Today I’m interviewing my Proverbs 31 sister Suzie Eller about her new book The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.
And today, Suzie is also featuring me over at her blog. In her book, she features people who have forgiven even when it was hard. Very hard. My story is featured in her book and she is interviewing me at her place about my story.
Okay—here is my chat with Suzie:
Suzie, what prompted you to write a book on this topic?
I’ve read many great books on forgiveness, but the core of many of them are rich with scripture and instruction to “just forgive”. But that word is multi-dimensional. The deeper I dug into that word, the more I found that forgiving matters to God because we matter to Him. It’s a means of living free. It helps us leave one place – resentment, anger, hurt, pain, sadness – to find another place. It allows God to move into the raw and broken places. It redefines us from a person marked by the past or another person to God’s girl. And there’s so much more. It’s a hard, but beautiful process designed to help us live spiritually and emotionally well, with God’s help.
In what areas do you see women most struggle with forgiveness?
As women have shared their stories, I’ve been surprised to see that the past is a much smaller percentage than I thought. It’s definitely a struggle for many, but marriage offered nearly 50% of the struggles, ranging from a marriage that didn’t live up to the happy ever after, to a spouse that demeans with words or actions, to unfaithfulness. This is such a tender area and one in which many women felt pain.
In The Unburdened Heart, I share the story of Carlie, a woman whose husband left after 29 years. His unfaithfulness knocked her down. She was not just blindsided, but felt as if she had invested years in a relationship that was not true.
They had been working on their relationship with a counselor, but when her husband left, she intentionally walked into an even deeper relationship with the great Counselor. She sensed from the beginning that forgiving was key, but it was a process, and one that continues even today. She didn’t have her happy ever after with her husband, but she’s whole. Her husband’s secrets could have made her an angry and bitter woman, and no one would blame her, but she found joy that had nothing to do with another person. Her need-meeter during that incredibly difficult time was her Heavenly Father.
What do you hope your readers gain from experiencing The Unburdened Heart?
One word: freedom.
Could you share a prayer with those today who find it hard to forgive?
Father, you don’t ask that we do this on our own. Forgiveness is hard and it’s a process, but it unchains the thoughts and feelings that have kept us stuck. Today, if there is one woman who says, “I want to be free,” may You encourage her that all things are possible with You. Thank you for your immense gift of forgiveness for us. Help us to discover the joy and power of giving it to others. In Your name we pray, amen.