welcome God's healing grace of forgiveness for your offender and yourself by faith in His healing power. Thank God for His answer to your prayers.

Prayer for Wounds

Dear Lord,

I have had abrasions and bruises over many years of my life. The majority of them have healed. It is the repeated wounds and deep wounds that concern me the most. I have tried to deny that they exist but that does not bring healing or health. Instead, the wounds continue to produce infection and pain. I ask you to cut out the damaged tissue, cleanse the wound, apply the needed medicine and bandage the wound through my confession of my sins and my repentance. I pray to be healed from the inside out in my spirit, soul and body. I choose not to remember the sins against me, and I leave them with you.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

Nan Self has always found writing to be a creative outlet for her whether she was writing in her personal journal or writing syllabuses for classes that she was teaching. She has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Master of Education degree from the University of North Texas at Denton. Nan is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist. She is a former member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She counseled and taught families, individuals and children for over 10 years. Nan and her husband live in Texas. For more information visit www.ForgivenessByGrace.com

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