Author: Jaclyn Fitchett, Special Needs Coordinator
I Do, but Do I? - Part 5
I grew up with a general understanding that “hate” is a strong word, and we are not to “hate people.” But six years ago this week, I entered the most challenging period of my life and experienced what I had been taught not to feel toward others—hatred. My marriage was suddenly not what I had trusted it to be, and my 18-year relationship and family of four was reduced to the paperwork and legal proceedings of divorce. My family was shattered, and I was hurt beyond earthly repair.
So, what happens when life throws such a challenge your way that you are suddenly hurled into a whirlwind of emotions that eventually leaves you with no other coping mechanism or word other than “hate?”
Forgiveness… but, what does forgiveness really mean? How does one even forgive? I mean, some things are unforgivable, right? Just the thought of it elicits so many emotions for me. I appreciate Pastor Tim clarifying that forgiveness is not a feeling and it is not to forget, it is a surrendering of your judgments or situation to God’s hands.

Forgiveness was quite a mystery to me. I knew my hate was unhealthy and unbiblical. But I did not know it was seeping into my life and separating me from God. After more than a year of wrestling with this, I experienced the “God moment" I had been praying for.

Long story short, I was told the following things and learned firsthand just how excruciating it can be to surrender something to the Lord that you don’t fully comprehend.

  1. You must forgive to make room for your Godly purpose.
  2. God wants all of you, and all of you is not available to Him when you are unwilling to forgive.

If you are struggling with forgiveness, try starting where I did—pray for the desire to forgive. Remember, only God is truly capable of offering final judgments, so give that control over to the One who already has it handled. 

After hours of sitting with that bewildering information, I humbled myself and realized that hate was festering inside me, filling the void left in my heart from my divorce. Turns out my hate was not even directed at my ex-husband, as you might expect. I had scapegoated all my disdain for the things that went wrong in my life to another, easy-to-blame, person. Society would not blame me for scapegoating this person. Why would I need to offer forgiveness to them? They are not directly affected by my feelings, they don’t deserve my forgiveness, and I can move on placing all my contempt and blame on my scapegoat…right?

Wrong! Withholding forgiveness was poisoning me and the hope for my new relationships. The void left within me after my divorce was meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Realizing this and offering forgiveness was downright painful. It required a total surrender and trust that God knows best. As Pastor Tim shared on Sunday, “When we extend forgiveness to others, we cultivate love,” and that is something that both parties need when there is an offense.
Do not be conformed to this age. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
– Romans 12:2
If you are struggling with forgiveness, try starting where I did—pray for the desire to forgive. Remember, only God is truly capable of offering final judgments, so give that control over to the One who already has it handled.

This week I encourage you to sit with these questions:

  1. Is there someone I need to forgive? Perhaps my spouse, my parents, or maybe even God? 
  2. Am I ready to let go and let God in so that I can cultivate love? 






1 Timothy 4:3-4 1 corinthians 13 3 tips Abraham Barb Bible Christ centered friendships Christ-centered friendships Christ Control David Deuteronomy 31:8 Elijah Gideon God's Word God's faithfulness God's will God\'s Word God\'s will God\\\'s will God\\\\\\\'s will Gods Word Gods name Gods voice Gods will God Good Samaritan Isaac Isaiah 41 Isaiah 53 Isaiah James 1:22 James 4:14 Jesus is coming Jesus Jonathan Josiah Live at Peace Matthew 26:38-39 Messiah Old Testament Paul Philippians 2 Psalms Romans 6:9 Saul Savior Scripture Significant Others Talented Word of God You Say a mother's prayer a mother\'s prayer a mothers prayer abandon abby conner absolute truth acts 1:8 acts 2:42-47 acts adam and eve adam etris adam adulteror adultery adultry advent alls well that ends well andrew archer andrew angels sing anger anguish anxiety apostles appreciation archer arch are you prepared art of neighboring attributes austin michels austin authorities authority baptism sunday baptism barabbas barb banhart barb barnhart barnhart be a friend be still be strong and courageous be transformed beauty from ashes becoming fearless believers believe betrayal better neighbors better be brandy gibson brandy broken bronze serpant bruce lane bruce cancel culture cancel care carols celebrate others christian life christianity christian christmas with the ridge christmas church defined church design church circles cleaning the temple clinging to jesus colossians 1:13 community compassion concentric circles conflict connection courage created for community crisis in israel cross crowd crucifixion cultivate the soil culture daughter death debt delaney desires deuteronomy 31:6 devotional devotion disagreement discernment do not fear doers don't panic don\'t panic do early church easter sunday easter elderly empathy encouragement end times endurance ephesians 3:14-23 ephesians5:21 eternal impact eternal king eternal life eternal security eternity etris exhausted extended family face to face faithful in the small things faithfulness faith family famous last words father fear less series fear less fearless fear fifth commandment first commandement first commandment foretold forgiveness forgiven forgive forgiving forsaken foundation four tips fourth commandment free from sin freedom freely given free friendships friendship friends friend garden of gethsemane generosity generous get ready getting along gibson gifts give thanks gloria gods faithfulness good enough good friday good works gospel government grace and truth grace hill grace grateful gratitude great commission greed grief grieve with others groups hard heart haring he has come he will be called heart heaven hell helping hill holy monday holy saturday holy tuesday holy wednesday holy week holy homecoming hondruas honduras honor hope huggins husband i do but do i ian young ian identity of God identity idolatry idols immovable in all things in christ inspired intimacy invitation israel jamie huggins jamie jill wargo jill john 8:1-11 john 8:10-11 john josh rhodes josh joy judas judgemental judgement judge katie lemley katie key relationships kim sheets kim kindness kingdom of heaven king kinsman redeemer know the truth la ceiba lamb of God lane language last supper legacy lemley life light of the world light listening live generously living intentionally living water logos loss love one another love loyalty luke 10:42 luke 23:34 lust made new manna marriage matters marriage martha matthew 22:37-39 matthew 23:24 matthew 6:3-4 maundy thursday mediator melissa parker melissa mercy michelle lemley michelle trimmer michelle michels mikvah mission trip missions money morality moses murder neighbor new family new year new o holy night ourselves overcome evil with good palm sunday parables parable parenting parents parent parker passover lamb passover path of life peacemaker peace people of god people perfecter perfector perserverance perseverance persistence perspective philippians 4:6-7 philippians pioneer point of church point possessions power of the past pray like paul prayer life prayer plan prayer pray prepare promises of God provision psalm 139 purpose quality time race read reconciliation recreated redeemed redeemer redemption reflection rejoice relationship with God relationships relationship relative truth religion religious leaders remember response rest resurrection retaliation return revenge rhodes riches roger sealey roger role model romans 12:12 romans 12:15 romans rules sabbath day sabbath sacrifice salvation sealey second coming second commandment secure seek the truth selfish selflessness selfless separation sermon on the mount serve Jesus serve others serve serving others serving set free seventh commandment shame share the gospel share the truth sharing the good news sheep and goats sheets signs sing sin sixth commandment social media soft heart sower speaking the truth speak spiritual gifts spiritual leaders spiritual relationships spring cleaning stand firm stillness still strained straining out gnats and swallowing camels strength submit substitutionary atonement succession support surrender take time talents temptation ten commandments tender heart ten thankfulness thanksgiving thanks the dishonest manager the good samaritan the lost coin the lost sheep the lost son the parables of jesus the persistent widow the plot the point of church the primary purpose of the church the prodigal son the purpose of the church the rich fool the sheep and goats the sower the talents the ten virgins the two foundations the wedding banquet the word of God the word third commandment thoughts through thick and thin throught thick and thin tim haring tim transformation treasure tribulation triggered trimmer trustworthy truth about people truth is truth matters truthiness truth two foundations two lies and the truth ukraine unbelievers uncertainty unclean victorious victory volunteer wargo wealth wedding feast weep what's the point? what\'s the point? what\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s the point? whats the point whatsthepoint when we pray who am i who i am who we are wife words works of God work worry wronged you are forgiven young