30 days of forgiveness
I have learned that words mean things. Whenever I venture into a study, I inevitably find my nose in a dictionary because I don’t quite have a proper understanding of the word. Forgiveness was one of those words with multiple meanings that poked me between the eyes.
According to Merriam-Webster, forgiveness has four different definitions. As I wrote each of these definitions into my journal, all of the descriptors contained the same verb: stop. Stop what? Stop whining? Stop being so mad? Stop feeling hurt? Stop remembering how I was screwed … by my own relatives? Stop?
Well, let’s start with the first definition: stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong). Let’s take stock at who pissed me off for no good reason:
- Mom for leading the charge along with my father and in-laws to drag me into court and wrench custody of my daughter from me;
- My baby sister for slamming me in court documents acting as if she is the superior parent;
- My mother-in-law telling me I wasn’t sexually abused by my father;
- The County Mental Health lawyer for blocking my petition for conservatorship of my daughter when they had zero standing;
- The high school district for trying to pass my daughter through school when she was clearly deficient;
- My brother-in-law for yelling at me days after his brother, my husband, died then telling me I can’t be in as much pain as he because he’s known his brother longer than I;
- My in-laws for being taking a Maui vacation while their son was in hospice. He died while they were in flight;
- My sister-in-law for looking upon me and my children as if we were bugs that deserved to be squashed;
- My parents and maternal uncle for not coming to my husband’s funeral, i.e., my mother was afraid I would embarrass her;
- Chase for not approving my remodification when I was only one payment behind; thus, eventually forcing me to sell my home;
- My bankruptcy attorney’s associate who accused me of not looking hard enough for a new place to live;
- Social Security for prematurely cutting off my daughter’s benefits despite proper documentation and numerous medical statements supporting her petition for permanent benefits;
- My pastor for having an illicit affair with an employee. When he found out he would be exposed he abruptly resigned the week before Christmas. Then a year later he starts a new church thereby splitting my home church; and
- God who, in His sovereignty, decided not to heal my husband here on earth but take him home to heaven.
It’s time to lay all of these at the feet of Jesus. I need to cast this into the sea of forgiveness but not forgetfulness. I can forgive while I remain cautious around these who hurt my family deeply.
Points to ponder
Who do you need to stop feeling anger toward? How can you begin to let go? Who are these angry feelings hurting? Is it worth it to stay angry? What is the downside of waging peace?