A mom wrote: It took lots of years for me to forgive my father for abusing me. It took lots of years for me to forgive myself for not protecting my younger siblings from the abuse. I also had to forgive my mother for not protecting me.
I have found that you can never find serenity within yourself unless you can forgive. Forgiving is the secret to inner peace. I thank God everyday because without prayer and His guidance, I would not have been able to “feel” the overwhelming peace in my soul. That peace is forgiveness.
My reaction: My heart ached as I read this mom’s words. I felt myself welling up with anger and outrage at the heinous abuse by her father and the lack of protection by her mother. I felt deep sadness with her feelings of guilt for being powerless to stop the abuse and save her siblings. Her courage to face the memories and to forgive was critical to her own wellbeing. She has learned to forgive the person without excusing the act. As she writes, “Forgiving is the secret to inner peace.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Forgiving offers us an opportunity to find our personal serenity and freedom. It doesn’t mean we deny the hurt, lessen a person’s responsibility or justify abuse. What is does mean is that we move beyond the pain, despicable as the act might be, in the act of willful love. Today, I will pray for God’s help to move beyond the pain and turn my will toward love. Love will have the last word.