Forgiveness

My dear friend from college recently asked me to participate in her upcoming Bible Study. The topic…Forgiveness. When I read the message I had to scrape myself off the floor from the shock. Me, discuss forgiveness in a Bible Study group? I have written about forgiveness, discussed forgiveness with my shrink, prayed for it every day since my spinal cord injury, but was I ready to speak about it in an open forum…a Bible Study group centered around God?

Her question had me thinking. Really thinking. Had I forgiven Dr. Liar? Was I worthy to discuss it with a Bible study group? If I hadn’t forgiven Dr. Liar am I being a hypocrite? It’s been seven years since my injury…shouldn’t they, couldn’t they find someone who was a ‘better Christian’ to address their group — someone who was quicker to forgive? Wouldn’t they see through me…that I was actually wavering on the forgiveness fence? God knows I still struggle with it, but could I face my friend’s Bible Study group without knowing for sure?

I have to be honest and admit there are days when I wrestle with mixed emotions about Dr. Liar and the way he treated my family and me. It’s not that I have hatred in my heart like I once did; however, I also don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I think about him either. I still work hard each and every day at forgiving the man who with one strike of a mallet changed the course of my life. I also wouldn’t mind if he got four flat tires driving home from work a time or two…or three or four. I don’t want him to experience pain…just an inconvenience or two. OK, some pain along with a few flat tires might be acceptable (just joking).

I am not a person who feels she must have revenge when someone does me wrong. However, when it came to Dr. Liar, I had to work hard with these feelings. I have written a lot about this topic in the blog. Fortunately, I was able to overcome these feelings and understand those who are struggling with forgiving the unforgivable. I have been there — I have walked in your shoes. I have experienced the emotions and in fact, I can be drawn back there when having a bad day. However, it takes work, prayer and not allowing myself to become the victim. I see Dr. Liar as the one with the problem; not me. I want to be strong enough to pull myself through any situation and rise up above the Dr. Liar’s of the world. It took me hitting the lowest point of my life to be able to look and reach up and ask for help.

I believe we each wake up and make a decision about how we are going to tackle each day. We have choices and can choose to be miserable or make the most of the 24 hours we are given. We can smile, frown, laugh, cry, motivate or depress others. Personally I wake up and ask God to help me work through my physical pain and to try to bring joy to others. I feel I am blessed to have use of my legs and for a spinal cord injury patient…I am one of the lucky ones. And, despite some of my limitations I am making the most of my life.

One visual reminder of what Dr. Liar did to me and the struggles of the last seven years is the cane I use when walking. My physical therapist (aka my modern day Yoda) and I are tackling ‘Mission Possible’ — trying to walk without the cane after using it for seven years. Most doctors and other therapists say it can’t be done. Those are the words I need to hear to make me want to prove them wrong. It’s a lot of hard work, but I know God wants me to get over this hurdle. The Bible verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” keeps playing over and over in my mind. They say you can’t retrain the brain after a certain amount of time. Well, we will see about that. ‘They’ also say you can’t teach ‘old dogs’ new tricks.

My dear friend who asked me to participate in her Bible Study also sent me a lovely song by Matthew West. The song, Forgiveness, is based on a true story about a woman who lost her 20 year old daughter when she was hit by a drunk driver. The driver was sentenced to 22 years in prison, but it didn’t take away the bitterness felt by the mother. It wasn’t until the mother visited the driver, Eric, in prison and forgave him that she was able to experience true freedom from her anger. The mother asked the judge to release Eric early so the two could begin speaking throughout the country about the dangers of drunk driving. To me, this is true forgiveness.

Below are the lyrics to Matthew Fox’s powerful song, Forgiveness.

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just to real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

If a mother is able to forgive a drunk driver for taking her daughter’s life, I should be able to forgive Dr. Liar. So, have I answered my friend’s question about participating in her Bible Study?  Am I prepared to discuss how I have moved closer to forgiving Dr. Liar? I believe during my seven year forgiveness quest I simply strive to be more like God. Perhaps that’s been the lesson all along.

©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com 2012.

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About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Dr. Liar, Forgiveness, God, Hurt but not Broken, physical therapy, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Forgiveness

  1. Lois Forret says:

    Beautifully written, Marsha! Personally i never have had to forgive to this extent. When I was given the news of a Downs Syndrom infant and the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthrits for my beautiful daughter at age 22. Who was I going to blame??? “Acid does more dammage to the vessel in which it is stored” As you can see I do not have the writing skills that you do. Think of you often and love you.

    • mswd says:

      Lois ~ you always write the nicest things! I agree and like your expression…”acid does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored!” How true that statement is! It took me many years to learn this valuable lesson and did so in baby steps. Grandmama use to always tell me “you have to crawl before you can walk!” And this lesson was no different. God knew what he was doing and the timeline along the way. Forgiveness is a strange emotion…I could probably write an entire book on the topic! 🙂 Love and miss you! Let’s make plans to get together soon. Sending love and blessings! XO

  2. Marsha, Thank you for your transparency, your honesty and your truth in the moment. Not that it is asked, but I offer this. Yes, you have what it takes to talk about this topic, because you are in it. You are doing it, step by step (even with the cane!) I find that forgiveness is something that comes in stages; first in the mind, because you know it is better for you than holding onto that grudge, and then slowly it trickles down into the heart. I also find the mind only allows the trickle to go slow, until finally one day, the heart in permeated with forgiveness. And that day is not going to happen until it happens. It is a journey as you know, and this is yet another part of your journey that is worth sharing. Love and namaste…
    peace my friend,
    Vedam

    • mswd says:

      Vedam ~ thank you so much for your message, love and ongoing support. I am so glad we have gotten back in touch…30 years has been too long! 🙂 I so appreciate your input and always love hearing from you and others on ways to continue moving forward in my journey to forgive and to heal. I felt for many years that I held on to hatred and wasted valuable time; however, once I opened up and shared my story it helped others, which in turn ended up helping me. What a blessing! And, somewhere along the way, the hatred faded and I now feel sorry for the person who was not able to admit what went wrong in the operating room. But, it’s ok, because I am ok. I feel as if a weight has been lifted and it’s as if I am free to be the new me. I still have down days, but it’s not every day and that’s what is so wonderful. As you experienced first hand, pain is a difficult thing to live with, but I am learning new ways to manage it and myself (thank you for sharing your insight). You are correct…it’s a journey and I am a work in progress. I am blessed though to have so many wonderful people traveling with me — like you dear friend. Thank you again for the advice, comforting words and support. You have had some rough patches as well and I applaude your continued spirit! Stay well and please keep in touch. XO

  3. Beautiful Marsha. And I like what “Vedam” says about the forgiveness happening in stages.

    • mswd says:

      Thank you Colleen ~ Vedam definitely hit the nail on the head. I wouldn’t have thought about forgiveness occurring in stages if you would have asked me the question three or four years ago; however, it does, I am proof of it. You can let it eat you up, or you can release it and be set free. I choose to be free…to no longer be the victim. And, what a difference it makes! Vedam is very wise and has been through some difficult times himself. We went to high school together and reconnected at our 30th high school reunion last month…what a blessing he has been. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many special people…including my crazy biking blogger friend Colleen! Thank you again for your kind words! 🙂

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