Waiting on the Tides release week
When forgiveness isn’t deserved…
I know, typically these topics are fun and light, but not everything is jovial.
Forgiveness is a sensitive subject, especially when the result of the offense is life-long trauma. I have gone toe to toe with family members who refuse to forgive those who have hurt them because they somehow think it means it lets the offender off the hook. In reality, it lets you off the hook.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
Recently, I have been challenged with this very scenario. It came to light that the abuse of my children at the hand of one that my husband and I entrusted with care caused greater trauma to one of my children than we first thought. My child will forever be changed and struggles with the loss of innocence that remembering has caused. My child will have to make changes to their life forever because of the trauma.
When the diagnosis was made, I became livid with the abuser. Some would say, even violent toward this person. I would often make a particular comment with a hint of laughter to keep others from thinking that I would really harm this person–but I visualized it often. Not being a physically aggressive person by nature, I would have made an exception in this case.
Then, one morning in my quiet time, I read the verse above and was immediately convicted. In my heart, I heard, “When will you give this up? You can’t help your child heal if you are this angry. Forgive, and heal.”
Of course, I fought it for several months but then I witnessed my own spiritual health decline. I still read my bible every day, but there was zero retention of what was read. I listened to praise and worship music but never felt it in my heart. then church became an obligation. I was putting up a barrier between me and God by refusing to forgive this person.
One Sunday, I was giving the message and I was talking about how we need to give our hurts, our past, and all our worries to God and let Him handle those broken areas in our lives. My intention was to have the congregation write done the thing they needed to hand over to God and then it would be put in a bucket at the foot of the cross in the sanctuary. But instead, my darling husband went to the kitchen, grabbed a deep pot and a lighter, and held it up from the back of the room. I knew what he was hinting at and so we burned the papers in the pot…outside of course. I placed the name of the person on that paper and nothing else and as I watched it burn I said, “I’m mad at what you did, but I forgive you.” My walk with the Lord improved and I have felt a violent notion toward them once.
Thankfully, I think God has kept this person away from us because of the further trauma it could cause, but it also kept me from acting out what I had imagined so many times. Many who know the situation have asked if I will ever tell the abuser what their actions caused and I always answer, “I don’t know.” And I don’t because they are the type that truly thinks they do nothing wrong and have little remorse for their actions. So I could be wasting my breath. At the same time, I believe that there can be no change if the person who is causing harm doesn’t realize they are even doing anything harmful. It is something I constantly am in prayer about, especially since it is the holiday season and I am waiting for that person to show up at my door.
Then my prayer would be, “Help me walk in forgiveness and not push them off the porch.”
I challenge you to ask God to “search your heart” and “reveal those areas” (ps 139:23-24) that you need to forgive and allow that forgiveness to take root. It might take a few times but you will find that the peace and joy that you have been looking for will return.
Waiting on the Tides by Tabitha Bouldin
Get a copy here on Amazon
People are more than the sum of their mistakes.
After a life lived in her older brother’s shadow, Abby Solomon is ready to take on the world—or at least a teaching position that puts her face to face with the one guy who thinks she’s nothing more than an immature nuisance.
When his daughter’s mother abandoned them, Christian Johnson swore off women and the trouble they bring. No wife—no drama. Just how he likes it. But as Christian struggles to juggle his job as a cop with raising his daughter and tracking down a runaway teen, he’s forced to ask the one woman who reminds him of his wife for help.
Abby is thrilled with the opportunity to show Christian that there’s more to her than what he thinks. But just as Christian begins to trust Abby, she makes a colossal mistake that threatens to ruin everything.
She just wanted to be accepted.
He wanted to be left alone.
It’ll take a runaway teen to show them that love is not measured by a single mistake.
This Breakers Head novel is Tabitha Bouldin’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
Q & A with Tabitha
Don’t forget to stop by the other authors’ websites to read their stories and enter the giveaways.