By Toni Hebel
David and Missy came to us, led by God, broken. Their experience is one of so many we have the privilege of witnessing. We share the message God has given us to steward, they believe and God does the work in their hearts that completely changes them and in such a relatively short time.
One question we are repeatedly asked is, “Does it last?” “Does the freedom last?” Good question. Our response is, “Does salvation last?” Absolutely. Does the joy of our salvation last? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Horizontal forgiveness is no different. When we fully forgive, we experience the tormenters leave, immediately. Where we put our focus is the answer. We can accept Christ Jesus as our Savior and enjoy this new life He has given us, but when we change our focus, putting our hope in anyone or anything other than Him, including ourselves, we will experience loss, defeat. The moment we focus on the wound and entertain the pain, embracing the thought that they still owe us something, i.e. going back into unforgiveness—that is the moment we will be brought back under torment. So does it last? Absolutely. How? By continuing to believe and focus on this truth:
Applying the Blood of Jesus
as Payment in Full
to Every Wound that I Have and Will Receive.
When we meet with an individual or a couple, we not only rejoice in their freedom, but we also we end our time warning them that the enemy of their souls is not happy and will come to try and draw them back into unforgiveness, resulting in torment—he loves to torment us. So we have found it important to give the tools necessary to stand firm in the finished work of the Cross of Christ. Listen to Missy share from her heart not only her initial victory, which was huge, but also how she continues to walk in her freedom.
Forgiving Forward completely changed my life! It has been a little over two years now since I was introduced to Forgiving Forward, and I am so grateful for its message. Seven months prior to that (in January of 2013), I had discovered that my husband had been unfaithful to me with a close friend of mine. Because we were all serving in ministry together, this was made public before our church. My nightmare began.
For months on end I struggled. I had a counselor tell me that not a lot of people can understand the loss I had experienced, because not a lot of people experience the type of marriage we had. We had a beautiful marriage, and I was stuck grieving the loss of what we’d had. Over the next several months, we made some progress, but there were always triggers that brought back the memories and pain of what had happened. We would be okay for a while, and then fall back into a pit.
Then we met Dr. Bruce and Toni Hebel. My husband and I spent the next four hours with them and were completely healed. God performed a miracle in their living room, and that miracle was total forgiveness. Our marriage was instantly more beautiful than before. I never knew that such love could come from that much pain. What I thought was impossible, healing from such a betrayal, was done in one evening. Countless prayers had gone up in the months before, “Lord, I know I need to forgive, but how?” In just a few hours it was completely done, and I was free!
The key to lasting freedom lies in the sixth protocol, committing to “not remember.” The truth is, I can never forget what happened. There were reminders everywhere of what happened (places, people, songs, thoughts), especially early on. It’s what I do when that memory is triggered that makes the difference between freedom and torment.
Satan would love nothing more than to pull someone back into unforgiveness. Unfortunately, choosing to go back down that bitter thought pattern can easily do this. The thought comes, “Remember what she did?” Then you do remember. “How could she have done that to me?” From there, you continue to think about it, and before you know it you’re sliding back into unforgiveness.
Instead, when the thought comes, “Remember what she did?” you use that as a reminder to “not remember.” Right then say, “I specifically remember forgiving her for that, and I’m so thankful for the freedom that brought me. Right now, I ask that God will bless her.” Then pray specific blessings for that person.
That’s how you maintain your freedom. In Luke 17:1, the Bible says, “Offences are sure to come…” so everyday presents new opportunities to exercise our forgiveness muscle. Living a life of forgiveness means living a life of freedom!
Missy’s story is not unusual. The Cross of Christ, the blood of Jesus is just that powerful. If you are struggling with finding that freedom you so desperately want, please contact our office for further help. Who knows, it just may be Missy that helps you find what she was looking for two years ago.
(Missy and her husband David are Certified Forgiving Forward coaches who are helping many find healing, not only in their hearts, but also their marriages, families and relationships.)