{“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.” -Mother Teresa}

“Just make an effort.” My father had said.
My sister ignored him. If she was making any effort at all, it was to make things even more miserable for the rest of the family. Greetings were given the cold shoulder, rules were trampled, doors were slammed. This didn’t feel like my family, my home at all. It felt like something from one of those movies I’d never cared to watch about rebellious teenagers and hopeless situations.
We walked on eggshells for a long time. Too long. Eventually, I put down my weapons of correction and pulled on my shield of ignorance. If I didn’t know what she was doing or could ignore what she was saying, I didn’t have to get hurt. We brushed past each other in the hallway, even sat next to each other at dinner, but we never spoke. I’d cook, set the table. She’d creep in, inhale her portion, leave thanklessly. Had she been there at all?
But then, a few months ago, things got really bad. Finally words were exchanged, but on flaming arrows. Sparing the details, I’d say it was simply frightening. When the situation became volatile, arrangements were made for her to move out.
At this point, something changed.

{“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” -C.S. Lewis}

“Just make an effort.” My father said.
My heavenly father. To me.
It wasn’t easy, but He held my hand. A group of friends prayed over me. I knew now I had been harboring more guilt, anger and bitterness than I had previously let myself believe. She was nine when we started her adoption. Twelve when she came to the states. Almost eighteen now and it felt like we had made no progress. I emailed an adoptive mom who I knew could relate. Sometimes we need people who haven’t avoided the puddles we’ve stumbled into, but are standing in the mud with us. Sometimes, “I understand” can be salve to the soul. It was for me.
The incredible thing about my heavenly father is he truly never asked me to do anything outside of my power. (My power in Him, of course.) He asked me to walk the extra mile, but not ten extra miles. He set baby steps before me and let me rest. He taught me how to love my sister by loving me.
And he taught me so much more. He showed me, through her struggle, how much each of us need him. He showed me that, just as she is lost and hurting, rebelling against everything good and helpful, so was my soul before he dragged me out.
I was just getting the hang of it, just getting in the swing of praying out of love, serving without bitter, when she came to my room.
Crying, she apologized. Hugging, we vowed to change.
The most beautiful part of it all? When I said, “I already forgave you, even before you asked.” I knew in my soul it was true.

{“So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2:8}

3 Responses to forgiving

  1. Elisabeth April 24, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    So GOOD to hear! The best of news. :O)

  2. Everly Pleasant April 24, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Wow, I love that, Chantel! :)

    Thank you for rejoicing with me!


  3. Chantel April 24, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Praise God for this!

    Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it is the most beautiful, freeing kind of thing in the world. *HUGS*

    (And, as my mother use to tell me: “Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet, left on the heel that crushed it.” It is true. :) )

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes