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…
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’
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Help me now to do the impossible
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
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.