If you've read any of my earlier posts you know that I have a problem with forgiveness. Or perhaps I should say that I have a problem forgiving others. I know that withholding forgiveness is a heavy burden that I impose on myself. But really, how can I forgive when I did nothing to deserve such treatment?
One of the latest instances has to do with the behavior of an elder family member around the time of the birth of my third child. This elder resented my latest pregnancy and told all of the family who would listen (and who wouldn't listen to an elder?) that I did not want my child and had no business being pregnant. So around the time of the birth of my precious child we were receiving phone calls and e mails stating that "the child should not be". It also happened at this time that the elder in question was dying. You might think that the illness had some part to play is this horrible behavior but it was not so; this elder was known for lying and selfishness. For the life of me I cannot understand why other family members would add to the drama. This send my little family into a tail spin and I sunk into postpartum depression.
Several months ago I was praying about this. I was ranting to God about the unfairness of the situation. It has taken almost two years for those closest to this elder to admit that the baby might actually be wanted, loved, and well cared for and that my husband and I were in no way slighting this elder by having a baby. So as I was pouring my heart out to God, I heard him speak in my heart: "Yes, it was wrong. You were trying to honor this elder but this elder did not allow it. You daughter is precious to me and I rejoice in her. But before you take this too far remember that I was with you the entire time." Boom! Suddenly a floodgate of memories opened up and I was able to see so many blessings given during that time. I realized that God truly has been with us the entire time.
For me, it all began with gratitude for God's grace and wanting to remove all obstacles that I place between me and God.
So I went to confession.
You might wonder why I, who was wronged, would go to confession. Well, Ladies, all that I can say is that I really needed healing and in the confessional I encountered Jesus the Great Physician. If you have chronic pain you go do a doctor and let the doctor make the diagnosis so that you can heal. I wanted healing. And I found it.
As I left the confessional I realized why I couldn't forgive this elder before: Because you cannot give to others what you yourself do not have. I could not forgive because I did not have forgiveness. Think of all the time I wasted in anger!
It comes down to this: when you allow yourself to harmonize with Love your heart is too full for anger. When you feel that healing and peace you will happily let go of anything that keeps you from the Source of that healing and peace.
I cannot wait to go back to confession. (And since I am so much more at peace with myself those around me have been asking what I did to change. Imagine!)
May God continue to bless you!