Teaching Forgiveness

This week I was talking with Anthony about something I felt I was doing all wrong, and he suddenly stopped me and said “You know what? You teach me about forgiveness more than anyone else I’ve ever known has.” I just sat there, slack mouthed. I mean, really? Me? I’m the woman who holds grudges from middle school because some kid bullied me for eight years, non stop. (I still don’t speak to Matt G and I have no intention to ever speak to him again!) So when Anthony told me this, it was all I could do to close my mouth, and then reopen it again to ask “What do you mean by that?”

He went on to tell me that it’s not usual for someone to forgive their abuser and then go on to have an actual relationship with them. (Non romantic in this case, folks! We’re related.) He told me about a person he had a recent encounter with who was going through a rough time in her life, seeking retribution for a similar type of abuse, and wasn’t getting it. He said that he still struggles with forgiveness, and he doesn’t get how I can move on from something so awful and pray for my abuser to find peace.

I’m not sharing this to praise myself. I’m sharing this to praise God! Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, God worked some massive healing into me and gave me a heart for all His people. I’m not sure how He did it, but He did. I pray for my enemies. Not just my abuser, but others as well, which Anthony pointed out. That is a miracle. That is something to stand up on the rooftops and shout praises to the Lord about! That is a miracle straight from God, isn’t it? (And now I need to look up Matt G on the internet and pray for him!)

I want to encourage those of you who feel like you’re doing absolutely everything wrong to stop and consider these words from my own husband. “You are beautiful and your life means something.” I know that he meant these words for me, but they’re also a universal Truth from our Creator God. You are beautiful and your life means something. You are not struggling or suffering in pain.

This is why I blog and I share such humbling, hard experiences. When we struggle, people are watching to see how we handle it and sometimes we really reach someone in that moment. It’s ok if it’s only one person, or even just one time that we reach someone. The fact is that our struggle was not in vain, and we helped to further the Kingdom of God. With our actions, we can spread the Gospel. Isn’t that amazing, brothers and sisters? No words necessary.

In Christ and In love,

Mandy T.

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