I have written on this subject before, but I believe as Christians it is a subject we need to discuss more often.
When I think back on all the pain I endured as a child, it is still horrifying. I am grateful to God that I have been healed. However, every now and then when I think about it, I am saddened by the childhood I lost. And I am saddened because it was lost by the hands of my mother; the person who was supposed to love me more than any person, the person who carried and birthed me, the one person you can never replace. She hurt me time and time again.
I can recall so clearly, the night my mother made me sleep outside. My mother, brother, and I were playing around. As she tickled me, she thought she heard me say she was nothing. She asked me to repeat what I said, and I said “nothing.” She said, “What did you say?” I said, “nothing.” She said, “So you’re calling me nothing?” I said, “No.” In a moment, things went from happy to sad to terrifying.
She told me to get out! I was bewildered because I did not understand what just happened. It was cold that night. I remember crying and asking God…why but, no answer. Sometime later, she came outside and said, “You can come in, but you have to sleep on the floor.” I was terrified to come in but grateful to get out of the cold. I reluctantly went upstairs and laid on the floor next to my brother’s bed. He held my hand that night. I thank God he held my hand. I don’t remember going to sleep, but I am sure I did.
Over 20 years later, my mother and I were speaking on the phone and she poured out her heart to me in repentance. As she spoke, I heard the deep ocean of her heart. Before she could finish her sentence, I stopped her and said, “Mom, I forgave you a long time ago.” There was silence.
When my mother passed away, my heart was so full. Sure, I was disappointed that I never had a chance to have the relationship I desired to have with her, but my heart was free because before she closed her eyes in death, I had already forgiven her; and she knew it.
The day she died, I stood next to her hospital bed and whispered in her ear, “I love you, I don’t hold anything against you.” I had forgiven her years before, but I felt the need to say it again. One hour after I left the hospital, I received the call from the doctors. My heart broke, and I cried, but deep down I had peace. And I still do.
So…what’s my secret to forgiveness? Just do it! Forgive. I know it seems easier said than done, but forgiveness is a decision. It’s for you, not for the other person. Ask yourself, have you gained anything by holding unforgiveness in your heart? Has your life improved? Do you feel better? I doubt it! As a child, I could not understand why certain things happened to me. But as a saved adult, I chose to simply forgive; to love her and let it go.
I know you are hurt, and I understand. Perhaps we don’t share the same reasons why, but pain is pain. And remember Jesus, died to deliver you from that pain. He desires that you be healed and free.
Be honest with God; tell him it’s hard to forgive but forgive anyway. Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Unforgiveness causes distress of the soul, and that is not God’s will for our lives. Psalm, 118:5 says, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Call on him, so he can set you free.