Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Beauty of Forgiveness

One of my "virtual" friends recently told me how amazed she was that I put together the memorial run for my late husband.  Knowing some of the poor choices he had made, and how they hurt me, she didn't think she would have been able to honor him in that way.  As I read it, I knew immediately why I was able to honor him, and show respect to a man who, because of his issues, dishonored me.  Its simple: forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a beautiful thing! It erases the hurt, and the pain.  It gives someone an emotional blank slate in your heart.  Forgiveness does not condone or agree with a person's decisions.  Forgiveness does not forget. I wish I could forget!  It would be easy to express forgiveness towards a person if you had no recollection of every wrong they had ever done.  But to remember, to know each and every hurt, and betrayal, and forgive anyway... now that's powerful!

Shortly after my late husband died, I was drawn to his grave site.  I had no idea why I was there.  I know his spirit is in heaven, and therefore all that remains is an empty shell of what was my husband.  So I stood at his grave, asking out loud "why am I here?"  And then it came, flooded with tears... "I forgive you Jonathan."  What... what did I just say?  I thought I had forgiven him.  Apparently there were more layers to forgive.  Forgiveness is continual.  You can forgive a person one time for one action, but repeated offenses require repeated forgiveness.  So I cried for a while, next to the barren pile of dirt which embraced my husband's body.  "I forgive you.  I forgive you."

I've been stirring on this topic for a few days now, and wouldn't you know it, today an old wound reopened.  I was reminded in a very real way of how my husband had dishonored me to his employees at work.  And even though he's been gone almost a year, and I have developed my own relationship with these employees, it still hurt.  I felt fresh blood, out of an old scab, one I thought had been healed.  I felt the new disappointment of just wanting him to adore me, to make me his world.  I questioned his love for me,  even though I have two letters he wrote me during the month before he died which reveal to me that love.  I felt embarrassed.  Most of all, I hurt.  And when that emotional sting arrises, so does the need to forgive.

Yes as I sit here writing about how wonderful it is to have forgiven this man who inadvertently brought so much pain, hurt, and struggle into my life, I find myself in need of forgiving him... again!  And who am I to presume this would be the last time?  During the course of my healing, perhaps even my life, I may find myself standing, kneeling, or sitting graveside, tears streaming down my face as I say, "I forgive you Jonathan.  I forgive you."


  1. This is the most powerful blog post you have written.


  2. Forgiveness is such a powerful healing necessity! i love the freedom it provides and the room it makes for spiritual and emotional growth! How wonderful that you are learning the beauty of the decision to forgive so early in your journey!

  3. Beautifully written... touching. Great job, girl.

  4. Jules, Renee, & Elizabeth, God never said it would be easy, but He said it would be worth it. Thank you for all your support!