Sunday, August 20, 2017

The daily chore, and blessing, of forgiveness, by Jennifer Christie

It's not the day.
It's the days.
It's moments.

I am uncomfortable .
A vast understatement.
I sip milkshakes through a straw and take little bites of pudding that I can't taste because it's all I can manage.
I had two back molars pulled yesterday. Teeth that shattered some months ago during a spate of uncontrollable seizures . I ignored the pain for a time until infection set in and now here I sit. All chipmunk cheeks and popping ibuprofen wishing it were Percocet..but my toddler here is a tempest ,(as toddlers tend to be), and needs a caregiver who doesn't come with a warning to avoid operating heavy machinery.
Being sober minded however has its disadvantages. I can't help but think about the origin of my pain..
and I find myself in the position of needing to forgive.

I've talked a lot about forgiveness lately. People assume that I mean the rape. That one day.
That nightmarish morning into afternoon.
They wouldn't be entirely wrong, but it's much more than that.

Not the day.
The moments.
It's the call that will have to be made to our landlord ..again.. apologizing for not being able to make rent this month because everything we had went to fix my mouth.

It's the blood that won't come out of the bedsheets because even after two surgeries there is intestinal damage that remains from being violated with a broken glass bottle.
(I've never shared that publicly before..I didn't intend to just now. I know how difficult that will be to read.
I assure you, it was more difficult to write.)

It's the loss of independence when my epilepsy requires a driver,
a cook,
a babysitter.

I feel angry.
I ask "Why me?"
I think back to my life before it all.

Not the day.
The days.
The moments.

C.S.Lewis said that everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.
For me, for many of us, it isn't an idea. It's a daily reality. If you are a follower of Christ, forgiveness is more than a suggestion. It's a command.
And not just for ourselves.

I forgive for my joyful baby. All light and love.
I forgive for my older sons, growing into the good men of tomorrow.
For my daughter who watches me to see how a woman of faith responds when in the valley.
For my devoted husband who needs and deserves a helpmate who is present and whole.
And I forgive for myself. For my Savior.
So I may become that empty vessel, that tool in His Hands as He molds me into the woman I was born to be.

I'm not looking for pity.
I don't want praise.

I write to anyone else out there who lives in this challenging place of seemingly endless forgiveness. Cliche alert: Recognize the blessing in disguise. Spiritual battles, of every sort, keep us on our knees.
The only way battles can be won.

So today.
Swollen and weary, I forgive.
Seventy times seven and beyond.

I forgive.

The day .
The days.
The moments.

I forgive.

BIO:  Jennifer Christie’s story Raped While on a Business Trip – My Husband and I Chose
 went viral after it was published on our blog and elsewhere, with over 1 million shares to Facebook. She wrote a follow-up story, Raped, Married and Pregnant:  When People Said We Shouldn’t Have You, We Loved You Louder, and her husband Jeff also wrote out their story from his own perspective:  My Wife and I Both Saw This Baby As Something Beautiful Coming From Such Evil.  The latest update of her story — with the rapist-murderer having been killed is My Son Was Never a “Rapist’s Baby” or “Product of Rape” – He’s My Child.  For more information about Jennifer see her page on our website