faith, Family Fun & Fitness

30 Days of Forgiveness in June: Secret Forgiveness

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

(Psalm 103:8, NIV)

Laura’s husband walked out on her to be with another woman. At first, Laura was devastated. She was an orphan and had no family other than her husband. “I felt like she took the one person who meant the whole world to me,” Laura said.

As the years passed, Laura healed from her husband’s betrayal. Eventually, God brought a new man into her life. When he asked her to marry him, she was delighted, and they began to plan for an autumn wedding.

Laura didn’t want to bring baggage from her past into her new marriage, so she reached out to her pastor. “I can truthfully say I’ve forgiven him and her,” she said. “It took a lot of work, but I bear them no malice. My question is, should I share the fact that I’ve forgiven them?”

Laura’s pastor said, “Forgiveness is about your heart, not theirs. If you say you’ve forgiven someone, and they haven’t sought you out, you risk offending the other party and opening yourself up to more emotional wounds. But if someone comes to you, confessing their sin and seeking forgiveness, then offer it freely and wish them the best.”

God, please show me if there’s someone who needs to hear that I forgive them. If they don’t, give me the peace to move on. In the name of Jesus the Messiah, I pray. Amen.

If you liked this story, you might also like the sweet second chance romance novella Believe in Me, by Mishael Austin Witty. Available now on Kindle for only 99 cents!

faith, Family Fun & Fitness

3o Days of Forgiveness in June: Loving Boundaries

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

(Psalm 86:5, NIV)

Mary grew up with an alcoholic father. “When he wasn’t drinking, he was a good father. But as I got older, the times when he was sober became fewer.” 

By the time Mary graduated from high school, her father was rarely sober. “He wasn’t physically abusive. He’d just yell and carry on about everything. Anything could set him off,” Mary explains.

For years, Mary struggled with the concept of forgiveness. Then one day, she was having dinner with her friend Shannon when the topic came up. Because Shannon was a dear friend that she trusted not to gossip, Mary shared her past with her. 

“He’s not a bad person. He’d like to see his grandkids. I know I’m supposed to forgive and forget. I just don’t want him to damage my kids the way he damaged me and my siblings.” 

Shannon listened as Mary shared her heart. Then she said, “We’re not commanded to automatically forget someone’s actions. 

“As children of God, we are called to forgive. But it’s also wise to be aware of how your father affected you and how he might affect your children. You can set boundaries to protect yourself and your kids, such as not visiting your dad when he’s drunk. It’s healthy to set loving limits in your relationships.”

God, help me to set healthy boundaries with the people I’ve forgiven. I want to be kind, but I also know You don’t want me to be a doormat. Help me to stand up for myself and shine Your love at the same time. In the name of Jesus the Messiah, I pray. Amen. 

If you liked this story, you might also like the sweet second chance romance novella Believe in Me, by Mishael Austin Witty. Available now on Kindle for only 99 cents!