Friday, May 23, 2008

Forgiveness

This entry is by far, the hardest to write. But I must share it.
For most of my life, cocker spaniels have evoked a sadness in me. I had relatives when I was growing up that had one. I remember him well. His name was Tuffy and he was the sweetest pup ever. I loved being at their house and playing with Tuffy.
I spent snow days from school at their house and lots of time during the summer. We would make homemade ice cream in the back yard, weed and harvest from the garden they kept and eat Mallow Cups. He let me play with his guitar and boy did I play well! Not! He taught me to play checkers too. They didn't have any children. So I was a great substitute. I tell you about these awesome memories now, but a few years ago I didn't remember them.
You see, he did something wrong. And my perfect little memories were gone. Covered by thoughts and memories no little girl should have. I won't go into details, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was also believed when I told, but in those days, you just didn't do much about it. I was never there alone again. Mom went to great lengths to protect me.
I was introduced to a man down the road that had horses and a niece my age. When my parents went to the relatives, I headed a few doors down to Franks house. He was a wonderful man. He took us horseback riding and taught us how to care for them. I gained wonderful memories to replace the lost ones. I was OK. I carried no scars. At least I didn't think I did.
I can see now how it affected me as I grew up. But I didn't know that there was a cold hard rock in my soul.
Just a couple of months after Rick and I gave our lives to Jesus, I was laying in bed one night praying and asking God to show me what I needed to do to be pleasing to Him. I wasn't a bad person but knew there must be something. There was. He asked me to forgive.
You gotta be kiddin' me! No way! I can't do that! Are you CRAZY!
Forgive him?! He's dead!and I'm glad and I hope it's really hot where he is! and it's been 30 years!!!! How do I forgive a dead man anyway?!
He wasn't kidding.
So, I began a journey of learning forgiveness.
Here are some of the things He placed for me:
"The journey of Christian forgiveness begins as a choice. It ends as a gift of God's grace."
"To forgive, you do not have to understand, accept or agree"
"Why forgive? for my own well being and inner peace"
I do not know who wrote them or remember where I found them. They came at different times and led me like sign posts along the way. I copied each of them down as I found them and they remain to this day on my desk and in my wallet.
I made the choice to try and forgive as God had asked.
I learned that forgiving didn't mean I had to say he was right to do what he did.
I was blessed when I was finally able to tell God with a true heart, that I had forgiven him.
When the forgiveness was finally in my heart, I was able to begin healing and as I healed, I began remembering things like I wrote in the beginning of this entry. Good things. And I cling to those alone. God cleansed me when I let forgiveness in my heart. Anger...... gone. Bitterness...... gone. Hatred...... gone.
That rock in my soul is gone. And Cocker Spaniels no longer make me sad, they make my heart sing!
Thank you God. I Love you!

4 comments:

Renee of Guiding Light Candles said...

Wow Jewels you have struck a cord in my soul. Forgiveness is one of THE HARDEST things to accomplish, be it forgiving someone who has wronged you or forgiving yourself for something. Thank you for sharing your story.
Renee
Guiding Light Candles

LoriDelisle said...

Thank you for sharing this Jewels. I think we ALL have people in our lives that we need to forgive and it is definitely a process. I had to go through a similar forgiveness process, for several people in my life, for different reasons , and it is scary and intimidating to start with, but so liberating! I pray this encourages others to go down that same road.
Lori
http://loridelisle.etsy.com

Charsbeads4u said...

I sit here with tears streaming down my face...because in you I see the true mercy and grace of our Lord displayed so beautifully!
This story of your victory over the hurt in your life was so touching! It truly shows how precious our Lord is to us, to be able to change our hearts toward those who have wronged us! It reminds me of how He can forgive us no matter how many times we have wronged Him!
Thank you Jewels...for sharing from the depths of your soul! Your life truly reflects the Love of our Great God and Saviour!
I love ya!!!!
In His Peace,
Char

Graceful Moments said...

What a beautiful testimony to how God always leads us to where we need to be if we will only be obedient and let him. His love is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this!