Day 18 — September 8, 2018
By Jennifer Parker
The story of my path to forgiveness is long and full of sadness, heartache, hurt, pain, betrayal, confusion, and some may even say tragic. (I’ll spare you the details) How would I go on? How would I survive? How could I face each day? These were the questions I asked. Forgiveness was not a thought in my mind at that time and looking back there was even a period of time where I was emotionless and numb.
When the ones who are supposed to love us unconditionally instead hurt us, it can be difficult to process what has happened. I was on a path of unforgiveness heading right for resentment, anger, bitterness, and destruction. Then one day something “clicked” for me. I was confusing reconciliation with forgiveness. These are two very different things. To reconcile takes two. The affronted and the affronter. I did not need to reconcile with the one who had hurt me. I needed to simply FORGIVE them. Now, forgiveness is difficult and if we are being honest, at times it feels impossible.
But why? Why must we forgive? First, because God said so. (that is the mom in me answering) But really, we are called to it. We must give the grace we receive from God to those who have wronged us, betrayed us, lied to us. Secondly, there is freedom in forgiveness. When we forgive we allow healing to begin, love to grow, and our light to shine. This I can testify to! The moment I began to forgive, it was, as they say, like a weight had been lifted. My spirit stirred and my light began to shine through that hard shell that had been forming around my heart. It was wonderful to release the anger, resentment, and all those negative feelings and embrace the JOY and PEACE that now resides in me. There are many verses about forgiveness, but I think this one says it best.
Matthew 6:9-13 This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father who art in Heaven Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come they will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and FORGIVE us our trespasses (debts) as we FORGIVE those who trespass against us (debtors) Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.