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Let Forgiveness Flow Like A River

Personal growth on forgiveness for Christian women

Yesterday was December 26th, the day after Christmas, and since it was a Thursday this year, I had to go into work and process payroll.

As I was wrapping the process up a fellow co-worker happened to come in from the shop and wanted to talk.

He started telling me of his Christmas party experiences with family, and it got me thinking of how often we should be offering forgiveness to others.

He told me of a Christmas party his daughter had planned for his wife's side of the family on December 23rd. "Everyone was there," he said, "except my daughter didn’t invite the one aunt because she is a little bit snobby."

The Christmas party was to be held at a local restaurant, where the whole side of this one family would meet – except for this poor aunt and her husband.

Ouch, that would certainly sting a bit. Especially knowing that there is a family party going on and you were the only one not invited. I would’ve been deeply hurt.

Well, my co-worker added, that this one aunt (which is his sister-in-law) has put on parties and not invited his wife before. “So, she deserved to not get invited."

Ouch again, that was kind of cruel, and malicious I thought. Not only is that just down right mean in general, but this is Christmas. The time to reach out to people and let bygones, be bygones, right?

He then told me that the next day, which was Christmas Eve, they held a party for his side of the family, "And everyone came except my brother and his family,” he said.

Now, I’ve met this brother of his before, because he owns a small equipment store in the town next to us, and out of curiosity, I asked why his brother didn’t make it to the party.

“Well,” he said, “A few years ago my daughters told me he said something rude to them, so I haven't spoken to him since," then he added, "so I didn't invite him to the party."

Another ouch! Boy, it would be hurtful to be this guy's relative!

I felt very sad for my co-worker friend. You could clearly see he was troubled about everything that had gone on or else he wouldn't be confiding in me.

His story continued.

On Christmas Day they held a party at their house, and since they felt bad about the one aunt not getting invited to the other party, they decided to extend her an invitation to come to their house for Christmas dinner.

“That was nice,” I said.

So, do you think this aunt and her husband showed up to their Christmas party?

No, they didn't and he feels they snubbed him and his family.

He expected this aunt and her husband to come right over to their Christmas party, and bring a dish to pass, and visit like nothing ever happened.

But this aunt and her husband never made an appearance.

Then my co-worker added, “Well, I know why she really didn’t show up to our Christmas party."

“It was because she is jealous that we have a new kitchen,” he said nodding his head.

“Really?” I thought. That doesn't sound very nice.

Then it hit me, "Do I jump to conclusions like this too? Yup, I sure do."

He said, “Yeah, she is the middle sister and she thinks the world revolves around her."

He went on to say how he feels she is jealous that the other two sisters have new kitchens and she doesn't." Then he wrapped up the story by saying, "I’m sure that is why she didn’t come over.”

“There is too much drama around the holidays,” he said, “I don’t like it.”

My heart really went out to this co-worker friend of mine. I could tell he was heavy with all this drama that ensued in his family over the last few days, and frankly, it sounded so absurd and sad.

I'm sure this kind of scenario is being played over and over again in homes all across the country, and if it was in my home and family, I wouldn't like it either.

It is only by the mercy of the Lord that any family member can overlook the faults of others and walk with true forgiveness.

I wasn’t sure what to tell him, or if I needed to say anything at all.

Since this co-worker friend of mine isn’t a Christian, quoting a scripture verse on forgiveness or kindness wouldn't help at this moment, so I tried to find the nicest thing to say by way of encouragement.

“That was nice of you to invite the aunt over for Christmas. It’s too bad she couldn’t make it, but maybe she had made other plans by then.”

For twenty years, I’ve taught Sunday School to kids of all ages and the old adage of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” sticks out clearly in my mind, and I so badly wanted to pass this truth on to him.

There is a time for everything, and this wasn’t the time to pass any spiritual truths on to my co-worker friend, so I held it in, but it seems that He is open to talking to me now. Which is a good thing, because he hadn't been speaking to me this past year due to some offense (which is another long story), so maybe now that he is talking to me again I will have a chance to speak into his life.

After payroll was finished, and my co-worker friend had told me all of his stories, my boss gave me the rest of the afternoon off! I was so excited to go home and start a project!

My mind was churning over ideas of working on my coloring books, or editing my book, or something fun like that!

Upon entering my daughter’s old bedroom, which I’ve turned into my new office, I instantly knew what my afternoon project would be - to clean this room.

While shuffling through some papers and making piles, I came across a journal entry from February 2019 that caught my attention.

This is what it said:

I am so thankful tonight. The Lord restored a relationship between me and a friend of mine who I thought was offended at me.

The last contact I had with this person was a couple of years ago when they said they would call me on a certain day, but they never did, and, because they didn’t reach out to me like they said they would, I didn’t reach out to them to see why they hadn't.

I thought they were offended at me somehow, and because of this I didn't make any attempt to reconcile. Maybe in my heart of hearts, I was offended at them? I don't know... but for whatever reason it had been a long time since we talked.

But what I do know now is that the Lord miraculously restored our relationship today and I am bubbling over with happiness!

I woke up this morning with this friend on my mind, and as I was thinking of her I became very heavy remembering how neither one of us had reached out to the other over the last couple of years...

I decided to lift her up to the Lord in prayer and in that moment asked Him to restore our relationship, sharing with Him how much I missed her and hoped she was doing well.

After going through my normal routine of getting ready for work this morning and taking a shower, I checked my phone for messages, and lo, and behold, there was a text message from her!

In a state of shock and excitement I read her text - she wanted to know how I was doing!

After a couple of years of not speaking to each other or reaching out to each other, she texted me on the very morning I asked the Lord for help in restoring our relationship!

This was such a remarkable moment for me! I will always remember this!

We ended up texting back and forth for hours, catching up on all the details of our missed friendship. Nothing was amiss at all on her end! She was just busy with life. As was I.

My journal that day ended with comments of feeling blessed that the Lord had proven Himself so faithful to me yet again, by giving me this miracle of answered prayer!

Oh how He loves reconciliation!

How important it is to keep the bridges of communication open as well!

How many family members or friends do we have that we have snubbed along the way like my co-worker friend? For small, petty reasons too. Or how many friends or family members have we ignored because of life's demands or perceived speculations of offences, like me and my friend?

Maybe we could find time to ask the Lord for help in restoring lost relationships?

A new year is going to begin in a few days. Why not ring in the New Year with a tide of forgiveness? And let it flow over us, washing us anew!

Let bygones, be bygones and let us begin January 1st, 2020 with a new happy heart!

Perhaps your loved ones are hoping you would reach out to them. Don't let years pass before you do!

Bless someone with the gift of reconciliation, forgive them for the wrong they have done, overlook their transgressions in this new year, and it may be your wrongs will be overlooked and you will be forgiven too!

Inside The Lord’s Prayer, (Matthew 6:12) one line reads, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Receiving forgiveness and forgiving others are some of the most important things we will ever do.

How free my co-worker friend would be if he would only embrace this thought of forgiveness. He was heavy with remorse over what happened, and I've been praying for him. May he come to the acknowledgment of the saving grace and forgiveness through Christ Jesus.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmastime.

Jesus came into the world to forgive us our sins, and to give freedom to those who are bound by unforgiveness.

If we believe in Him and accept this gift of forgiveness He offers us - we will experience life anew and be able to offer forgiveness to others as well.

One thing I say often when I’m hurt by someone else, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Because oftentimes, people really don't understand the level of hurt caused. How can they? We are all so different. What could be funny to one person is hurtful to another.

Hurts come when we least expect them too, and I have learned to give Him all my cares and worries in regards to these hurts, because I know He cares for me and watches over everything concerning me. (1 Peter 5:7)

And as I walk away from these hurts in the past, embracing the new year that is dawning, may these hurts become true bygones as I trust in the Lord.

Leaning not upon my own understanding, but on His, because I know very well that my own understanding of things are wrong a lot of the time. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Prayer -

Lord, I want to trust You more and more in this new year and not lean upon my own understanding!

Lord, I want to acknowledge You in ALL I say and do - Please direct my path!

I want to begin this new year with a clear heart concerning people, not jumping to conclusions, but going to You first with my concerns.

Trusting You Lord, and leaning upon You in all things.

Lord, let forgiveness flow through me when I start to feel the tiniest bit hurt by someone!

Above all, may I be a shining light of Your goodness and character to all men.

May the Lord richly bless you with the giving and receiving of forgiveness in this new year!

Have a blessed year!


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Thank you!

Blessings ~

My Sun & Shade


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Angie is a pastor's wife, grammie, office administrator, pianist, artist, and blogger. She is currently editing her 1st book to be released sometime this year. Follow her spiritual journey to attain God's highest purpose for her life, as she follows God's Biblical guide for Christian women.

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