Forgiveness

Are you hurting today? Are you struggling with forgiveness? There is so much freedom in forgiveness. If you are struggling to forgive someone, you must do it. It will destroy you. It will eat you up from the inside out. It does not damage the other person. I am speaking from experience. I figured out at 18 that if I could not forgive some of the people that had hurt me the most, I would never be able to move forward with my own life. There is a darkness that comes with it. I had a father that walked away from my life when I was 13. He chose to be a part of my life only when it was convenient for him, and only on his terms. He loved discussing only the past and could never seem to move forward into the future and get to know me as the grown child that I was becoming. He didn’t seem to want to be a part of my day to day life. I went off to college and decided that I had to forgive him otherwise, it would forever damage all my future relationships. Which did nothing to hurt my father, but would hurt me and potentially others. I knew that he loved me the best way that he could. It may not have been in a way that was healthy for me and therefore, I decided to forgive him, but no longer allowed him to be a part of my life. It was an exercise in self-preservation. I had to do it for my own well being. It was too painful and hurtful to continue to allow him to toy with my emotions and upset me with every conversation. This has served me well over the years. I am not one that can be manipulated. I do not allow people to remain a part of my life if they are continually hurtful, or destructive or dishonest with me. I can shut people out pretty quickly.

God asks us to forgive others. He forgives us the moment we ask for it and even before we ask. We as Christians are to forgive others as He forgives us. Forgive others, it will lighten your load.

Colossians 3:13 “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

I try to forgive quickly, but I will admit, sometimes it is hard. It is especially hard when someone you love or care for hurts you. I do forgive, but I can’t always forget. I also refuse to be a door mat. I am human. I will fail, but I am well aware of my weakness and will rely on God to help me forgive and forget.

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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