Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Were it not for my 4-year old daughter and her increasing references to this woman who had once worked her way so deeply into our lives, I could have buried my frustration. But 4-year olds, particularly when prompted by forces beyond adult comprehension, exhibit a remarkable tenacity. With every reference to Jane's house, Jane's pigs, the day we went swimming with Jane, the sliver worked deeper underneath my fingernail.
I craved emotional freedom, and as I pondered, I realized my only path to that freedom was to forgive. I pleaded with God for the power to do just that. Although I knew I needed to forgive Jane, I could scarcely articulate, even to myself, what I needed to forgive her for. Slowly and surely, however, the forgiveness flowed through me. I remember the day I sat down and wrote a message to Jane, asking forgiveness for those things I knew angered her and offering my forgiveness in return. I clicked Send and settled back in my chair, knowing I would receive no answer but already feeling the lightness. Oddly, my daughter has not mentioned Jane to me since then.
In the past weeks, I learned more about Jane and the actions she took after our friendship. Finally, I saw with clarity exactly what I needed to forgive, offenses I had not suspected before. The clarity should have overwhelmed me, should have chipped my armor. Instead, I felt a remarkable calm, an unexpected and beautiful peace. God, in His infinite grace, granted me the power to forgive in advance of my knowledge, so that when I most needed peace, His peace enveloped me.