Finding Joy in Forgiveness
By Darlene L. Turner
Early morning is my favourite time, especially during the warmer months. I love to sit outside on my patio listening to the cardinals sing during the summer. I enjoy smelling the freshness in the air and marvelling in the creation of the brilliant heavenly blue morning glories climbing my fence. It’s almost like they smile at me with their huge faces. I smile back.
When I look at them, I see one thing. Joy.
But joy wasn’t always there. Many mornings I didn’t feel like smiling. Inside, I was wilting like a flower without water. Happiness was zapped out of me after my first husband left me. I had wondered if I would ever get it back.
Anger crept in and took me to a place of bitterness. I was mad at him for leaving, and yes, even at God for allowing it to happen. But, did I stay there?
No, I couldn’t.
I knew even though God allowed this journey to happen in my life, He knew the bigger picture. He wanted me to trust, so I slowly left my anger at the foot of the cross. I began to choose joy and forgiveness.
Did it happen easily? Of course not. It was a difficult journey. A few steps forward, many steps back. I worked through the anger, confusion, and defeat with the help of a counsellor, family, friends, and many prayers. I chose forgiveness because I did not want the bitterness to consume my life. No one likes to be around someone filled with resentment. We avoid it at all costs. And doesn’t God command us to forgive? Yes, seventy times seven.
In Abducted in Alaska, Layke struggles with forgiving his mother for the years of abuse he suffered by her hand. This causes him trust issues and he holds back in any of his relationships. Throughout the book he has to deal with this in order to move on. Will he? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
However, in my story, after months had subsided, I met with my spouse to sign the divorce papers. I felt surprisingly calm. The bitterness was gone and I knew it was time to move on. So I did.
Joy came in the morning and brought back my smile.
Bitterness can consume our lives so easily. We must learn to recognize it, forgive, and then move on. When we do, God will give us peace and help us to find joy again.
Share a book on forgiveness that has helped you (fiction or non-fiction) in the comments for a chance to win an ebook of Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner. One random commenter will be selected to win.
Giveaway ends February 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST.