Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Happy Thursday! Every Thursday I send a message about forgiveness. This week I put myself to the test.
Monday morning my maternal grandfather died. When I was a child he sexually abused me. I kept the family secrets until I was in my mid- to late twenties and my younger sister, a tween at the time, tried to kill herself due to the abuse she experienced. I came out on her behalf as a corroborating witness and lost everything except my husband and children. Make no mistake, I gained nothing.
Years went by and it was only about a year ago that I finally realized that I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. I had completely forgiven both my grandmother, who I loved so much (passed away about 7 years ago) and who covered up the abuse, and my grandfather, the abuser. Yet, there was a part of me who hoped until the very last minute, that he would tell the family, so there could be healing and reuniting. He didn’t.
This week I felt I needed some closure, but I was banned by the family from the funeral home and the funeral. Sitting in my office yesterday, I felt unsettled. Then, out of the nowhere my friend brought in a group of teens from a local youth ministry and they prayed for me. How sweet was that!
Almost instantly my prayer was answered. I stood before God and talked to my grandfather. It was then that I could see him as a victim. Many abusers have also been abused. Tears ran down my cheeks as I told him I was sorry for whatever happened to cause him to have that problem. I went on to tell him that I hated he couldn’t make it right with the family, but it was okay. Then, I prayed for God to accept him and my grandmother in heaven, if he hadn’t already. Finally, I said my farewells for now and promised to see them in heaven one day where I know everything will be so much better. I will be able to hug them. Immediately, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest. I felt so much relief that I am happy again. I can truly say . . . it is well with my soul.
I don’t share this story to brag or boast, because I’ve always been ashamed of what happened. Also, know that it took many, many years for me to get to the place where I am now. However, I know that I’m not alone. Many of you have similar situations. Rest assured there are miracles every day, I witnessed some yesterday. I know God can make everything okay, but even if he doesn’t do what you think you need, keep things well with your soul. God bless you!