Forgiveness – Lesson 10 TW Class 2014

Not That, but This...
The LORD within her is righteous; he does no wrong.
Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail…
~ Zephaniah 3:5
I have shared for years that forgiveness was pivotal for me on my Thin Within journey. And it continues to be. I had one very wise accountability partner who,  when my eating was out of whack, asked me who I need to forgive.
After seven years of knowing about the hunger/satisfied approach to eating for weight loss and rarely, if ever, being consistent to do it, the thing that made the difference in my being able and willing to be more consistent was, simply, forgiveness. Being vulnerable with God in this important area kick-started my journey and took me from being merely a hearer of the truth to starting to DO the truth. Maybe the same can be true for you.
I have to admit, though, my way of sharing about this is easily misunderstood, easily misconstrued. So pardon me if I include disclaimers here *and* in the video. NOTE: I am not teaching THEOLOGY. I am, instead, sharing my experience. But my experience might be helpful to others of you and so I share it. As with everything I (or anyone) teach, please take all of it to the Lord and compare it to the Word of God. Where what I share seems to be at odds with the Word of God, always ALWAYS esteem the Word of God more highly than what I share. This has ALWAYS been important to me and it most assuredly is today as I share about this challenging topic. My experience or yours or anyone’s should never be the basis for TRUTH.
I can honestly say that what I will share here has been pivotal in enabling me to get rid of the largest road block hindering my obedience.
If you wonder what could be blocking your obedience, prayerfully consider if something I share here could be helpful to you.
Again, ALWAYS AND ONLY go to the Word of God and the Lord for understanding what is TRUE about God, life and you.
If you have a check in your spirit as you listen to this video, I suggest you STOP THE VIDEO and move on to the rest of the assignment. DO NOT IGNORE the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Any time you expose yourself to something I say, I hope you will do this. Check in the spirit? Then stop the video. End the audio. Close out of the blog post. Only continue if you sense God’s leadership to do so.
A final request, please understand…I share my experience with great vulnerability and at great risk. I didn’t weep while I was creating the footage for this video, but I wept all the way through the editing process as God reminded me of the pain of that place. Please tread with grace if you feel the urge to “correct” me. First ask the Lord, please, if there might be a log in your own eye before you insist on trying to pluck a splinter out of mine, ok? Sometimes when we don’t like the truth that God may want to bring home in our own lives…a truth that requires us to change…we want to shoot the messenger. But consider this…God used a donkey to speak his truth to Balaam. Before you beat this donkey :-), ask HIM if there is some tiny shred of truth that you should respond to, ok?

This Week’s Video:

 Video Questions:

1.) I knew about eating according to the boundaries of hunger and satisfaction in 1999. But it wasn’t until 2006 that I had a break-through that enabled me to be able to start walking in obedience in my eating. God laid on my heart why I had trouble with being obedient. What was it he shared with me? (You will find it at about 02:17)

2.) What did it feel like I needed to do with that realization.

3.) About 03:20 I share a lie that I believed…that affected my journey to that point. What is that lie? “You, God, have _________ me __________.”

4.) What can happen when our feelings are given too much sway and begin to “define” fact for us?

5.) (04:27) “I was living as if God had _____________ too __________ of me.” Have you ever felt that way? About what? Do you today?

6.) Is there anything that has so disappointed you about God that it might be affecting your willingness to surrender your food to him? God does no wrong…he hasn’t done you wrong! But is there any way that this *feels* like it is similar to needing to forgive someone who has done you wrong? If not, what can you do with this sense that God has required too much of you? How might dealing with it (somehow) help you to honor him, to delight in him?

7.) I mention 4 kinds of forgiveness (of 5) that have been included in my journey. What are the 4 types of forgiveness that I mention (keeping in mind that #4 is not literally forgiveness)? Do you have any idea what my 5th kind of forgiveness is (not mentioned in the video)? 🙂 Post here at the blog what you think it might be!

8.) At about 07:27 I ask you some questions. Stop the video and take time to ask the Lord what the TRUTH is for you.

9.) Everyone acts based on what they believe. If we believe that God has done us wrong, we will act on that belief. We have to go to the root of it…how can you do that today?

10.) In the closing minutes,  I ask you to bring God your feelings and process them with him. Will you? If not, why not?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

What might you need to renew your mind about? Select one of these to speak truth to your soul about. Can you reference Scriptures to help you with this? What is true about night-time eating? What is true about eating when you feel wounded? What is true about this journey right now wherever you currently find yourself–IS God doing a “new thing” in you? Remember, renewing the mind with TRUTH is the point. BIG T truth…What GOD says is true. We want to think God’s thoughts after him. His Word sanctifies us.

Pick One (book or workbook):

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by March 17th

  • Here is the Thin Within Study Guide Week 10 . Feel free to discuss it at our Facebook group or here! THIS WEEK, we will have a drawing for Rebecca Bryan’s music! This is great music for renewing your mind. If you post a comment this week your name will be put in a drawing to win a downloadable version of Becky’s CD. Comment on this blog post (or any other this week) to be entered in the drawing. You can enter more than once, too. 🙂

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by March 17th.

1. Read, highlight, mark 🙂 Lesson 10, Forgiveness, on pages D18 – D24 or listen to the “audio book” version of it at Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.
2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 10 on pages D26 – D32. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page D33 or even better–do so at our Facebook discussion group!
3. Have you been creating a God List? Have you been Praise-Festing? Gratitude is yet another way we get our eyes off of ourselves and place them firmly on God. If we want this experience to be different than our dieting days (or previous goes through the Thin Within material, perhaps) we want to change our thinking and change our focus. Exalting God intentionally through praise and gratitude may be one way of doing this.
4. Use the entries for Day 64 through Day 70 in the Temple Tool Kit. Have you been using any of the tools? How is this going? What is God showing you through the use of the tools?
5. Memorize Colossians 3:12-13. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards.
6. Join us on March 17th for our live webinar at 4:30 Pacific Time. We will be wrapping up lesson 10 on Forgiveness.

How About You?

In these last few weeks of our study, you might experience the most profound changes to date. Invite God to help your heart to be wide open to whatever he may want to do be prepared to have new eyes to see. Forgiveness work is HARD WORK. But it is well worth it. Whether it is forgiveness of others, seeking their forgiveness for ways we have wronged them, asking God for forgiveness for our sin, forgiving ourselves or what I have called “forgiving” God. It is all hard work. But it is well worth it. As we put off bitterness and resentment, we are able then to put on kindness, compassion, and love.

Lesson 9’s (Boundaries) webinar recording is available here
Here are slides (in pdf form) from Lesson 9’s webinar: 09-Boundaries

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21 Responses to Forgiveness – Lesson 10 TW Class 2014

  1. Karon Ruiz March 11, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Tears rolling Heidi. I thought I had walked through forgiveness many, many times in different groups in the past, such as 12 step groups, but I don’t ever think I thought about it like this. This morning I intend on asking Him myself if I’ve been holding things against Him. Thank you for such an inspiring video; one of the best ones I’ve ever viewed.

    I see myself with a key ring in my hand looping many keys opening the locked doors from my past, one by one. Late last year the greatest key was the one that unlocked God’s love. When that door swung open the fear of Him being a tyrannical father begin to fade. Then recently God gave me two keys, one for my mother’s past and one for mine. Her journals were locked away for three years and He has now given me permission to see her most private thoughts. Through this adventure, I got to open a third door when I discovered my own journals as a new Christian. It was amazing! This fourth key is your video, I’m certain. It so resonated with me this morning as tears flowed I am sure God wants to show me something. I haven’t opened that door yet but am ready to begin this process today as I ask Him, like you suggest.

    Thank you for your openness and vulnerability.

    Hugs, Karon

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Wow, Karon…thank you so much for sharing this. You are such precious soft clay…and you so welcome God to have his way with you. It is so incredible to witness. I mean, I used to do ceramics and the soft clay…just the right moisture amount made all the difference in the world. You are like that. It is exciting to see the new thing that God is doing in your life. You are beautiful.

  2. Susan Bradbury March 11, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    What really spoke to me was when you said to PROCESS FEELINGS with TRUTH! In the past, I have simply stuffed my feelings, not letting myself even feel. I would read God’s Word concerning it because I knew that I needed His truth, but I did not acknowledge my feelings.

    As these feelings have been coming up lately, I find myself muttering out loud, “I feel that, oh-oh, or some other phrase..” before I even realize that I am having a memory feeling surfacing. So now when I hear myself talking to myself, I focus in on that memory and ask God to help me process it and forgive. These flashbacks from my painful past have been coming up consistently and that is how I have been dealing with them. They come when I am washing the dishes or driving the car…I am working through them for the first time in years! I am in a safe place physically and emotionally to do this and God knew that this is the time for me to handle it all. In the past when these events actually occurred, God protected my mind so I could make it through. I feel a sweet release after watching the video. I think I will be watching this on replay several times this week. There is so much more in this vid for me to embrace also!!

    • Susan Bradbury March 11, 2014 at 9:48 am #

      I needed to add this: Being a Mom with a special needs son, I can really relate to your thoughts about this. When I found out that my son would be born with special needs yet while I was pregnant, I realized quickly that I would be bearing the brunt of his care alone as his father did not embrace it. This was a heavy burden for me. I felt inadequate and afraid. Early on, even before his birth, I had to remind myself that God chose me to be his Mom because He knew I was the one. Even if I was unsure of how I could do this, I clung to this even in tears.

      Years before I had worked with special needs children and even worked as an attendant for a paralyzed adult. I know that God was preparing me for the special child He was bringing me. I would learn patience like I never knew! God has put a calm in my heart when I care for him. If I am not patient, then he gets really upset…so among so many other things, this lesson has been invaluable!! I can’t put a pricetag on the precious daily learning moments I have on a daily basis!

      • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:31 am #

        Wow, Susan. SO TRUE!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      Thanks, Susan. And YES! What you describe is PRECISELY what I think the Holy Spirit does. So often in our lives we have “short-circuited” what could have happened had we allowed God to bring us through the challenges HIS way. So he gives us “do overs” and they are so painful…but we resist and numb ourselves with food (or whatever else). When we begin to open ourselves to HIS truth HIS way and he brings to mind some of these painful things, we have an opportunity to see him redeem even the pain. What is TRUE of God during that painful moment? What is true of ME? What might he be doing? What can I open myself to? Who can I forgive to experience the unlocking of all that God intends? It is painful. Truthfully…as we begin to open ourselves to this process, we may have a greater urge to eat than EVER! If we renew our minds with truth in the midst of it, we can return to the process he intends. There are rich treasures to be excavated.

  3. JoAnn March 11, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Wow! Theology aside, this is so true in many ways. Several years ago I was also convicted of my mistrust of God. I had been harboring “unforgiveness” towards Him for not healing my mother. There are more recent struggles I’m sure I need to take to Him as well, confess my bitterness and find healing. I think you explained this very well, Heidi. Now I’ll go finish crying and get to work.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks, JoAnn. I hope it is helpful!

  4. Cathy Carlson March 11, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    Thank you for your video. There are so many things you mentioned in your video and I can relate to. I am just starting Thin Within and am in week two. Forgiving myself for having suck a poor self image is hard. All the things I have been told about myself all my life is very hard to reprogram my mind when it has been repeated over and over and over. Thank you.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am #

      Cathy, I can relate. In the search box at the blog, type in “Truth Cards” and you will see some strategies for doing that very thing. We CAN preprogram our minds! Romans 12:2 says as much and that it is the KEY to transformation!

  5. Jessica Luttrell March 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Thank you for sharing the hope that I can get past the pain and find a TRUE perspective of God, not a deceived one of my own making. You mentioned weeping in remembering the pain of that place. I have had such anger this past week, outbursts that I haven’t seen or struggled with in a LONG time. God is probing closer to the dross that needs to be burned out and I have shut down emotionally because I don’t want to find myself in the deep end of that pain to rip off the lies and replace with the Truths. Your testimony is being used by the Holy Spirit to draw me to His side. Oh the depths of how I can relate and the fears I didn’t ever think I could put into words. Thank you sweet Jesus for working through Heidi. Come quickly and know me.

    You kept hitting the nail on the head. I have NEVER found true consistency. I had a short season of forgiveness the first time through the TW book on my own last fall. With the (partial) healing and truth I began to walk forward with more consistency and more hope than ever before. But the past few weeks everything has come to a screeching plateau (even weight-wise) and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Last week God just ignited in me in this desert of the end of my own abilities, the will and desire to start waking up to be consistently in His Word, even a little each day. And it happened again. I became a beast each day. Here I was trying to obey and I become even more of a monster? But it was evidence that God wasn’t stopping His work, because I keep waking up, I keep reading more. So today, I became the angriest I have been in very long. And after the third time through your video, I am starting to be able to really be honest. I just don’t trust God, and theologically that is the scariest thing to admit. I don’t trust God to do this work in me because I believe the lies that the other stuff that He did and allowed was not good, was not what a Potter would allow. Why would He bring me to this place and leave me to be so inadequate and ill-equipped and failing? And this failing is not just on me, it is deeply effecting all the innocents around me!

    Thank you for your testimony. Thank you for forever pointing to God, to Scripture. That is where my hope will be found, that is where the healing will be found. To bring Himself the glory as He has penned before time for this moment to come face to face with His goodness. May I be able to say with my whole heart that He never once left me, never once left me on my own, that He is faithful.

    Heidi, I pray that God will be fierce in winning my heart and that all this wonderful Truth He speaks through your life and testimony will somehow one day uniquely be evident in my life too. That I may own it, live it, breath it, and free others with it as I see and hear you do it. Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for your ministry to this saint.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      Wow, Jessica…Yes, he is probing. As painful as this is, it is exciting, too. He is refining you! I am so glad that God can use what I have shared. Glory to God for sure! I hear you…it is SCARY to admit, but there is healing there. God moves in and shows us his truth and loves us and invites us to give him glory and experience his peace and the beauty of that intimate relationship with him. Jessica…it IS evident in your life right now. Thank you SO much for sharing from your heart. I see his beauty in you NOW. Joining with you in your prayer, too.

  6. Karen Childs March 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    That is beautiful Heidi! “Beautiful” may seem like a strange way to describe what you discuss, but any time someone can take what seems to be a complicated topic like forgiveness and make it very simple is a talent teacher. That is how our Father teaches, simply and without pretention. Thank you so much; forgiveness is definitely the most pivotal teaching that moves us forward, while also being one of the hardest. This speaks to me so much in my own life. I also want to say that it is very obvious that, whether or not it feels like it most of the time, He seems to give special needs children the very best and most special of parents — I see it time and time again, and truly mean it. Moms and Dads who raise special needs children have their own special ministry. Bless you and your leadership, and your insight, and your walk with our Father. I hold you and your family, and our family in Christ, in my prayers.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks for your kind words, Karen. Thank you for your prayers, too!

  7. Gillian Klassen March 11, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Hi Heidi
    I am also a mom of a special child who was born with cerebral palsy, seizures and is mentally challenged. I realized early on that our son is a gift from God and he choose me to be his mom. I struggled with alot of emotionally eating because “J” situations stressed me out…I did turn to God, but I also turned to food to numb myself. I tried many popular diets to help me cope with my overweight, but thankfully God brought me back to TW and this time I have stuck around long enough with the bible study to “get it”. I live by God’s grace daily…yes there continues to be challenges with “J”, but I give it to God more and I don’t turn to the food anymore…I live by the power of His Holy Spirit…”the joy of the Lord is my strength”…this doesn’t mean I haven’t fallen off the horse in the last few weeks, but I get up right away and turn to a very compassionate God and friend (Jesus) who knows me and my weaknesses and gives me His grace to carry on in “all my circumstances”. Thanks for your words and for your experience.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 12, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      WOW! What a great testimony, Gillian! Praise to GOD!

  8. Corrinne March 12, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Heidi, thank you for your video on forgiveness. I discovered a few years ago (at a women’s retreat) the importance of forgiveness in my life. At that time I forgave my parents, in particular my father, although at that time he was no longer even alive. It was so freeing!

    After listening to your video, God has shown me another area in which I have harboured a grudge. You say you felt that God had given you a child that “needed a better parent”. Wow! My husband and I have 3 children. One of my adopted children (a daughter) was a huge challenge. During her teen years, we went through horrible times. I prayed and prayed asking God for wisdom in parenting this angry child, I sought help from my pastor and a couple of counsellors all without any answers, it seemed. God seemed far away, and I whined and complained to God. “Why did you give me this child, I have no idea what I am supposed to do, I am not the mother she needs…..” It was during these years that I began to gain weight. Food was my comfort.

    My daughter is now 24. She has become a responsible, loving, polite, respectful young woman. I am in awe at what God has done! Yes, he did answer prayer, long after I would have liked it to be. BUT even though, long ago she asked us to forgive her, I have been harbouring resentment for those years. We lost so much, in so many ways.

    #4. Forgive God – free Him from giving an explanation – let God be God. Hit the nail on the head, for me. Yup, gotta go get this straightened out, for sure.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Wow, Corrinne. I get so much encouragement from your story. Daniel is now 21 and still has a long way to go, but maybe by the time he is 24 all will be as it “should” be. LOL!

  9. Jolene March 15, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Finally made the time this morning and stared dealing with this. Yes, indeed, I needed to “release” God. He CAN handle all my life – I don’t need to be in control of ANY of it Oh, how I pray that I will let Him!!! Praise God that He has redeemed me. Amazed that even though He knew me He loved me. Thank you, Heidi, for speaking truth!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      So glad, Jolene. And remember this is a process. He extends grace to us, so we can also extend grace to ourselves. It is Christ-like to do so. 🙂

  10. Barb Shelton July 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Thank you, so so so very much for sharing all this, dear Heidi! May God cover and seal your vulnerability and not allow any jabs of the enemy to touch your precious heart! … I know this may sound odd, probably even theologically incorrect, but with my understanding of what forgiveness actually is, I do believe that it *can* be totally appropriate to “forgive” God. My understanding of forgiveness is that is “to release someone from my bitter judgment against them” — for *whatever* they did, whether it was a right thing, a wrong thing, an offense, a hurt… *whatever* it was. So forgiveness is not necessarily about the offender or the offense itself, but about my response to them. It is about absolving and releasing someone from my bitter judgment regarding *whatever* they did, right or wrong, that caused me pain. … so I believe you are right on in your perspective! 🙂

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