Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Forgiveness

















"The difference between holding on to a hurt or releasing it with forgiveness is the difference between laying your head at night on a pillow filled with thorns or a pillow filled with rose petals."
Loren Fischer

I am confronted daily with the choice to forgive. Early in my life, GOD allowed me to learn a valuable lesson about forgiveness. My youngest sister was tragically killed at age 17. Hours after her death, I was asked to go into the ER room with the young man responsible for her death. The nurse said, "he is very upset and he has no family here."

My entire family looked at me. I was 22 years old, but clearly had the strongest faith and ability to handle difficult situations. I rose and followed the nurse. Just before entering, I whispered aloud, "help me GOD..because I want to kill him."
The nurse looked at me, but continued to pull the curtain and enter.

As I entered, he began screaming at me, "I killed her, I killed her."

Immediately, I said, "I forgive you."

I know those words came from my Heavenly Father through my mouth. At the time, I did not have the strength to do it on my own. I am thankful GOD allowed me to be placed in this situation. If I had not been there, forgiveness on my part might not have happened. Forgiveness led to healing and healing led to a healthier life for me.

I share this morsel from my past hoping it will help someone else take the necessary steps to a healthier life. Lack of forgiveness only hurts the person who is bitter and angry. When we forgive, we are not saying what the person did was okay.

My desire, after forgiveness was for the offender to become a better person. Nothing could bring back my sister. I do not know where my sister's killer is today, but I pray he is living a happy and healthy life. I pray his life was changed for good. I pray the beginning of good things to come from her tragedy started with him.

Clinging to my Heavenly Father,

Andrea

10 comments:

LisaShaw said...

Andrea,

I'm sorry for the loss of your precious sister and I am thankful your heart was open and willing to be used by the LORD for that young man.

Thank you for sharing such a tender time of your life with us. I'm sure that God will lead here everyone that needs to read this testimony of a heart surrendered to God's word on forgiveness.

Forgiving is one of the hardest things to do and one of the most important for us as Christians.

I love you.

RCUBEs said...

Sister Andrea, that was difficult and not easy but by God's grace you chose to. Sorry for losing your sister. It's not easy to forgive sometimes but only by His strength we can.
Thank you for your courage to share this powerful testimony. God bless and love to you.

Heart2Heart said...

Andrea,

Thank you so much for your candor in opening up your personal live and sharing something very precious to us. I am truly sorry for your loss of your sister at such a young age.

Your ability to forgive provided a wonderful witnessing ability for God not only for you and your family, but for the man as well. Every person who was able to see your example of forgiveness was touched forever by God at that moment.

Thank you once again for bearing something so personal and painful with all of us.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mid Stutsman said...

a truly heartfelt post, Andrea, and so important to share. Forgiveness not only heals us and the person we are forgiving, but more importantly, God says He will not forgive us, if we do not forgive others.
hugs!!
mid

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so sorry for what you had to go through and to lose your sister like you did. It makes me see even mmore why being a Christian is the only way to get through tragedies in life.
Thank you for this message. I know you will touch many hearts.

Leslie said...

Andrea,
I'm very sorry about your sis.

There is someone that I used to work with that I have been struggling to forgive. You are right when you said, "Lack of forgiveness only hurts the person who is bitter and angry." I can feel my blood boil when I think about this person or hear how this person treats the woman who took my place when I resigned.

"When we forgive, we are not saying what the person did was okay." I love that line! It makes it easier for me to try to forgive this person. Thank you for sharing your story.

Blessings and hugs!

Martha said...

My eyes became teary when I read this post and I want to thank you for sharing your beautiful heartfelt testimony with us :*( I appreciate your honesty and I love your quote, I am always laying on a bed of thorns and I hope to replace it with rose petals someday soon. Your bravery and faith in the Lord is inspiring to me!

Erin said...

What a powerful story...thank you for sharing it...it was truly meaningful to me.

Five Moms & A Blog said...

That story is very difficult to hear, so I can't imagine having to live that. You are a very strong person for learning to forgive in a situation like that.

It makes me realize that friendships and other arguments seem so miniscule in comparison to that.

Thanks so much for sharing that story and for visiting the 5 moms blog. We really appreciate it!
Tarah

christy rose said...

Andrea, I am sure that this was not easy for you to share. My eyes filled with tears and I could not stop shaking my head "no" as I was reading it.
But it is absolutely amazing that you yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit in you when you entered that young man's room. It seemed to me from your story that you did not even have time to make a choice. God's heart just flowed out of you. I believe forgiveness is like that. As we understand God and His forgiveness of our failures, the power to forgive just overflows from our lives to others. We received from Him and extend that gift to others.

It is hard to forgive when we compare someone else's wrong with the wrong that we think we have done, thinking that "I would never have done that" and God doesnt have to forgive me for that because I would not do it. Therefore there is no overflow in that person's life to extend to another. But, when we realize that sin is sin is sin. As we receive forgiveness for our sin, we can forgive others for theirs.

Thank you for sharing your story and helping us all to see what God can do in the life of the one who leans on and depends on Him to manifest His righteousness.

Christy