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Lessons on Forgiveness

forgiveness

My husband happened to be sitting on the porch, and overheard the conversation around the corner of the house between my daughter and three of her neighborhood friends.

“Sorry Lauryn,” one said. “My mom said only two friends could come inside my house….so you can’t come.”

So off the three others went, to play inside a neighbor’s house, while my daughter was left sitting alone. Left behind.  Ouch.    

Her feelings were understandably hurt.

Oh how I pray for wisdom in times like this.  

After choking back my first response of, “Just don’t play with those girls anymore.  You have plenty of other friends”, I heard myself talking about forgiveness and second chances instead.  It’s a familiar refrain, “Love your enemies. Do good to them.”

I want her to forgive, yes.  But more than that, I pray she will know the  reason  Christ-followers are able love our enemies, and do  good to those who are not good to us. I want the truths that are the  foundation for our forgiveness of others to take deep, deep root in her heart.  We can forgive… because we really are okay.  We’re okay, regardless of what others may do or say. We can be hurt, but then  we give that hurt to Jesus. He takes our burden. He reminds us that we  can forgive, because we have been forgiven so much. His love, his  acceptance – it fills us, and it is ENOUGH.

Words and wounds hurt us.  But they don’t leave us undone, because we are safe and secure  and loved in Jesus.

We can offer second and third and fourth chances to people. If they  respond like we hope they will – with returned love and kindness – it’s so, so good. But if they fail us  again or hurt us again, it’s okay, because our feelings and attitude  and self-worth don’t change and shift and move based on how others  treat us. We are consistent and strong and joyful and peaceful because of who God  is in our lives, and how he reveals his unchanging, never-shifting, never-failing love.

She’s seven years old.

There are more hurt feelings to come, I’m well  aware.  The wounds get deeper the older she gets. Her heart will be broken by a boy…she’ll feel infuriated with her parents…she’ll endure nearly crushing best-friend betrayals. We all go through it. But I pray that she will learn  sooner rather than later that Jesus really is her safe place. That she  would hide in the cleft of the Rock, knowing that although the  forgiveness and grace he asks us to extend is difficult at times, that  he always provides the power to do so.

May I know the same.

I am a mom of three and wife of one. I am livin' the good life as a stay-at-home mom, and also work part time as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I really loathe doing laundry, and at almost all times have hampers full of clothing in various states of cleanliness overtaking our home. Our three kids are incredible and also sometimes stinky. I talk about them a lot here. Sometimes I don't because they say "Mom. You are not allowed to blog about that." And they have plenty of dirt on me so I comply.