My experience of learning about forgiveness came with my father’s untimely death. My father and I had a 13-year silence. I would call him on his birthday and holidays, but not really in between. He came to town every few years, and he would come to say hi to his grandchildren. However, he never was interested in my life or my children. He caused me so much pain in my youth that I thought I could never really truly love him.
When I found out that my dad was dead, I had so many emotions take over me. There was never any closure. I never got the apologies I deserved! I never got to apologize for what I had done. Well, God took that experience and made it beautiful. I was able to find love and forgiveness for my father. I was even able to talk to my stepmom after his death and honestly held no malice for him or her for the hell I went through as a child with them.
I have learned how freeing it is to choose love over hate. How freeing it would have been for my dad had I ever been able to express that to him. How different things would have been. But it was the way God wanted it. I learned a beautiful lesson out of something so horrible. I never leave any fight without apologizing. I never let someone who has hurt me or someone I have hurt go away without some closure. It is so important to forgive and move on. It is God’s job to judge. It is our job to love.