Friday, June 4, 2010

Forgive? Her??

My mom called me last week. For those of you who may be new to the blog, my mom and I have been estranged for several years. She is a mentally ill alcoholic. One of the things she said in the voice mail message she left to me was, "You are everything that is wrong with the Christian faith. I am embarrassed of you."

I was upset. I was mad. Mad at myself as much as her, that I had listened to the message and not just deleted it. I was driving around running errands, and I was stewing. Dwelling. Making myself miserable. And I thought to myself, "I hate her. I really hate her."

I'd not said those words before, though I'd had grounds to do so. But a funny thing happened. Finally giving myself permission to say that did not make me feel better. It made me feel worse. And I felt like the devil smiled.

So this time I said out loud, "I forgive you, Mom." I felt a twinge in my heart. What was that? Could it be joy? I said it again, louder, "I forgive you, Mom." I said it twice more, than I started thanking and praising God that he forgives me. And I was filled with such abundant joy. And I haven't felt badly about that message again.

Does this mean we all live happily ever after? No. This is real life. I am still estranged from my mom. But I can still forgive her, even without her asking for it. And I can be joyful in spite of the pain, and because of the forgiveness.

Who can you forgive today that will not only free them from the debt of hurting you, but free yourself from the pain of the hurt as well?

Matthew 6:14, 15 -- For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Chatty Kelly


gianna said...

Wow! I can't imagine what that was like. When I get deeply hurt, I try to remember how Jesus sees me. It's hard! In the midst of the pain, you were able to do that and remember you are chosen by God and HE loves you!

Diane said...

Freedom! The devil did not have the last laugh. Hooray! :O)

KrippledWarrior said...

I prefer to think that If you will not forgive man. Your heavenly Father "CAN'T" forgive you. not "Won't"

Irritable Mother said...

Oh, Kelly! This is fantastic!
Seriously. When I started reading what your mom said, I could almost feel the pain in your heart. I say 'almost' because I know what I was feeling was not near what you felt.
And I understood you when you yelled at her.
But when you came to the place of forgiveness? I could share in your joy!!!

I love what Diane said. "Freedom! The devil did not have the last laugh."

Rejoicing with you, friend!

Sandy said...

That is awesome that you forgave her and have that Joy now! Thank you for sharing!

Heart2Heart said...


Isn't it amazing the power we have when we put the faith that we have in God to work in our lives?

I love this post because it shows us the power of forgiveness. Not for your mom but the power it has on you. Your mom wasn't the one having a bad day after leaving you the message and once you forgave her, the affects were instant.

Thank you so much for sharing just what forgiveness does. The enemy has no power over us and can't not steal our joy. We can chose which paths we want in life, I chose the narrow one.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Edie said...

I can SO relate to this Kelly. Good for you for listening to the Holy Spirit and gaining freedom.

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

I love you, friend. Forgive her. Pray for her. May compassion for her fill your heart. May she look to Christ for salvation and for all things.

May His joy that accompanies your obedience to Him (forgiving) continue to fill your heart, encourage you and overwhelm you.

You are beautiful.


Melanie said...

I'm sorry about that. You are the woman to turn that into forgiveness and praise. And I know it's all because of THE MAN working in your life.

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing this story...again! I'm so glad you put it on your blog, because it is so powerful. "Rejected by an earthly mother/Accepted by a heavenly Father" - you are SO special!

Carmen said...

That was bitter...sweet! Pretty sure God is smiling in you!!

Richard S. said...

Thank you for this post Kelly. I am going thru similar things with a family member. Received tremendous encouragement. Posted a quote on my wall this morning that is fitting here.
"The only revenge which is essentially Christian is that of retaliating by forgiveness."
- F. W. Robertson

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Great post! I can so relate to what you felt. Congratulations on yielding to the Lord when it's so easy to give in to the devil.

I've learned that holding onto unforgiveness does more damage to the vessel that contains it than to the object on which it is poured. Forgiving allows us to cut the tether that holds us to the one who hurt us, freeing us from the power that we give them.

Your mother is giving you an opportunity to develop Christlikeness that you would not have without her. "Forgive her, Father, for she doesn't know what she's doing."

Much love,

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Wow Kelly! That was a strong post right from your heart! Those are the kind of posts that touch others so deeply. It's wonderful that you are letting God use what you've gone through to help others who feel the same pain.

Forgiveness really isn't so much about the person we need to forgive, but rather forgiveness, I have found, is what heals us. I've been there where someone hurt me deeply and it took me way too long to forgive. I even became ill over it for awhile. Once I really forgave this person, then my joy came back and it didn't matter anymore what the hurt had been. God's ways are so good.

Lee Ann

LisaShaw said...

I'm so sorry for what you had to endure. I echo the words of some of the ladies here and I certainly can relate to being on the receiving end since my childhood of ugly things being DONE and SAID and I certainly understand the LIBERTY in forgiveness as it keeps you free and it stops the other person(s) from keeping control over your joy!

I said a prayer for you and also for your Mother.

Blessings and love Kelly!

T. Anne said...

Powerful! Thank you for sharing something so honest and from your heart. I'm sure the Lord is using you to heal a lot of hurts right here on your blog. Thank you. You are a wonderful person.

sanjeet said...

Freedom! The devil did not have the last laugh
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Sue J. said...

You've taken another step forward in your process of becoming exactly the Christian God intended you to be! You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!

May this be healing like you have never known....

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