Dear Mom Who Needs to Forgive,
I want you to know that I’ve been in your shoes and it is a rough place to be. I’m not here to tell you that forgiveness is easy but I do want to tell you that it is necessary. Forgiveness is the only thing that will release you from the cage that the offense has created for you. You might know in your head that you should forgive the person who has offended you and yet it seems so difficult to get your heart to agree to do it. You might find yourself thinking about what happened and feeling like that other person should pay for what they have done. You might feel that it is not fair to let them off the hook and forgive. It is probably true that what happened was not fair and maybe if the other person could go back and change things they would. We would probably all like to be able to go back and fix our mistakes, take things back and make things right. But that’s the funny thing about time. We cannot go back. We can only move forward. Right now, you have the chance to forgive and let God heal the wound in your heart or you have the choice to withhold forgiveness and grow in your bitterness over time. Since you cannot go back, you can only move forward and the choice of how you will move forward is up to you.
I also want you to know that forgiveness will have some benefit for the offender. It will begin to silence the voice of the accuser and it will release them to Father God for His mercy and justice. But forgiveness actually has the greatest benefit for you; the person who was offended. You see, you might not know it but you are in bondage to the offense until you chose to forgive. Forgiveness is the only key that can release you from the burden of what happened.
I want you to know that if you choose to forgive it will not mean that what happened to you didn’t matter. On the contrary, forgiveness actually means you are giving the problem to God because it is too painful for you to deal with on your own. What happened matters a great deal to the Lord and He will take the time to heal your wound properly and He will deal justly with the person who has offended you.
I also want you to know that forgiveness does not mean you are taking the other person off the hook. Forgiveness is actually like giving God the whole fishing pole with the fish on the hook. God is the only one who is capable of dealing with the other person and the offense properly. I challenge you to think about if you really want the other person to pay the full penalty for their offense anyway. The Bible says the wages of sin are death. Do you want another person to fully pay for what they have done or do you want the Lord to show them mercy just as you have received mercy from God?
I want you to know that forgiveness does not mean you need to restore the relationship with the person who hurt you. God might lead you to restore the relationship eventually but He might ask you to maintain healthy boundaries too. You will have to trust God to tell you day by day what the right step in your relationships will be. Forgiveness is not the same as restoration and forgiveness is necessary if you repair the relationship or if you do not. I encourage you to not let the fear of reinstating the relationship cause you to omit forgiveness.
Lastly, I want you to know that as a fellow mother, I am praying that you make the choice to forgive but it is entirely your choice to make. I want you to know that freedom is found on the other side once you walk through the doorway of forgiveness. I promise that if you chose to trust the Lord with the people who have hurt you that you will reap a reward of freedom. Ephesians 4:32 encourages us to, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. Mom who needs to forgive, if you are willing to trust God I want to say this prayer with you and ask Father God what He wants to give you in return.
Prayer: Father God, I want to forgive ______ for ______ I want to take them off the judgment seat of my heart and I give them to you Lord for your mercy and justice. Father God, for forgiving ______, what gift do you have for me?
Mom who has forgiven, I want you to know that I am proud of you. Well done. Did you hear the Lord speak a gift into your heart? You may not feel different right away but if you keep forgiving and if you keep trusting God with your burdens you will feel very different. You will find the type of freedom that no one can take away and your heart will be open to trust and love. Well done.
Much love, Jenny
Jenny Gregg and her husband Brian have a ministry called Hurting to Harvesting where they seek to help other hurting people. You can find them online at www.hurtingtoharvesting.com or their travel website www.destinationfamilies.com. They have four energetic and fun-loving boys who keep them on their toes. Jenny is also a homeschool teacher and they are active in their local homeschool community.