So many people that I have spoken with about my abuse have informed me that had it been them, they could never forgive. Oddly enough, I used to think the exact same way. I used to tell myself that forgiveness was something I could never do. The pain I carried so deeply inside was real and there was a part of me that wanted to continue to hurt…forever. Besides, how could I forgive someone who never admitted their wrong much less asked for my forgiveness?
Well there came a time when I realized that a sin is a sin. There is no big sin/little sin and if I ever wanted God to forgive me for my sins…well I had better forgive others for theirs. Besides, isn’t that what the Bible says; thta we must forgive those who trespass against us. Of course it does. So in realizing that I needed forgiveness too, I set out to start my process of forgiving. Of course it was no easy feat. As a matter of fact, forgiving the person who violated me in the worst way, my stepfather, was hard as hell. And forgiving my mother for protecting him instead of me was just as hard…but at the end of each night I knew it was something I had to do.
Well that was many years ago and although I eventually did forgive my mother and stepfather, secretly in my heart, I had never actually told them I forgave them. So here it was a few days after Thanksgiving 2013. I had just published my book, Healing the Rage Within, which is a true life story of my abuse and betrayal. I had actually been calling my mother and stepfather for a couple days but to no avail did I get to speak with them. As I was online one evening, urging my readers to post their book reviews. the phone rang. It was my mother. I almost did not answer it but I knew deep down that it was now or never…so I answered.
When my mother spoke and acknowledged that it was indeed her, I asked if my stepfather could get on the phone as well. He did and I finally had the two people who had let me down in more ways than one on my phone….waiting. As the silence grew, something spoke to my spirit and said, Forgiveness is for YOU not THEM. And it was at that moment that I knew I needed to say what was necessary and true so that I could go on. I spoke with my stepfather first and informed him that what he did to me was unacceptable, horrible and unforgetable, but that I forgave him. I told him that I hope and pray that he has sought forgiveness from God for himself. He did not respond, but I was ok with that. I then began to speak with my mother and informed her that I also forgave her for not protecting me. I told them both about my book and how just because I was forgiving them did not mean that what they did (or did not do) was acceptable to me because it was not. I explained to them that me forgiving them was for me to be square with my God.
Being a position where I could honeslty say, “I forgive you for hurting me” was hard to do, but so necessary for my healing process. I thank God that I know enough of HIS word to know what I must do for my blessings, grace, and mercy. I thank Him for giving me the power to do it and mean it. I thank Him for forgiving me because I have forgiven others.