One thing I have learned this year is that so many of our fears, insecurities, sin and doubt is tied to unforgiveness in our hearts…. It could be the group of peers that taunted us on the playground, parents that abandoned us or an abusive ex. Even the smallest infraction can cause a lifetime of fear and doubt…. Someone cut in front of the line at the grocery store 5 years ago and now every time we are in line at the grocery store we are tense, with a mean mug stare… making sure everyone knows we mean business about our place in line. Oftentimes, we are not even aware of the unforgiveness because it is such a small infraction or a random occurrence. We simply brush the experience off, not fully aware of the imprint it has left on us.
For years, I have had this reoccurring fear of my children being involved in some type of accident. A few weeks ago I was side swiped by a drunk driver and while I was completely fine, I was overcome with anxiety at the thought of my babies possibly being in the car. They were safe at school but the thought alone was enough to bring me to tears… Every time I am in my car, or their dad comes to pick them up, my mind immediately goes to an accident scenario… I immediately pray for protection over my babies but that would not take the fear away…
Once again, during my drive into work this morning, my prayer time was interrupted by the thought of my children being involved in an accident… This time, however; my thoughts went back 10 years… To the time my, then 6 year old, daughter and I were involved in a hit and run accident. We were leaving my office and I was making a left hand turn. A drunk driver came out of no where and slammed into us. I turned around to see my baby girl covered in blood. I had never been so afraid in my life. My brave daughter kept reassuring me she was fine as the ambulance came and secured her on their bed. We rushed her to the hospital where she had to have several cat scans and over one hundred stiches. I rememebred sitting on that uncomfortable chair all night long, in pain from the accident, staring at my little girl. I was beyond thankful for our lives but also feeling like I failed my baby girl… It was my job to protect her and I failed that day. This single incident was the determining factor in ending my then relationship with the father of my younger children. His lack of support and compassion during this time made it impossible to trust him… which left an imprint of distrust on my heart as well… “I would never be able to trust anyone to be there when I needed them most”.
While all these thoughts were rushing through my head, I found myself becoming angry with the man who altered my life in so many ways… The man who caused major emotional damage to an innocent young girl… the man who left me imprinted with an immense amount of fear…. Then through it all, I heard my God tell me to forgive him…
I never once thought about forgiving the man who hit us 10 years ago… I had gone through the forgiving of my abusers, my parents, those who hurt me, myself and even God… But this man, I have never met him and this was just a random event that happened… accidents happen, right???
In that moment, I forgave him… I released the anger and disappointment… and I am trusting God to heal those parts of my heart that were wounded by this one incident. I also prayed for him… That God would send people into his life that would show him the love of Christ… that he would be restless until he found his way to The Lord and that we would get to meet one day, in heaven, and I would be able to tell him personally, I forgive you!
One of the best parts of this journey with Christ is His gentle cleansing of our hearts… Years and Years of abuse, pain, neglect and disappointment can leave a heart pretty sick… but God is so faithful to mend every part of us… piece by piece. ~ DeShawne Coleman