Monday, April 7, 2008

Forgiveness

I was telling a friend the other day about something that happened in my family on my wedding day and I just thought I would write in here so that one day my children would know how it happened. It's a perfect example of being sorry and being forgiven.

My parents have been divorced almost as long now as they were married. It seems hard to believe that this much time has passed by, but it has. My parents now have three adult children and eleven grandchildren. In addition, my father has seven step grandchildren. We have been productive in the last 21 years to say the least.

On my wedding day, one of my nieces (H)who was just 7 at the time, was riding from the church to the reception with my Dad and Step-Mother. She asked the question, "Why aren't you and Grandmother married anymore?" I think my Dad responded by saying it was wrong and they got divorced and he was sorry for that. My niece then asked, "Have you told her you were sorry?" It had already been about 8 years since the actual divorce at this point. My Dad said, "No, but I am sorry."
"Well then, you have to tell her so." she said.
"O...K..." he responded.
After the reception was over and my family members were cleaning up, (Thanks everyone) my Dad did in fact approach my mother and tell her he was sorry. I'm not sure really what my mother said at this point, because I think she was more confused or just a little dumbfounded by it. Later that night, however, my sweet little niece was still on her mission..."Grandmother, did Grandfather apologize to you tonight?"
"Ugh..Yeah, he did as a matter of fact," said my mom.
"Did you tell him you forgive him?" inquired H.
"I didn't say those words, but I do forgive him," my mom replied.
H then said, "That's not good enough. When someone says they are sorry, you have to tell them that you forgive them."
"O..K....You're right," my mother agreed. My mother proceeded to call my Dad on the phone and tell him exactly that.

What a simple solution. A seven year old...being taught everyday by her parents to say, "Im sorry" and "I forgive you", brought that wisdom along for my middle aged parents. A basic lesson we all learn when we are children, but so quickly forget it's importance as we grow older. I know this was a healing time for everyone and it was all brought on by a tender child that was thinking so simply, but it had such a huge effect.

I just wanted to document this little piece of history of my family for my children. Yes, there is forgiveness and healed hearts in our family...and I appreciate my little niece (now 18!) that inspired it all.

4 comments:

georgia mom said...

I think it was me you were telling this, but it is beautiful everytime. Isn't forgiveness the most awesome gift? m

elizabeth said...

Yes,it is, m. Just like the story of forgiveness I told you about today...Me being on the other end and being the one to forgive someone, not receive the forgiveness, is also a very good feeling.

Kathy said...

That is a beautiful story. Divorce is so tough. I know I never thought I would be affected by it...but my sister and John went through it and I felt SO awful. Yes, forgiveness is a wonderful gift. So freeing and liberating to let go of the anger.

Joni said...

What a great example of God providing healing through the innocence of a child. I love it!