I awoke this morning, remembering that it was my step-mother’s birthday. The woman, my father divorced my mom to marry, after twenty-six years. She was my mom’s best friend and business partner. They were like sisters. We were all shell-shocked when it happened, never to be the same again. But, the betrayal, and watching my mom suffer are the things I have never been able to forget.
After they married, I had a choice to make. Would I find a place of forgiveness for what they had done? Somehow, forgiving my dad came without much difficulty because I knew what an egotistical, chauvinist he was.
She was another story. I didn’t want to forgive her, and even though I treated her with respect and found a way to relate to her, my heart stayed cold on purpose.
When my dad died five years ago, the bitterness I had allowed to live in my heart festered. I pulled away and barely spoke to her. I could finally avenge my mother, and it felt good.
The one thing I’ve continued to do is call her on her birthday. How very sweet of me. Today, as I thought about whether or not I would call, I began replaying in my mind what she had done. Then something miraculous happened. God gave me a glimpse of the wretch He so patiently loves. He does this often, but this time, my stubborn heart did not want to concede. For all these years, I’ve convinced myself that my step-mother’s offenses were far more egregious than mine could ever be. That was until today.
Today, God showed me the ease in which I would betray a friend to get what I want, and how covetous I am for what belongs to someone else. He brought to light how often I’ve thought only of my happiness without giving a second thought to who it would hurt. He exposed my indifference toward those who stand in my way and how callously I treat those who try to stop me from getting what I think I deserve. Then, as He always does, He kindly and lovingly quieted my heart and reminded me that because of His Son, my sin and guilt will never be held against me. As the tears of repentance fell, I knew one thing irrefutably; my step-mother is not the worst sinner I know, I am.
But, thank God, His forgiveness has come for us both. Forgiveness that neither one of us deserves. Our debt has been paid in full, and we have been ransomed and redeemed through the precious blood of the Lamb.
Yes, today, I will call my step-mom, wish her a happy birthday and ask her to forgive me for all the years I held her to a standard that was impossible for me to reach.
Hallelujah! Jesus has come and set the captives free.
— By Kathi Miles
Kath has a Christian Blog full of inspiring poetry and stories to lift your spirits and delight your soul. For more of her magnificent work, visit “Grace Lover” – here >> … And follow her on Twitter here >>