Day one: Pushing past the pain

Day one: Pushing past the pain

30 days of forgiveness

Forgiveness is not for wimps. It takes a renewed mind, inner strength and, most of all, it takes Jesus. Without him, it’s impossible to forgive.

Big developments
Last November I saw my brother for the first time in six years. May 2013 I saw my sister for the first time in 6.5 years. We and other select relatives are friends on Facebook. I have talked with my parents by phone and text, and visited my father at his home.

I was invited to my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday celebration June 2013 and a few weeks ago invited my brother-in-law to consider being a scout leader in my son’s troop, which happens to be his boyhood troop.

Wounds are healing. Ears are opening. Hearts are changing. Eyes no longer are blinded.

Pain requires healing.
Healing takes time.
How much time often is up to me.

 Change: Life’s only constant
Last month, I embarked on an in-depth Bible study on forgiveness. My Bible study has yielded amazing revelations I must now apply. However, in God’s kingdom there are no coincidences.

Last week, I accepted an invitation to join my family of origin, mom included, for Thanksgiving. Coming face-to-face with my primary accuser this month is not my timing. God has been preparing me for this.

It’s about time
Resentment is a cyanide pill I take expecting others to die. It steals joy and holds me hostage. It’s time to unhitch the resentment caboose. I have bound my relatives in prison long enough. It’s time to start living that victorious Christian life I prayed for years ago.

Resentment holds me back from my destiny. I have a much lighter heart and a sound, clear mind so I can be salt and light.

What? I still love my mother?
My daughter, the flashpoint, had an outburst in front of my mother and brother last Thanksgiving. They were confronted with the primary reason I made the decisions with which they deeply disagreed.

When my daughter called and was frantic I came. By the time I arrived, she nearly was beyond reach. As I reeled her back in my heart leaked. I heard myself defending my mother. Words came easily. Suddenly I was faced with a simple truth: I still love my mother.

I asked my daughter to forgive the past and apologize for her current circumstances, advice I needed to hear. I stood at Mom’s bedroom door watching as my daughter apologized. That day my mother saw me differently. She saw a responsible, level-headed mother and a strong woman.

Jesus clearly is turning her heart toward me. I’ve heard she remarks, “… and she calls herself a Christian.” Obviously, Mom is watching me. All I have to do is live my life unapologetically as I have all along.

Points to ponder
Who are you holding in unforgiveness prison? When will you let them go? Will you let Him perfect a work in you? When would you like to be free?

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