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Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.

Nan has created a book-mark that enumerates the many fruits of forgiveness:
love, faith, patience, peace, trust, gentleness, gratefulness, joy, inner beauty, grace, humility, security, kindness, freedom, mercy, goodness, flexibility, self-control, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others. Each fruit of forgiveness is a gift from God that you receive when you forgive. It generates a release that brings freedom, peace, unity and healing.

As we talk in her flower-filled, North Dallas home, being with Nan Self is a somewhat other-worldly experience.  She emits serenity, peace and love by her very presence. Maybe it’s in part because of all that she has been through in preparing to write her book Forgiveness—Making Space for Grace, published in 2017.

When asked what started her on the path to this book, she was quick to respond. “It was in the 1970s,” she said.  “I saw the cover of the magazine New Wine, and on it there was a picture of a man who looked so sad and crouched down, and there was a glass bell jar over him.”  On the cover was written “The Barrier of Unforgiveness,” and the entire magazine was about forgiveness. It changed her life.  She started little by little studying and forgiving.

“About this time, I realized that what I had thought had been an ideal childhood had been a myth,” said Nan.  “I had a very difficult childhood.”  

In her subsequent readings and study, she realized that she had unforgiveness against both parents (who have since passed away) and had taken those roots into her heart, producing bitterness. “Unforgiveness toward anyone,” Nan says, “invades your mind, soul, spirit and life.”  

Studies show that unforgiveness—whether toward a family member, a friend, a co-worker, an acquaintance—can produce various kinds of illness, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression.  These studies are backed up by the websites of major medical and academic institutions, which offer approaches one can take to forgive.  

For Nan, however, the act of identifying roots of unforgiveness comes first, then the act of forgiving—both of which come through prayer. “We are to say, ‘Lord, I don’t know,’ and He will reveal the areas of unforgiveness.”   

Scripture is full of references that highlight the need for forgiveness.  The most important, perhaps, is the Lord’s Prayer, specifically, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”  Matthew 6:12. “The key is the word ‘as’,” she said.

Nan asked God to reveal areas of unforgiveness toward her parents. It took three weeks for her to make a list. The whole process was an uncovering, layer by layer.  “Once I had the list completed, I began to work through it with confession, forgiveness, and repentance. I asked Him to uproot each one and to fill up the ‘waste places.’ Then I asked Him to forgive me, and I forgave myself,” she said.  

That process was life-changing.  “I had no idea that the roots of unforgiveness were buried so deeply in my heart.  They had produced all kinds of negative emotions, heaviness and burdens. When I forgave, I felt a release in my heart and spirit. I knew that I was different.”

As we talk in her flower-filled, North Dallas home, being with Nan Self is a somewhat other-worldly experience.  She emits serenity, peace and love by her very presence. Maybe it’s in part because of all that she has been through in preparing to write her book Forgiveness—Making Space for Grace, published in 2017.

When asked what started her on the path to this book, she was quick to respond. “It was in the 1970s,” she said.  “I saw the cover of the magazine New Wine, and on it there was a picture of a man who looked so sad and crouched down, and there was a glass bell jar over him.”  On the cover was written “The Barrier of Unforgiveness,” and the entire magazine was about forgiveness. It changed her life.  She started little by little studying and forgiving.

“About this time, I realized that what I had thought had been an ideal childhood had been a myth,” said Nan.  “I had a very difficult childhood.”  

Nan has created a book-mark that enumerates the many fruits of forgiveness: love, faith, patience, peace, trust, gentleness, gratefulness, joy, inner beauty, grace, humility, security, kindness, freedom, mercy, goodness, flexibility, self-control, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others. Each fruit of forgiveness is a gift from God that you receive when you forgive. It generates a release that brings freedom, peace, unity and healing.

In her subsequent readings and study, she realized that she had unforgiveness against both parents (who have since passed away) and had taken those roots into her heart, producing bitterness. “Unforgiveness toward anyone,” Nan says, “invades your mind, soul, spirit and life.”  

Studies show that unforgiveness—whether toward a family member, a friend, a co-worker, an acquaintance—can produce various kinds of illness, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression.  These studies are backed up by the websites of major medical and academic institutions, which offer approaches one can take to forgive.  

For Nan, however, the act of identifying roots of unforgiveness comes first, then the act of forgiving—both of which come through prayer. “We are to say, ‘Lord, I don’t know,’ and He will reveal the areas of unforgiveness.”   

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To illustrate that difference, Nan has created a book-mark that enumerates the many fruits of forgiveness: love, faith, patience, peace, trust, gentleness, gratefulness, joy, inner beauty, grace, humility, security, kindness, freedom, mercy, goodness, flexibility, self-control, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others.  Who wouldn’t want these?

A third-generation author, Nan has for years been a teacher, a licensed counselor and a play therapist, so she couldn’t keep such knowledge to herself.  She began writing, and the book evolved, taking several years to complete.

Is this process really “life-changing?” I should say so.  On the back of her book is a summary and two powerful testimonies, each under one of the following headings: Forgiveness Heals, Forgiveness Enlightens, and Forgiveness Frees.  Her book has been extraordinarily helpful to me, as it has been for so many others.

Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living

For more information, visit www.ForgivenessByGrace.com

Scripture is full of references that highlight the need for forgiveness.  The most important, perhaps, is the Lord’s Prayer, specifically, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”  Matthew 6:12. “The key is the word ‘as’,” she said.

Nan asked God to reveal areas of unforgiveness toward her parents. It took three weeks for her to make a list. The whole process was an uncovering, layer by layer.  “Once I had the list completed, I began to work through it with confession, forgiveness, and repentance. I asked Him to uproot each one and to fill up the ‘waste places.’ Then I asked Him to forgive me, and I forgave myself,” she said.  

That process was life-changing.  “I had no idea that the roots of unforgiveness were buried so deeply in my heart.  They had produced all kinds of negative emotions, heaviness and burdens. When I forgave, I felt a release in my heart and spirit. I knew that I was different.”

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To illustrate that difference, Nan has created a book-mark that enumerates the many fruits of forgiveness: love, faith, patience, peace, trust, gentleness, gratefulness, joy, inner beauty, grace, humility, security, kindness, freedom, mercy, goodness, flexibility, self-control, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others.  Who wouldn’t want these?

A third-generation author, Nan has for years been a teacher, a licensed counselor and a play therapist, so she couldn’t keep such knowledge to herself.  She began writing, and the book evolved, taking several years to complete.

Is this process really “life-changing?” I should say so.  On the back of her book is a summary and two powerful testimonies, each under one of the following headings: Forgiveness Heals, Forgiveness Enlightens, and Forgiveness Frees.  Her book has been extraordinarily helpful to me, as it has been for so many others.

Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living

For more information, visit www.ForgivenessByGrace.com

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