An Unburdened Heart: Suzie Eller, Author Interview & Giveaway

 UPDATE: Thank you for leaving such great comments! I’ve decided to give away 2 gift packs instead of one. Each winner will receive a copy of  Suzie Eller’s new book, Unburdened Heart and a Starbucks gift card:  

Winners:  smom777
                     Evet Meierer 

Email me (Leah.Proverbs31@gmail.com) your mailing address so I can send the gift packs to you.  Congratulations!! 

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I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend and ministry mentor, Suzie Eller. She just released her book entitled,  The Unburdened Heart:  Finding Freedom in ForgivenessIf you are struggling with unforgiveness, or know someone who is, this book is a must have. 

Maybe someone has hurt you deeply and you can’t find the strength to forgive them. Or, you thought you had forgiven them years ago, but seeing that person or even hearing their name mentioned, reopens hidden wounds in your heart. Maybe there is someone in your life who you love deeply but they won’t forgive you.

Do you want freedom? Freedom comes through forgiveness and Suzie will show you how to begin the steps of healing through her book, The Unburdened Heart. Through her tenderness and transparency, Suzie shares with us her insights about forgiveness below.

I’m giving away a FREE copy of Suzie’s book, along with a Starbucks gift card. So, after the interview below, be sure to leave a comment sharing why you’d like to win. If you tell a friend about the drawing, post something on Facebook or Twitter, mention it in your comment and your name will go into the drawing twice. 

Take it from here Suzie….

Suzie, why is forgiveness so difficult?
It’s difficult because it involves people and it involves the way we feel. If we could just live in isolation, then maybe we’d never run into a difficult person, or open our hearts to love someone and they disappoint, or maybe we’d never feel bad. Which is why many do isolate or retaliate when they are hurt; it makes sense.
But it also traps you, and keeps you stuck, and maybe no one sees that, but it plays out somewhere, whether in your relationships or inside where no one can see.

Why are you offering a free online study?
One of the things that I pray that The Unburdened Heart–and our online study–does is to help shift our perspective from “what was, to what can be”.
We know up front that we are going to face head-on some difficult challenges, or that we may crawl over a hurdle that has stood in the way for years, but one of the most powerful meanings of the word forgive is “to leave one place to go to another”.
To leave bitterness for joy.
To leave anger for peace.
To leave being stuck to discovering what God has for you today, rather than what you carried yesterday.

What does forgiveness mean? Is it letting someone off the hook for what he/she did?
The foundational meaning is to “cease to feel resentment.” In a sense, we are able to get out of the debt collection business, which is freeing.
But there’s so much more to this word.
When I started my own personal journey to discover the diverse and powerful meanings of this word, I did so because it seemed like people would say something like, “just forgive”, which only made a hundred more questions come up, like “does it mean they get off the hook?” or “they’ve changed but I can’t forget what they did”.
The deeper I got into this study, the more I realized that forgiveness is important to God, because people are important to God.
In the book, using the power of story and scripture, I share several different multi-layered meanings of this word found in scripture, and all of them lead us to freedom. It might not necessarily fix another person, or make them say they are sorry, or even provide justice that should have taken place, but the door is unlocked and you and I are free and no longer chained to an event, a person, or a time.

Why should we forgive, especially when we’ve been hurt badly and/or the offender isn’t sorry for what he/she did?
First, it’s important that we acknowledge that it’s hard to forgive when there’s no remorse, and you long for someone to say they are sorry. I don’t know how many women I’ve talked to that I’ve wrapped my arms around and said, “I wish that hadn’t happened to you. I’m so sorry that it did.”
But there are a lot of walking wounded whose offender may not be sorry, may not be remorseful (maybe they see it a different way, or through their own filter of pain, or maybe they don’t care), and yet this beautiful woman is still tied to that person or that period of time.
When I looked at my beautiful newborn child, I wanted her to have a healthy mom who wasn’t tied to the past, or filled with bitterness. I wanted to put a line in front of me and say, “it stops here.” I wanted my sweet girl to grow up in stability. But if there were cords that still tied me to the past, I was going to struggle to give her that.
It wasn’t easy. I didn’t know what or how to do it way back then. I just knew that for some reason every time I prayed that God would help me give my child something greater, the word forgive seemed to be the most important first step to take.
So, regardless of another person’s willingness or unwillingness, we offer up what we have to God and that might just look like this: God, I have no clue where you are taking me, or what you want me to do, but I’m willing to take this journey. So I offer up my heart to you today, regardless of whether anyone else has signed up for this journey or not.
To me, surrendering to the process is the most incredible act of faith.

What about when we think we have forgiven, but negative thoughts and emotions still keep coming up. Why is this, and will your book help us with this?
When I was in the beginning stages of forgiving, I would let thoughts just pour over my heart.
I thought about what I would say next. I would think about setting a person straight. I would put myself in a good light, and the other person in a negative light. Pretty soon I was in stuck in those thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t a healthy place, because it didn’t do anything to work through the conflict. It didn’t do anything but feed my anger or bitterness.
One day I felt God asking me to leave that unhealthy place.
I promised God that when I went to that unhealthy place where nothing was ever resolved and it kept me stuck, that I’d recognize it as such.
When that took place, it was a good time to look at why I felt the way I did, and if there was anything in my power that I could do. And if not, then how could I invite God into that moment and that feeling, where He could take up residence and fill in the raw places in my heart.

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Suzie, thank you for sharing with us today. I am already hearing from other women how your book has given them the faith to forgive and receive freedom!

Friends, if you want to know more about Suzie, please visit her blog and check out her on-line study by clicking here.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Suzie’s new book and a Starbucks gift card! I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday so be sure to stop by then to see if your name is listed as the winner.

Leah

Comments

  1. Reading your interview, I was nearly in tears. Everything you said spoke to my heart. I pray daily to find forgiveness, at the same time fighting the thoughts that I am letting this person off easy…yet again. I get to a point where I believe I have finally forgiven, only to have hurt, anger and bitterness show up again, out of the blue. I’ve read the scriptures, I “know the rules” so to speak. Forgiveness is more for me than them. It is my relationship with my Father in heaven on the line here. And I WANT so much to do what is right in His eyes…so why is this so hard. Why can’t I forgive, when I want to with all my heart?

    Thank you for following His lead and writing a book for those of us craving these answers. Have a wonderful Easter.

  2. I also shared this on facebook!

  3. I need to learn more on forgiveness and how to practice it in my daily life. Thank you for this oppurtunity for the book~ I would love to read it!

  4. Anger, frustration, resentment… so many emotions can really allow Satan to rule your life before you know it. it takes one open door for him to try and ruin your happiness… but God always prevails and allows those doors to be shut on Satan, as long as you ask, pray and seek his guidance. I would love to try and win. Putting this on FB and Twitter! 🙂

  5. So tired of being angry.

  6. There is a place in me that harbors resentment and anger toward someone and I don’t know how or even if I can forgive…I just know I am tired of being bitter. Tired of constantly thinking about it. I want to let it go……………Donna

    • Father, Donna longs to be free and you hold out the key to that freedom. It’s not easy to forgive when you’ve been hurt, and today it’s not a choice or an act of will, but rather surrendering to whatever you have for Donna as she holds this up to you and says, “I’ve tried, but I can’t do it on my own. I’m willing. I don’t know what this will look like, but I’m ready to open the door to every wounded place in my thoughts, my heart, and my life and invite you in.” That’s faith. Incredible faith. Lord, give Donna all that she needs to begin this journey today. In your powerful name, amen.

  7. Timely reminder. Would love to win a copy.

  8. Would love to win this book. I can only really speak for myself but I know I need help with forgiving. I talk to my daughter about it all the time with some hurts that she’s experienced. I tell her how many times that God forgives us and that we have to do that same…over & over.

  9. I don’t think we can ever hear enough about forgiveness. It is vital in our walk with Jesus. It is not easy to do or everyone would do it! I have tried forgiving people and then I see thethem and they cut open every old wound and then make new ones. I have set up boundaries and it helps but agree of these people I can’t keep out of my life! I forgive them and I give it to God and for a season things seem to be going so well. Forgiveness is an ongoing process!

  10. I don’t think we can ever hear enough about forgiveness. It is vital in our walk with Jesus. It is not easy to do or everyone would do it! I have tried forgiving people and then I see thethem and they cut open every old wound and then make new ones. I have set up boundaries and it helps but agree of these people I can’t keep out of my life! I forgive them and I give it to God and for a season things seem to be going so well. Forgiveness is an ongoing process!

  11. I don’t think we can ever hear enough about forgiveness. It is vital in our walk with Jesus. It is not easy to do or everyone would do it! I have tried forgiving people and then I see thethem and they cut open every old wound and then make new ones. I have set up boundaries and it helps but agree of these people I can’t keep out of my life! I forgive them and I give it to God and for a season things seem to be going so well. Forgiveness is an ongoing process!

  12. I don’t think we can ever hear enough about forgiveness. It is vital in our walk with Jesus. It is not easy to do or everyone would do it! I have tried forgiving people and then I see thethem and they cut open every old wound and then make new ones. I have set up boundaries and it helps but agree of these people I can’t keep out of my life! I forgive them and I give it to God and for a season things seem to be going so well. Forgiveness is an ongoing process!

  13. Something we all struggle with, I’m really struggling right now. My marriage is rocky right now, so many things need to be forgiven and forgotten by both my husband and me.

  14. Awhile ago, God kept dealing with me, showing me I had unforgiveness in me. I wondered, toward who? I really couldn’t think of anyone, and anyone I did think of, I forgave. Still, God showed me I had a problem with unforgiveness toward someone. Well, God showed me-it was unforgiveness toward myself! When I mess up, I tend to want to hold it over my own head until I feel I’ve been punished enough. God forgives me and doesn’t hold it against me, but I have to get that through my thick skull!

  15. Awhile ago, God kept dealing with me, showing me I had unforgiveness in me. I wondered, toward who? I really couldn’t think of anyone, and anyone I did think of, I forgave. Still, God showed me I had a problem with unforgiveness toward someone. Well, God showed me-it was unforgiveness toward myself! When I mess up, I tend to want to hold it over my own head until I feel I’ve been punished enough. God forgives me and doesn’t hold it against me, but I have to get that through my thick skull!

  16. Awhile ago, God kept dealing with me, showing me I had unforgiveness in me. I wondered, toward who? I really couldn’t think of anyone, and anyone I did think of, I forgave. Still, God showed me I had a problem with unforgiveness toward someone. Well, God showed me-it was unforgiveness toward myself! When I mess up, I tend to want to hold it over my own head until I feel I’ve been punished enough. God forgives me and doesn’t hold it against me, but I have to get that through my thick skull!

  17. I really wanna win, I can’t afford any new books and really really really would love to have this one. just reading the intro and chapter one has helped me more than words can describe.

  18. I’ve had my heart broken many times throughout my life. The last one was not long ago. After a marriage with a man who lied and decieved me from the start, I never thought I could trust again. I met a man at church two years ago. He was wonderful. I prayed from the moment I met him that I wouldn’t be decieved again and that The Lord would protect me and my heart. Long story short, he turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He lied to me about many, many things. I forgave him for many, but eventually, I just couldn’t continue on. I had totally and completely let my guard down with him. I loved him in a way I have never loved a man. My heart was broken in a way it never had been. I was very hurt and I turned that hurt into anger and bitterness. I was so overcome by anger and bitterness that I actually wanted to physically hurt him. I wanted to call him every name in the book. I started to become someone I didn’t like or recognize. I’ve been a believer my whole life and I’ve always considered myself a forgiving person, but I realized quickly with this situation I wasn’t forgiving and honestly, I had no idea how to. After about 6 months of just being consumed by these feelings, I met with my pastor. I asked him “how do I forgive”? What a silly question for someone who has had a relationship with the Lord her whole life. My pastor basically said The Lord understands all of the emotions you are feeling, even that you are having a hard time forgiving, you just need to give yourself time and permission to feel what you feel and time and permission for the Lord to heal your heart, again, and help you move on and forgive. I also realized that my main issue was that I was grieving. I was grieving the loss of someone I thought I knew and grieving the loss of what I thought was going to be, marriage. It’s been almost a year since I last had any contact with this man. While i do have my days, I definitely feel more freedom and healing every day. I don’t know If I have forgiven him completely, but I do know that I can actually say or hear his name and not be overcome with anger and hurt. I think one of the things I have learned through this is that as Christians we always hear people say “you have to forgive because God forgave and still forgives you. If you don’t forgive, you are a bad person”. But we have to remember, God is God. We are human. He knows our hearts. He knows our struggles. We need to allow ourselves to move at whatever pace it takes to forgive. As long as we are taking steps and making progress and being honest with The Lord that is all he really expects. I know it will take time before my heart is back together, but I’m determined that when it does come back together it will be whole, free, and soft again. 🙂 God bless.

  19. Unforgiveness is what I’ve been struggling with for years and praying every day that soon I can just let go, forgive, and stop holding grudges. It’s so hard but I know I’ll do it. God keeps reminding me every day to forgive. This book is probably a book I really need to read!

    • Raquel, I’m praying for you today. Believing that God will guide you through the process of forgiveness so you can experience the freedom He has waiting for you.
      Leah

  20. Forgiveness did not always come easy for me. I held anger and hatred in my heart for a specific person for a very long time. It ate at me and poisoned me in ways that I could never imagine. It also weighed me down so that sometimes it seemed like I could not stand tall. It seeped over into other aspects of my life and slowly became a wall between me and God. My prayers were not heard and I was not happy in my spirit until I asked God to help me, to help me to forgive and love the person I was so angry with. God heard and granted my prayer and I was able to forgive and love. A huge weight was lifted from my life, both spiritually and physically. I thank God to this day for how He has brought me through my anger and He taught me how to forgive. My life is much better and I am free in both spirit and mind.

    • Angie, thank you for sharing the process God brought you through and the freedom you’ve experienced through forgiveness. Your transparency and willingness to yield to your Father’s will not only blessed you but is also a blessing to others who hear about your journey of forgiveness.
      Leah

  21. I would love to win a copy for my friend. She struggles with forgiveness. This book sounds like it would be a blessing for her. Thank you!

  22. Mercy is what I desire from our LORD! Forgiveness is most difficult. I would like for the winner to bles others by passinf it along after reading.

  23. I am a blogger and reviewer and would LOVE to read your book and share my honest review on my blog/facebook and amazon!!!

  24. I have struggled through the years with forgiving people in my life. Since becoming more involved with church and studying the bible it has definitely helped. I would love to win this book to help me with my journey. Thank you.

  25. I would love to win this book. I’ve had such a hard time forgiving the woman my husband had an affair with especially because she was a friend in my church. I’ve been asking God to help me forgive and it seems like every post I read on FB has been on forgiveness, so I know it’s time to let go and truly forgive. Thank you.

    • Chapter Three is for you, sister. It’s the story of Carlie and her forgiveness journey that begin days after her husband left her. It’s a powerful look at why God asks us to forgive, even when we aren’t at fault. I hope it’s a brand new way to look at forgiving.

  26. I would really love to win this book…but I will be getting it either way. I have some work to do with the father I think!

  27. I Love how Joyce Meyer said it: “Forgiveness isn’t doing a favor for someone else- you are setting yourself free when you forgive someone else!”
    Thank for sharing your blog with us and being such an encouragement!

  28. I would love to win this book! I have been struggling for years to forgive my father for sexual abusing me as a child. He died almost 3 years ago and I never got to confront him. I think I have forgiving him but I have been struggling with this. I was hoping to read your book and it would help me to heal. Thank you!

    • Evet, I’m praying for you today. I’m asking our Heavenly Father to comfort and guide you in a way that your earthly father couldn’t.

      Stay strong, sweet sister. Your healing is on the way!
      Leah

  29. What a marvelous topic to share that offers hope to so many that have become stranded in their pain, unable to find the path to forgiveness, healing, freedom, and joy. Thank you Suzie Eller for allowing God to use you to help light the way for those that are stranded.

    • Thank you for writing such encouraging words on my blog today. I’ll make sure Suzie gets to read your comments, along with everyone elses. 🙂
      Leah

    • Thank you, and reading these words just remind me of the fact that we were never intended to live stranded or stuck. Forgiving can be hard, and we need His help, but it’s also one of the most freeing gifts we can give others and receive ourselves.

  30. The interview reminds me that forgivness is important and that’s why I’d like to win.

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog today. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts about forgiveness.

  31. I’ve been reading alot about Suzie’s book and have been blessed by her words in the past, so looking forward to God speaking about this important topic as well!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Jill. Suzie’s book has blessed and challeneged me too! It’s teaching me to pause, pray, and extend a double dose of mercy, instead of dishing out judgement on others, when I have no right doing so.

      Leah

  32. Just this morning I was praying to God about my sister and how do I go about asking her for forgiveness? One she don’t know who Jesus Christ is and two it has been years since we talked. I was asking Him how do I forgive myself and how do I ask her? This book sounds like it be great for the both of us. God Bless

    • Sweet friend, I’m asking God to restore the broken relationship you have with your sister and replace the torn pieces with a fresh new beginning for the two of you. Through grace, mercy, and forgiveness it is possible.
      Leah

    • One of the most interesting things I found in this journey is that we aren’t required to forgive ourselves, but to scoop from His generous grace toward us and be covered in that grace and forgiveness that is as far as the East is from the West. If you desire to forgive your sister, then let her know that, but with the understanding that forgiveness isn’t a neat resolution, and sometimes it’s messy, and she may not even accept it, but if it is offered with a sincere heart, the work that is done in your own heart is freeing.

  33. Such an eye opener, when we forgive…. we can see with such clarity that isn’t ‘visable’ in the midst of conflict and unforgiveness. Looking forward to this book, regardless of the win or not! Thank you for the opportunity!

  34. Forgiveness gave me a new perspective on my circumstances. I was unable to see my situation and those involved with God’s eyes when mine were clouded with unforgiveness. Thanks Suzie and Leah for helping spread the word about the power of forgiveness! It’s fun to be Free!

  35. would love to win

    • Thank you for taking time to leave a reply. I really appreciate it, friend.
      Leah

    • Forgiveness. He forgave us and continues to do so over and over and over again. It is much easier to just hold onto all those who have hurt your spirit as you feel the pain physically. I carry much burden around and would love some inspiration, Christian inspiration to begin to let all this go.
      Sarah Kennedy

    • My prayer Sarah, is that God helps you leave one place (hurt) to find another (freedom). At some point that burden is too heavy, sis. You aren’t intended to carry it alone.

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