Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Forgive You

When I was in the ninth grade, there were two girls I considered to be my best friends. One weekend in December one of them spent the night at the other's house and they got into a conversation about me. They started discussing all the things I had ever done that bothered them, and decided to record it in a letter for me - along with the fact that they no longer wanted to call me "friend." It took them nine pages to list all their grievances, but they got 'em all in.
They presented the letter to me just after lunch, a few days before Christmas vacation. (I had already bought their Christmas presents. Think I threw them away that year.) Yeah, just after lunch - right before fourth hour, a class the three of us had together. I cried real hard in class.
Have you ever had your heart ripped out of your chest and stomped on in front of 20-some other kids? That's kind of how I felt that day. I had no idea a fourteen year old girl could hurt that much.

Oh, I was hurting.

During the rest of my high school years, those two girls and I were civil toward one another, but I never forgot the pain.

Then I came to a day - years and years later - when God led me to forgive those girls for the way they hurt me.
We were kids when it happened.
As an adult I understood their behavior was childish. Though it tore me apart at the time, as an adult I could see it wasn't a pain worth holding in my heart. (Really, is ANY pain worth holding???)
And so I forgave them. It was over. I wasn't going to hold them responsible for my heart ache any longer.
I forgave them, and Jesus healed my heart.

Fast forward to this past Saturday night, and my 20-year high school class reunion. At first I saw her across the room, and a few minutes later she was walking right up to me. With a great big smile on her face.
We hugged and said, "Hello," and then Julie told me she needed to talk to me. She said for years she has felt terrible about that letter, and when she heard I was going to be at the reunion she knew she needed to apologize for it. I hugged Julie again and told her that I had already forgiven her. Told her God had led me through it years ago.
But it was so good to be able to say, I forgive you, right to her - face-to-face and in person. It feels complete. Both of us know now. And I like it this way.

Went to a reunion, wound up at a reconciliation.

God is good, friends. God is good!

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Jessica said...

Wow, that's horrible! I remember ninth grade and some nasty letters...

I'm so glad she apologized, even though you'd forgiven her.

Edie said...

I experienced something similar in school. I love the way God delivered you and orchestrated your circumstances to meet her years later.

Leah said...

Isn't just how the Lord works!! What a blessing that you had already purposed in your heart to forgive her and at the same time the Holy Spirit was prompting her to ask for forgiveness. Obedience is Beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, beautifully orchestrated by God our Father!! So glad it all worked out & that you are all at peace now! :)

Patricia nyc

Proverbs 27:19 said...

I bet that was a great witness for her if she doesn't already serve God!


luvmy4sons said...

Behind today on my reading. So glad I stopped by your place. What a story. Thank you for sharing it. It just sat here shaking my head thinking..."That is our God...He knows unforgiveness keeps us in chains..and so does needing to ask for it..." Wow. God is so good!

Mary said...

That's awesome how God worked it all out for you. Just been through a similar situation myself - at 37 years old - and even now, can hardly think about it with out my heart aching. I can imagine the hurt you must have felt that day.

But God. . . . .



Chatty Kelly said...

God is so good. That was a real gift that she apologized. Very few people would. Glad you had already forgiven and moved on.

Laura T. said...

I think it helped her to apologize to you even though you had already forgiven her and let it leave you instead of it festering inside of you forever - I know people like that - they just hold onto to things that happened when we were kids and it does nothing but hurt yourself and your life.

Good story Karen and being from the same high school as you, even more interesting!

A Captured Reflection said...

What a thing to experience, but how awesome that God led you through it and 20 years on, you have this amazing conversation knowing that you have been set free for ages! Yay...oh this is Karen from NZ - I am blogging again. My devotions under my Reflecting Upon blog and my photos right here.