The United States Presidential election is 2 days away! TWO days!! Now, I’m not here to talk politics but I just find it amazing that in two days we, the United States of America, will have a newly elected President.
Whoa. Time is flying, ya know? November already.
As I thought about a theme for this month’s blog post, I thought about thankfulness. You know. Thanksgiving. Being Thankful. Thankfulness. But then I thought, hmm what about writing about forgiveness instead?
You see, forgiveness and thankfulness go hand in hand. Do you remember the theme song to Married with Children? The part that goes, “Love and marriage, love and marriage. Goes together like a horse and carriage…..
That is how I feel about thankfulness and forgiveness. For “this I tell ya brother, you can’t have one without the…other.”
But think about it. If we don’t believe that God has forgiven us for our sins, can we truly be thankful for what Jesus did for us on the cross?
I don’t think so.
A Story of Forgiveness
I met this woman last week and through conversation learned that 16 years ago, a good friend of hers lost both her 5 year old son and her mother in a car accident. A vehicle struck the three of them as they were crossing the street, midday. Upon impact, the son flew out from his mother’s hand and into on coming traffic across the median. The grandmother passed away immediately from the collision. The young boy was hospitalized but also passed away later from internal bleeding. The mother survived the accident.
The accident appeared to be a legit accident. The driver of the vehicle was not distracted. Texting was not a thing during that timeframe so that wasn’t a cause for the crash. She was not on her phone arguing with her sister. Speed was not a significant factor. She just did not see the threesome as she rounded the corner. It was an accident.
Some time after the accident the woman met with the driver of the vehicle. She wanted to let the driver, a fellow woman, know that she harbored no ill-feelings for what happened. She wanted to let the driver know that she was not upset and that everything was going to be okay. She wanted to let the woman know that she forgave her for what happened. But when she went over to the driver’s house and talked with the woman, she noticed that the woman was still completely shook up, for lack of better words. The woman was suffering from the psychological and spiritual impact of the car accident, perhaps even experiencing PTSD.
After the accident, the woman stopped driving. To this day, the woman does not drive at all anymore. In fact, she won’t even get into a car, even if someone else is driving it. The thought that she had killed a young child and his grandmother was, and still is, too much for her to bear. Although the accident happened 16 years ago, it is something that she is still struggling with today.
The woman of the deceased child and mother has hugged the driver, told her that she loves her and that she forgives her, the driver is unable to forgive herself.
Now, I have never been in either woman’s shoes but I can imagine that forgiving yourself for a tragic mistake that you made cannot be an easy task. It is going to take time and just how much time depends on the situation and the individual. But I also know that just as hard as it is to forgive ourselves, it is equally hard to forgive others. In the above situation, it’s clear that the driver is going to need a bit more time to open her heart to the idea of forgiveness so that she can begin the healing process.
But what astounded me most about the story was that the mother, who not only lost her own mother, but also lost her son in the same incident was able to hug the driver and genuinely mean it when she said “I forgive you.”
God’s Story of Forgiveness
Doesn’t this sound similar to Jesus’ story? In John 3:16 we know that God loves us so much that He gave His only son, who then died for us and because of us. Yet, He still forgives us and loves us and tells us that as long as we believe in this and believe that our sins are forgiven by Christ Jesus, we will spend eternity with Him.
I believe that this woman was able to forgive because she was forgiven.
So as we dig into the month of November, I want to really get into forgiveness. I want to look at the bible’s take on forgiveness and figure out how we can apply it to our everyday lives. I want to learn how we can forgive ourselves even when we don’t feel like we deserve that forgiveness.
I mean, how many times have we beat ourselves up over something that we did, went to God for forgiveness, and then continued to beat ourselves up about it? And all the while, the Lord is saying “I forgive you.” but we keep lamenting over our mistakes.
I’ve done that plenty of times. Perhaps you have too.
I think it’s going to be a great series.
Until next time, may He overwhelm you with His blessings, today.
Image by Lukas H Photography via Unsplash
Image and Content by Cefion