Bohemian Forgiveness: 5 Unconventional Paths to Forgiving What You'll Never Forget
Overview: With free-spirited insight and relevant Scripture, Bohemian Forgiveness ushers women in crisis into their own stories of hope, healing, and triumph over the enemy.
noun: a person with informal social habits; especially an artist or writer
"I tried to forgive by way of conventional wisdom, but in the end my broken heart beat to the sound of a different drum."
a message from Wendy
Five instinctual desires often arise from abuse and betrayal. All are natural components of the human psyche. So, of course they're in the Bible!
The million dollar question isn't whether or not you should have them, but rather, who's got control--God or the enemy?
Bohemian Forgiveness is the first faith-based resource to compare and contrast how it shakes out when the enemy fulfills these five desires and what happens when Christ takes the lead.
*This Bohemian Bible Study is intended for peer support groups with a high level of leader/learner autonomy and/or women who prefer independent study with the aid of a professional counselor or psychologist.
(Submissions to publishing houses are underway.)
Sister bohemians: Cross your fingers, your toes, and press your hands together in prayer!
from the heart of Wendy Redroad
Why can't I forgive? This is not a question I ask in church. Rather, I double my efforts. I take the "forgiveness-class" again. I read whatever book I've read again. I assert [it] is forgiven. Conventional wisdom says my feelings will catch up later. But my feelings lag behind like out-of-shape runners who've lost sight of the finish line. Jesus says I must forgive from my heart (Matthew 18:35). But my heart is too broken to forgive. So He wipes my tear-stained cheeks, offers His sleeve in place of a tissue, and invites me to follow Him into the heart of the matter (Luke 4:18).
What is the heart of the matter? I long suspect it has something to do with the piece of oneself that scatters to the wind when the heart splits open wide. A scene in the 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland convinces me. Several years pass before Alice's visit to Wonderland, where she struggles to remember who she is in the context of an environment she once loved. Try as she might, she can't reconnect. Exhausted, she inquires of the Mad Hatter, "What was I like back then?"
He replies, "You're not the same as you were before. You were much more . . . muchier. You've lost your muchness."
A brilliant description of why we despair. We long for a glimpse of ourselves before we tumbled down the rabbit hole of perpetual pain. The causes vary; before the [abuse, betrayal, rejection, loss, abandonment, addiction, disillusionment of God] we were much "more."
Regardless of what you've been through, you can find your way back to the woman God created you to be, or perhaps embrace her for the first time. This is no casual proclamation. I'm no stranger to the causes of despair. I've learned that most survivors cannot mouth a one-size-fits-all forgiveness prayer and move forward as if they weren't pushed down that rabbit hole. There's a time and place to mourn and even express our anger before God.
A longtime friend of mine lost her battle with cancer, leaving behind two 'lil sweet peas. The service opened with the gentle beauty of a flower in bloom. I knew in my heart she was "in a better place," but it would have been ill-timed for anyone to dole out that truth to me as I slumped in a puddle of tears. Likewise, it's only fitting to consider the role timing plays in urging a broken heart to forgive its breaker. Attempting to forgive with a lack of sincerity forfeits the wonder of authentic grace. The ability to forgive from the heart is the fruit of time spent healing in the care of our Maker. This, my friend, takes time. And now is as good a time as any to say, time takes time, too.
If you've been deeply wounded and struggle to forgive, I've walked a thousand miles down that dry and dusty road. Many times I thought to quit, convinced my "guide" asked too much of me. Imagine my relief when I learned Jesus doesn't command that we forgive "him, her, them" with our lips. He insists it come from our hearts. When we're weary, we only have to take His hand and follow. His presence by far supercedes man-made methods. Can't forgive today? Relax. I'm not asking you. I'm inviting you to join me on a pilgrimage where you'll discover:
- God is patient with you every step of the way.
- Not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit will you take one step at a time, one day at a time--blisters and all.
- Christ will restore your "muchness" somewhere along the way.
Genesis 33: 13
"My lord knows that the children are weak . . . And if the men should drive them too hard one day, all the flock will die . . . I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock and children are able to endure" NKJV).