Testimony Given at Life Center RTF Module 1 training July 1, 2010

I'm free. I'm free. I'm free. “If the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”(John 8:36). The chains (of generational sins, word curses, inner vows, ungodly soul ties, ungodly beliefs and soul/spirit hurts) that have been enslaving me and holding me back have been broken. I'm a new person. Things are touching me in such different and exciting ways as I watch movies, sing or listen to songs, getting and giving a prophetic word for my new pastor and our church.

RTF says, “Forgiveness is the key.” Yet it is something I've struggled with for many years. When I was in my legalistic church I'd go down to the altar over and over again trying to forgive because I knew I had to. Bill Morris once said, “Forgiveness is like a fruit. You can pick it too early or too late.” I went to groups, listened to sermons, read books, etc. regarding forgiveness. Some things I've gleaned from my walk are:

“Forgiving means releasing our dreams of a better yesterday, so we can reach for the reality of a better tomorrow.”

“Every promise in the Word of God that brings you any blessing is predicated on this one thing – forgiveness.”

“True forgiveness is when our understanding has deepened and our feelings have been acknowledged and processed.”

Even Ti said on the TV series “Extreme Home Make Over,” “Healing starts with forgiveness.”

My therapist would say, “Your stepfather destroyed the last “X” number of years of your life, do you want him destroying the next “X” number of years?

Sunday in our book study group, Experience the Ultimate Makeover , we discussed chapter 8 dealing with forgiveness where we read, “Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most.” “The Greek meaning of forgiveness might best be demonstrated as the practice of cutting loose the person roped to your back.”

The neat thing about God is He will start wherever you can. Many years ago I had to start with, “Lord, help me to become willing to become willing to forgive my stepfather Mike.” God honored my prayer and it was the beginning of my forgiveness journey.”

Wednesday of last week Susan & Patty gave me some homework to do one of which was to write forgiveness letters. I was to pray and ask God who I needed to write a forgiveness letter to and I was to following some guidelines on a piece of paper they gave me. I only had time that night to do one so I decided to write to my stepfather Mike, because I knew that would be the hardest.

In the instructions I was to tell “what they have done to me, how that made me feel, how it affected my life and I was to be very specific about the details. I began to write not knowing what would come forth. I was amazed, especially the way it ended. All the layers of forgiveness I had struggled and walked through enabled God to pour into me a greater measure of forgiveness for Mike. It was God's fullness of time for me in this area. Writing the letter wasn't a struggle and I meant every word. Here's how my letter ended:

“Your abuse to me is now coming to a halt. I don't want these filthy chains imprisoning me anymore. I don't want you ruining my life and robbing me of life any longer. I choose to forgive you, Michael Thomas Vlashitz for all the lewd sexual things you did to me. I release you from any debt that I thought you owed me. I let go of all judgments and punishments that I have wanted you to have. I turn you, Michael Thomas Vlashitz over to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and into the hands of my Abba Daddy, God the Father. God I place Mike into Your hands. I pray Mike will find healing and wholeness through You. May Your will Lord be done and not mine, I pray. In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen”

Many years ago I got a newsletter on forgiveness and this is part of what it said, “When you forgive someone, you gain a new vision or picture of the person who harmed you. Forgiveness enables you to acquire eyes of compassion for the person.” God answered a prayer I prayed with Debbie and Pam, “Lord help me see Mike through Your eyes.” I believe writing the forgiveness letter enabled me on Thursday to go to the darkest, most horrific soul/spirit hurt that I had and I only had a flash back picture memory given to me several years ago. It was when my stepfather raped me. As God took me back there, all the pain, anger and shame I had stuffed and hidden even from myself began to pour out – all the puss and poison of those feelings I buried alive for all those years was now gushing out of me so God could heal.

After walking through the pain and pouring out my complaints to God, He gave me a vision. This overpowering light came walking toward me. It was Jesus; tears are streaming down His face. His arms are outstretched as He walks closer. Jesus picks me up off the bed and is holding me in His arms. The body in His arms is dead; it's lifeless – many parts of me died that day. Jesus brought my lifeless body to His chest and held me tight as His light was streaming into me, bringing life. His tears flowing down His face falling onto my body, washing and purifying it – dispelling the darkness – bringing peace and calmness – giving LIFE and energy back into me. He kept holding me with His warm embrace, restoring my health – all death left – God was restoring, bringing newness of life – a resurrection of Peggy Jo for me to walk in my destiny – a beginning of a new life for me for which I am eternally grateful.

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