I just couldn’t help coming out of my writing cave to share this awesome interview I did with my good friend Renee Fisher. The topic of forgiveness is a hot one and not always fun to talk about. But, in her new book Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, Renee encourages us to do just that through Truth from Scripture and stories from her own experiences.
Renee was so kind to let me interview her about the topic of forgiveness…check it out…
~Renee, I’m intrigued by your book title, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. We often see books about forgiving others but you took it to the next level with the “forgiving ourselves” element. Can you explain?
I believe that God wants to set us free through the process of forgiveness. Often times we miss applying the same forgiveness to our own lives because we might find it’s tougher. I’m not saying it’s easy to forgive others who have hurt you, but ultimately forgiving yourself takes work because you have to reconcile the choices you made with finding freedom at the foot of the cross. The main reason I wrote “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” is because the person I struggled to forgive the most was me, myself, and I!
~What does forgiving yourself look like now that you are in your 30s verses your 20s? How has the decade of your 20s changed your perspective on forgiving yourself?
Forgiving myself definitely looks much different in my 20s than in my 30s. I think the BIGGEST REASON for that is I’ve learned to accept my worth in Christ: that I am loved, secure, and worth sacrificing for. I appreciate the struggles I went through in my 20s because they’ve helped soften me and make me the person I am today.
~What is one thing we can do today that will push us forward into forgiving ourselves rather than living our past mistakes over and over again?
The reason I share my story is because I couldn’t forgive, and when I couldn’t forgive it affected not only my relationships but my own personal health as well. My eczema that I had at that time ended up spreading from my face and my feet and I ended up in Children’s Hospital with no skin in both places. It was one of the hardest battles I had to go through and it took me years to forgive myself for not giving things over to God. I might not forgive as quickly as I’d like to still, but because of the battle scares that I now have (from the time when my eczema also took the skin off my hands)–I appreciate the process. The theme that runs through “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” is that OVERCOMING IS POSSIBLE! Even when we struggle and make the same mistakes over and over again–God is Sovereign. He forgives. He holds no condemnation over us so neither should we. Even if He chooses to say no and not heal us in that moment–walking through the process of sanctification is such an amazing and freeing and purifying process. Definitely worth going through! So, my encouragement to someone who’s struggling right now is that God sees your pain, He can take your anger, and He is waiting for you to come to Him with open arms! Embrace Him today!