Thursday, May 15, 2014

Need to Forgive Someone?

A little over a year ago, one of my visitors to the blog asked me (via email) how I handled Mother’s Day. Due to constant rejection from her mother, she has a difficult time “celebrating” the day. And since I know many have similar issues with their moms - and others, including their dads - I thought I’d share what I wrote to her again with you. (I changed her name.) Be sure to read the paragraph before this week's verse.

Photo by Tavallai (Flickr)

Tina, I have a minute so I’m going to take a stab at this topic. First of all, I’m so sorry for all the pain you are experiencing.  :(

Pain is painful. You may want to write that one down!  :)

And rejection always hurts.

As a child and teenager, I didn’t understand why my mother slept all day. I resented her mostly for not getting up and being like other moms. I would have given anything if she would have taught me how to cook, keep house and how to be a wife and mom. Looking back, I realize she was depressed, and she truly did the best she could.

A few months before she died, she wanted to be there for me. I was struggling again with an eating disorder and other destructive behavior and she wanted to travel from Florida to Louisiana to help me.

Unfortunately she was unable to make the trip due to tremendous pain she was suffering - which we soon learned was from cancer. When she phoned to say she wouldn’t be coming, she expressed how sorry she was for not being a good mom. I thank God I had the opportunity to tell her that I loved and forgave her. (Neither of us knew she was dying.)

I realize, Tina, that it is easier to forgive someone when they're sorry. I pray one day your mom will see her ways and that she will experience mercy from God - and from you.

But, dear friend, do not wait for her to act first. Forgive her with the same forgiveness God extends to you. However, don’t tell her you forgive her, because if she doesn’t respond “the right way” you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.

And Tina, I strongly encourage you to meditate/memorize scriptures on God’s forgiveness for you. Plus, ask God to show you the times He’s forgiven you. Then ask Him to help you forgive your mom, asking Him to have mercy on her, too – the same mercy He has shown you.

I suggest you buy the book Total Forgiveness by R. T. Kendall. A lot of what I’m saying, I learned (or re-learned) from his book. I have added a link for R. T. Kendall's Ministries  to My Blog List.

I hope none of this sounds trite, Tina. I sincerely hope I didn’t minimize the pain you are experiencing. I will be praying for you.

Another thought: Forgiveness isn’t earned. Aren’t you glad?  :)

Dear reader, if your relationship with your mom, dad or anyone else is strained, consider taking steps to allow God to heal the relationship(s). Set a goal (with God's help!) to practice the verse below  and see what God will do in your heart - and maybe in the other person's heart, too. Who knows, for some of you, maybe this Father's Day (and/or next Mother's Day) will be one you will always want to remember!

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Feel free to share your comments.

Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including topics such as: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, dealing with depression, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog

You may use pseudonyms (fake names).

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