I am learning from the online Bible Study based on Suzanne Eller’s book The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness. This is an area of the Christian walk that has always been difficult for me, and is especially challenging at this stage of my life, having experienced tragic pain that has resulted in a seemingly hopeless situation. I know I need to be able to forgive, not for the benefit of anyone else, but for my own health and happiness.
In Chapter 1, Suzanne discusses the meaning of “forgiveness.” Colossians 3:13 says “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” What does it mean “to forgive?”
“Forgiveness is an intentional act to let go of the burden and restrictions of bitterness, anger, rage or unresolved emotions connected to a person or event. In other words, forgiveness is surrender. It’s offering up resentment. It’s giving up the desire to punish. It’s letting go of anger. It’s getting out of the ‘debt collection’ business.”
If indeed “to forgive” is defined as above, no wonder I am challenged. To do those things, in specific areas where I know I need to forgive, is a description of what I have NOT been able to do to this point. But it is also a description of what I WANT to be able to do.
So, I will continue the study with the goal of reaching that place of freedom where my heart is no longer burdened with the resentment and bitterness that is certainly residing there now.
I have been art journaling for about a year. I don’t “study” it or “train for it,” as I want it to be a free personal expression. I do enjoy seeing techniques that others use in their journaling, and I just combine ideas into a mish-mosh that is MY journaling! In this case, I covered the pages with gesso and then with a Lumiere Paint (Halo Violet Gold, applied with a catalyst wedge). I used music for my theme, adding collage elements and stamping. I used direct selections from the book.
For the prayer (from the book), I used a window envelope and left it open at the top. Behind the prayer is some private journaling.
I highly recommend Suzie’s book. You can order it from Amazon, or from the Store at my favorite devotional web site, Proverbs31Ministries.org.