Unforgiveness…. Me?

I took a break for a few days. I’ve been busy with school and doing some thinking. I’ve debated on writing on the following topic because it’s kind of a sore subject for me. Ok, not kind of, it is a sore subject. At any rate, I’ve decided to try and articulate my feelings and put my thoughts on paper (so to speak).

When I was 15 yrs. old my mom and dad split up for the final time. A year later my dad ended with a girl 9 months older than I. She had lost her father basically the same year I lost mine. Only mine was still alive and hers wasn’t. He was a cop and got shot in a routine traffic stop that obviously turned out not so routine. Anyway, this girl was now my dads’ girlfriend. Oh joy! They eventually get married and she has serious jealousy issues with me. Bad news. She made my life miserable whenever I visited my dad, which really wasn’t much. At one point they lived with my first husband and I for a while. I hated that too but what can you do?

Years later, she ends up with six kids from my dad and I hardly ever talked to him because she made it very difficult for me. She made it very clear and minced no words at telling me my dad didn’t need me in his life anymore, he now had his own family to watch out for.

My dad ended up having a heart attack and need quadruple by-pass surgery. The doctors didn’t know if he would make it. All this time they lived in California while I lived in Oregon. I didn’t have the means to run to his bedside, although I wanted to. I tried calling the hospital to talk to my dad before surgery and she wouldn’t let me talk to him. She said he didn’t need the likes of me upsetting him before surgery. I was smack dab in the middle of my addiction at the time, but I had the sense enough to know I loved him and needed to make peace with him in case he didn’t make it. My blood boiled when she wouldn’t let me talk to my dad. thinking about it today makes my blood boil.

My dad and her were married 20 years before they divorced because she had an affair. She turned their kids against my dad and broke his heart over it. It was a nasty divorce she was very vindictive and hateful. Now I know none of that is my issue. However, I am glad they aren’t together because now I have been able to have a relationship with my dad that I was unable to have because of her.

My dad now lives here in Oregon in my neighborhood. I see him everyday. I enjoy having him close, even though it’s difficult to have an ongoing conversation with him, but that’s just dad. I love him and love it that he is close.

He tells me last month that “she” invited him down for a BBQ so that he could see all the kids (all but two are grown) and grand kids. Instantly warning lights start flashing in my head. DANGER! DANGER! DANGER Will Robinson! I kept silent until just before he left to go to California. I told him I loved him. I also told him to guard his heart and be watchful. He left and came back. He said it was good to see all the kids and grand-babies. Then he drops the atomic bomb on me and that’s exactly how it felt. He told me “she” was coming up next month with the two youngest girls.

You know… I’m not worried about him having a relationship with the other kids. I know my dad has enough love in his heart for all 10 of his kids and 13 grand kids. My fear is that if he gets back with his EX, I will lose him again. She has never liked me and never pretended she did, except when dad was around. However, she made his life miserable if he even thought about me.

I thought I would never have to see her or deal with her ever again. I had buried her so deep I had forgotten how much I despise her. I know this doesn’t sound very Christian, not even a little bit. I have come to realize I have very deep seeded unforgiveness towards her. In fact, I feel hatred towards her. I have also come to realize how I don’t like the feeling it puts in my chest. It feels tight, like someone sitting on my chest. I know I have to forgive her. Not so much for her but for me.

I have always felt that if I forgive someone for the horrible things they have done to me, it’s like letting them off the hook. I have recently learned that is not the case. It is really letting me off the hook. It is freeing me. I know this to be true. However, it still doesn’t “FEEL” that way. Thank God we don’t have to live by feelings. I am able to walk in faith. So, I am asking for prayer to be able to walk this journey of forgiveness out in faith.

I would like to do this without having to talk to her or see her. Is that possible? I am really hoping that the Lord will allow me that. We’ll see.

Colossians 2:13-15
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave ALL our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

21 thoughts on “Unforgiveness…. Me?

  1. I think the hardest people to forgive are the ones closest to us – our family. A few years ago, my siblings told me I was no longer part of the family because I didn’t agree with my brothers’ same – sex “marriages.” (I’m Canadian, it’s legal nation-wide). Understandably, I was extremely hurt and angry. It took me a couple of years and the help of a very patient spiritual director before I could let my anger go. I can now honestly say that I forgive my siblings and pray for them daily, even though they still don’t talk to me. Forgiveness is not a sentiment. It is a choice we make daily, by the Grace of God. Pray, seek advice, make the choice. God Bless. BTW, I wrote a post on May 28 entitled “You LIke Me.” I was giving away 2 blogger awards and named you one of the recipients of both. I’d love for you to go back and read the post and pick up your awards.

  2. efchristi says:

    I will pray for you as well as your father that all goes well. It has been 20 years so I hope you will be able to put the past behind you and continue forward. Your father must have forgiven her or he would not have invited her up for a visit. You should respect his decision, remembering it is his life.
    You might also think about all the baggage you are carrying over this and consider forgive and forget yourself. Otherwise you may never fully regain your life.
    Walk daily with God at your side!

    Ed

  3. tljax says:

    Wow, what a testimony this is to your perseverance! Just imagine what a testimony of God’s grace it will be when He works it all out for His purposes. “…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

    God bless you, dear sister, and give you grace to accept with serenity the people and relationships you cannot change, the courage to maintain the ones that count, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  4. SR says:

    Saved by Grace, This is how I see forgiveness. For me, forgiveness is not about not holding those accountable for the hurt and pain they have caused us. Example: If someone say kills someone in my family they need to go to jail. Forgiveness is not about “forgetting” as we cannot help what we remember. Forgiveness is for me, about being gracious. The best person I use for this example is Pope John Paul II, when he was shot. He never said, “Do not send the man who shot me to jail.” He never said, “The man who shot me was right.” Pope John Paul was so gracious to this man, he even went to prison to visit him. It is an image that has stayed with me forever. I have found in my life, my forgiveness to and for others always begins with me praying for them. Sometimes I have had to pray for as much as three years, (for one person). I know this though, peace does follow and God does answer our prayers according to His will and glory. One of our biggest fears is the “fear of the unknown.” You do not know if this woman is going to become a part of your life again or not. Just try and live for this day, as tomorrow may not come at all for any of us. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Hope this helps and God Bless, SR

  5. http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/precepts/player/
    This link goes to today’s Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur episode and I think it may help you. I will also pray for you. Meanwhile, I comend you for recognizing the state of your heart towards this woman and desiring healing from it. I just want to remind you in love that our purpose is to please the Lord and glorify Him and that by forgiving this woman and acting out that forgiveness in whatever circumstance you are placed in in relation to her, you will glorify and please your Father in heaven and that will make it more worth it than even receiving freedom from your feelings. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Isn’t that the greatest blessing we can have? I know that this will not be easy, because crucifying the flesh never is, but when Christ renews us, we are made more than conquerors through Him who loved us. You can do this because He dwells in you. May God bless and keep you.

  6. jelillie says:

    I am praying for you today! May God grant you the peace that passes all understanding!

  7. voluntaryfiber says:

    I respect your honesty. I can’t speak to your question on forgiveness without some contemplation, first. But I think it would be good to express your concerns (about losing him again) to your father. Maybe he has no idea and would be responsive. Maybe, too, there’s something you hadn’t considered before that he will share with you. If you approach it with an open heart and mind, the conversation has the potential to strengthen your relationship. I hope so for you!

  8. eggnoona says:

    Wow you really are a great writer! Forgiveness is something I struggle with too, and this reminds me alot of something I wrote a while back.
    ❤ and blessings from Seattle

  9. janasnyder says:

    Forgiveness isn’t pretending the hurt never happened. To restate what 8 Kids said, ” Forgiveness is not a sentiment. It is a choice we make daily, by the Grace of God.” After two years of intentionally refusing to pick up the bitterness every time I thought of an ex who stalked me, and instead reminding myself, “No, I’ve handed that over to God,” the feeling of forgiveness finally came.

    I also agree with voluntaryfiber about talking to your dad. Not to try to make him change, but just to make sure he understands how you feel. My scenario wasn’t one of forgiveness, but the language I used with my dad once might be helpful to you. It was about a decision he had made that made me sad. We were never ones to discuss our feelings, but he was dying, and our days were few. I said, “Dad, this is your thing and it’s yours to do with as you please; I respect that. But I just wanted to let you know how I feel about it.” And told him. Very gently and respectfully. He said, “I had no idea you felt that way! I’m glad you spoke up.”

    Praying for your peace.

  10. Antoinette says:

    Your desire to forgive is key. And He will fulfill ALL the desires of your heart xxx

  11. Stephanie Wilson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony on this subject. I have struggled with this for a long time since my divorce. I also found the following discussion on unforgiveness that was a blessing and I pray it will bless someone else as well. Thank you for being transparent. Victory is ours in Jesus name!

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