Forgiving What You Can't Forget Book Summary - Forgiving What You Can't Forget Book explained in key points
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Forgiving What You Can't Forget summary

Lysa TerKeurst

Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again

3.6 (200 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

Forgiving What You Can't Forget by Lysa TerKeurst is a guide to help readers heal from pain, trauma and betrayal by offering practical steps to navigate the path towards forgiveness.

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    Forgiving What You Can't Forget
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    In order to heal, you must first forgive.

    Have you ever felt so heartbroken that you thought you would never heal? 

    This is how the author felt when she found out that her husband, Art, had been cheating on her. 

    For weeks and months after she found this out, she couldn’t help wishing she could be put under anesthetic – like a patient awaiting surgery in hospital. That way, she wouldn’t have to deal with the heartbreak and shock that had affected her life and the lives of her children. 

    However, after some time had passed, the author realized that holding on to her pain wasn’t getting her anywhere. To recover from the trauma, she had to learn how to forgive the man who had wronged her.

    The key message here is: In order to heal, you must first forgive.

    When the author was in the depths of despair, forgiveness seemed like the hardest thing to do. She thought that learning to forgive would be like fighting an everlasting battle on her own. But after a while, she realized that God would be there to help. 

    In the Bible, Ephesians 4:7 says that Jesus allows grace to flow freely through us – to help us learn how to forgive one another. The author interpreted the passage to mean this: our ability to forgive isn’t dependent on our own will, but on our ability to cooperate with the Lord. 

    As human beings, we find forgiveness tough. When people wrong us, our first reaction isn’t to bless them or offer them consolation. Instead, we sometimes use our hurt as an excuse to hurt them back.

    God knew that humans couldn’t learn to forgive people all on their own. That’s why He made a way for us to forgive other people that wasn’t dependent on our own strength. When we’re hurting – and all we want to do is run and hide – God takes the wheel. He forgives the wrongs that we would never be strong enough to make right.

    So forgiveness isn’t always about doing something for a human relationship. It’s about being obedient to what God has instructed us to do. When we cooperate most fully with God’s work of forgiveness, we give up the desire to make others suffer for what they’ve done – and in return, we get the freedom to move on. 

    So if you’re feeling like there’s no way out of your misery, take God’s hand. As the words of forgiveness are released from your lips, you’ll begin to walk the path to healing. 

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    What is Forgiving What You Can't Forget about?

    Forgiving What You Can’t Forget (2020) is a guide to healing from past hurt. Drawing from her experiences of abuse in her childhood and infidelity in her marriage, author Lysa TerKeurst offers up ways to make peace with painful memories through forgiveness.

    Forgiving What You Can't Forget Review

    Forgiving What You Can't Forget (2020) by Lysa TerKeurst is a powerful exploration of the healing journey from pain and betrayal to forgiveness and freedom. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical steps and deep insights into the process of forgiveness, allowing readers to find healing and liberation from past hurts.
    • The book combines personal stories with biblical principles, providing a relatable and faith-centered approach to forgiveness that resonates with readers.
    • With its engaging narrative and relatable examples, the book ensures that the topic of forgiveness is never dull, keeping readers captivated from start to finish.

    Best quote from Forgiving What You Can't Forget

    Pain projects, hurt haunts, seething never sits still.

    —Lysa TerKeurst
    example alt text

    Who should read Forgiving What You Can't Forget?

    • Anyone suffering from a broken heart
    • Christians seeking to feel closer to God
    • Those wanting to reframe their suffering as something positive

    About the Author

    Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, a Christian ministry helping women enter into a relationship with God. She’s also the New York Times best-selling author of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way (2018) and Uninvited (2016). Her favorite writing spot is her gray farm table in her house in North Carolina.

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    Forgiving What You Can't Forget FAQs 

    What is the main message of Forgiving What You Can't Forget?

    The main message of Forgiving What You Can't Forget is the power of forgiveness to heal and move forward.

    How long does it take to read Forgiving What You Can't Forget?

    The reading time for Forgiving What You Can't Forget varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Forgiving What You Can't Forget a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Forgiving What You Can't Forget offers valuable insights and practical guidance, making it a worthwhile read for anyone looking for healing and growth.

    Who is the author of Forgiving What You Can't Forget?

    Lysa TerKeurst is the author of Forgiving What You Can't Forget.

    What to read after Forgiving What You Can't Forget?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Forgiving What You Can't Forget, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • How to Do the Work by Nicole LePera
    • The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis
    • Widen the Window by Elizabeth A. Stanley
    • The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu & Mpho Tutu
    • I’m Ok, You’re Ok by Thomas A. Harris
    • Forgive by Timothy Keller
    • Good Boundaries and Goodbyes by Lysa TerKeurst
    • How to Meet Your Self by Nicole LePera
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber