By Linda McCrary
CEO McCrary Foundation
ASCEND Worship Leader
As a worshiper, and leader of worship, it’s always a challenge for me to keep my heart in the right place. Most of the time being in the spotlight can be a great shield to hide the pain when going through difficult moments. As I was preparing this blog I asked my friend, Patti Howard, “What do I write about in a blog,” she said, “Write from your heart.”
For the past 6 months my heart has been focused on forgiveness and breaking through the bondage that un-forgiveness brings. I have learned that we gain freedom when we forgive. It sounds simple, but it’s a necessary component that enables us to move forward. I have had many encounters in my life’s journey where I have been deeply hurt and I know I have hurt others. I also know that I have been forgiven, therefore I must forgive.
It’s easier said than done. When I started to pull back the layers of my life many memories from childhood to my adult life began coming up. There were instances with my parents, siblings, business and personal relationships… oh, the list kept growing. It was as if I had put things away in a drawer that I closed and only opened when I needed to add to it.
This year I re-recorded a song that I had done about 20 years ago entitled Help Me To Forgive. It all came flooding back to me as I sang it for a live performance. I had been going through a difficult separation with my ex-husband at the time and I was bitter and angry and hurting so deeply that I ignored my pain. I thought it was for others and not for myself as I had been raising my young child and didn’t want to stop and take care of me. That child is now 22 years old and it’s only by God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness that we made it through those hard times.
I am still learning about true forgiveness but I’ve learned that I have to start first with myself and by praying and seeking God’s face for total understanding. It’s a wonderful process of looking at all the relationships one by one and then writing letters to those I’ve hurt. Through this process, I have begun to feel light and free in my heart and spirit knowing God is working in me. I love the scripture in Philippians 1:6, I am very certain that God, who began a great work within me will continue His work until it is finished on the day that Jesus Christ returns. This is such an incredible promise but it requires us to follow through and work on ourselves so that God will be glorified.
So my song and prayer for you is:
Help me to forgive as I have been forgiven,
Help me to forget sorrow and pain,
Lord, help me to forgive.
Clothe me in your mercy,
Fill me with your grace.
When your peace like a river flows through me,
Lord I can forgive.