The Unburdened Heart ~ by Suzie Eller


Unburdened-Heart1Sometimes, I sit back and think about the people God has placed in my life and it makes my heart smile big time. Suzie Eller is one of those friends. I met her through Facebook several years ago. We both love Jesus like crazy, are passionate about ministering to the hearts of women and we were both new grandmas. And so we connected.

Several months later I was at She Speaks and was privileged to meet Suzie briefly in real life. She was running down from her room and I spotted her making a mad dash to get something from the conference room and I just had to run over and meet her.

I’m honored to know Suzie and thankful for how the Lord has connected us. She has know idea how the Lord used her in my life as she lives out loud for the Living God.

I was also honored when she asked me to share my story for her new book, The Unburdened Heart ~ Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.

Walking through my own journey of forgiveness was more difficult and more healing than I had anticipated.

Forgiveness is seldom a one time event. It is a journey that brings you to different pockets of pain and shows you the damage that was done and how it effected your life. And then you have to walk through the valley of forgiveness again if you’re going to make your way to the mountain of freedom and healing.

I know the Lord is already using Suzie’s new book to minister to the hearts of people who have struggled with forgiveness, dealing with pain from the past and not being able to walk in the freedom that comes with truly understanding how to forgive.

I highly recommend The Unburdened Heart to everyone who has ever been through anything. Yeah…I recommend it to everyone because it’s one of those books that is a definite MUST READ.


Comment by Wednesday, 3/13/13 at 6:00 p.m. for your chance to win. 

Today, I want to share with you some questions and answers Suzie shares about forgiveness that I know will encourage you in your own journey to forgiveness.

1. 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 my heart to love someone and they disappoint, or maybe I’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.

2. Why are you doing 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.

3. What does forgiveness mean? Does it mean just 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.

4. Why should I forgive, especially when I’ve been hurt badly and/or my 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.

5. I thought I forgave the offender, but negative thoughts and emotions still keep coming up. Why is this, and what do I do about it?

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 theconflict. 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.

To see a sample of chapter 1 of The Unburdened Heart, click here (Suzie’s site) or click here (PDF of sample).


SE13-1060-682x1024Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author. She’s written six books, hundreds of articles, and writes devos with Encouragement for Today that reaches over 500,000 women. Suzie is a radio co-host with Luann Prater at Encouragement Cafe Joy FM. She encourages women through two Facebook communities reaching over 20,000 five days a week. She’s been featured on TV and radio such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, MidDay Connection, The Harvest Show, and many others. Most importantly, she is a wife, mom, and “Gaga” to four beautiful grandbabies. Connect with Suzie at




  1. Stephanie this is the first I knew of this book and it sounds so wonderful! This topic really resonates with me because its been something I have been really struggling with over the last year from something that has happened in my life. So excited to read it and hear your story and extra side bonus…super excited to potentially meet Suzie at Hearts at Home next week!
    Love the work God does through you girl! You are such an encouragement to me!

  2. Forgiveness is a healing process sometimes it does not always happen over night .Love to win a copy please .Thank you ,Dana “Girl” Spille

  3. I am looking forward to reading this book and doing a study of it.

  4. What an awesome book. I struggle with a lot of unforgiveness and never realized it was not a one time thing.
    Thank you so much for sharing I really would love to win a copy.
    M. Waters

  5. I am doing this online study at the invitation of a good friend of mine. I didn’t really realize how stuck I have been. I thouhgt I had moved past the hurt and negative feelings. I cried with the first chapter. I have been stuck spiritually for so long. I knew I was stuck but not why. Praise God that he led me to where I need to be in His perfect timing. Thank you. I want to win a book for my sister. It is a must read for everyone.

  6. I love this statement. It’s something I’m still working on.

    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.

  7. This is a well studied topic in our home, but I am interested in this at all times. You see, no matter how much we’ve been through or how many times we have forgiven, the need to forgive will be as long as we are breathing. In my lifetime, I have had the opportunity to forgive many, many times. It is seldom an instantaneous event.
    Thanks for making me think about it.

  8. So thankful to find this book! Over the past few months, God has been working on my heart regarding this very thing. I am finally understanding how SELF-destructive unforgiveness can be. In His mercy and love, The Lord has shown me the incredible freedom that exists in truly forgiving. And He gently reminds me of all He has forgiven me. It isn’t easy, and like our spiritual walk it is a daily process, but it is a choice I can make as I call on His power and strength. His grace is truly amazing!

  9. Jennifer Klemple

    I could sure use this book. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do for people since we aren’t perfect. I hope I win it!

  10. Jennifer daehling

    Looks like I’m going to need to read this book big time! I have a loved one who has repeatedly hurt me deeply and who feels she’s done nothing wrong. And the way in which she has hurt me was by doing something clearly wrong in scripture…it’s really hard to move on and know what forgiveness is supposed to look like. I say I forgive her, I truly try to feel forgiveness, but if I’m honest I do still feel bitter. And I also feel this need to protect myself and my family from it happening again…so like I said, I need to figure out what forgiveness looks like in this situation.

  11. I found forgiveness is not a one time process.

  12. I plan on purchasing this book for myself but would love to have one to give away. I met Suzie at a Womens Retreat in Florida. She’s the real deal and just love her heart for God and how she serves up His Word with such grace and clarity. You receive spiritual surgery through her down to earth way of communicating truth. Thanks for sharing and caring and offering this book giveaway.

  13. Thank you so much for hosting Suzie today and for giving away a copy of her book!

    I’ve also had the opportunity to meet Suzie, and she is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!

    I’d love to win a copy of this book as forgiveness is a journey I’ve just started on as well.

  14. I am doing the study using the ebook version. I have a friend that I feel would be blessed by this book. I love her and want so much for her to experience the freedom of forgiveness. Her last job was so tough because her boss didn’t treat her too well and she has such a negative attitude toward him. If only she could be free from the burden of resentment. I want this so much for her. I believe this book would help her path to freedom.

  15. I know that I need to move away from the past and have the freedom that forgiveness provides.

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