It Took 39 Years to Forgive

Pam and I are winding up a two week visit of her family in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia.  We enjoyed hearing one story that lasted thirty-nine years full of anger, hurt and bitterness finally culminating into feelings of relief, healing and most importantly, forgiveness.

In 1981, one of Pam’s favorite aunts was divorced by her husband who had an affair with an assistant which led to marriage.  This crushed her aunt who never considered divorce a possibility.  As a result, she developed an unforgiving, bitter heart that affected her daughter, her son, and their families.  The hardness and harshness of her attitude disrupted holidays and special events such as her son’s wedding creating resentment within her family for thirty nine years. 

This past year, her aunt found an old recipe for rice pudding from a great grandmother of her ex-husband that she felt he would enjoy for his birthday.  She handwrote this recipe and gave it to her son who is a fabulous cook.  This was a huge and welcome surprise to her Ex and a great relief and therapeutic for all of her family.  Most importantly, it was healing to Pam’s aunt.  During our time with her there was freshness and a relaxed manner as she talked about her Ex.  SHE HAD FORGIVEN HIM and was no longer tethered to him which is what unforgiveness and bitterness produces.

Some of you are carrying a similar burden towards another.  Please forgive them. If not, you will remain tethered to them emotionally and spiritually until you do.  Most often, this unforgiveness is hurting others also.  Many times, this is devastating to family members.  Hebrews 12:15 speaks accurately in real, practical terms, “15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”  This verse pictures what happened to Pam’s aunt and family.

Please forgive the one or ones who up to this point have been unforgivable.  The person that you have hurt the most is “you”.  Then, it’s your kids and others close to the situation.  You force others to make a decision whom they will side with.  A “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

It took Pam’s aunt 39 years.  Let me assure you that she would tell you to not do the same!  Forgive and watch God’s blessings unfold within you and your loved ones.

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