Do we truly understand the meaning of forgiveness? I thought I did, until I REALLY had to forgive someone. I mean not that forgive and not forget kind of forgiveness, but the past is the past let’s move forward and start anew kind of forgiveness.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I decided to take a test and the + sign popped up. I didn’t believe it. I took 5 more tests that day lol. One’s with the words, ones with the lines, any kind of test I could find. All read the same thing. I was nervous, scared, excited, confused all at the same time.
It was time to tell my daughters father that I was expecting. He was a close friend that had slowly moved into the “someone I’m dating” category within the last few months. Two young people not ready for a baby, but one was on the way so it was time to get ready and quickly! My daughter’s father and I had an odd public “relationship”. We were constantly around each other due to mutual friends and the nature of our work, but few knew about anything else. Being pregnant in a city by myself (literally) I needed him more than ever before. He left.
I remember the day I got the phone call from ….. his mother. I was around 3 months and having horrible morning sickness during my first trimester. I couldn’t find him. He wasn’t answering my calls, emails, texts instant messages… nothing. She said “I told him to cut contact with you until you have the baby and we can take a DNA test.” The words cut me so deep. I cried, I pleaded with her. I was by myself and I needed him. The decision still remained. I went to every single doctors appointment by myself. It was the loneliest feelings in the world for me. I still cry thinking about that time in my life sometimes. That pain was so hard to bear. I had friends who helped and I love them dearly for it, but that void was there. In my 8th month I decided to move back home.
Two weeks before I gave birth, he called. He asked if he could come to Miami for the birth. He knew that was his daughter and I guess the guilt finally caught up with him. I agreed. Once he got to Miami things didn’t go so well, I had a lot of anger built up in me. Enough that I couldn’t even stand the sight of him. He asked to be there in the delivery room and I denied of that privilege. I just didn’t feel like he deserved to feel that joy and love I felt from my daughter. He didn’t earn it and I wasn’t going to give it away freely. One week after my daughter was born, he left again.
He sent an email to me regarding how he felt and that he felt it was best that he cut contact with me (those words again smh). I wasn’t surprised, nor was I scared. I spent my entire pregnancy without him this was nothing new. I felt prepared to do this by myself. Fast forward 3 years later without any contact (YES THREE!) I randomly got a message from a mutual friend of ours that my daughter’s father was not in good health. I had known about his health problems since the beginning but to hear the words really jolted me to the reality of this life lesson that was in front of me. Two days later I heard the voice on the other end of the phone of my daughters father. A voice that was all too familiar, but still a stranger. His kidneys had failed, and he was on daily dialysis. He needed a kidney transplant and didn’t know if this was the end for him. He wanted to finally meet his daughter.
In that very moment I heard this scripture in my head:
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
This was my test, had I learned the lesson? I had to let the anger go, and move forward. I was so bitter, so hurt, so upset. It wasn’t hurting anyone but myself, and inadvertently my daughter at the end of the day. After 3 years my daughter finally met her dad for the first time. That moment brought so much peace into my life. I wish I could explain the feeling. It gave me an understanding of what God explains as “not the peace that the world gives, but the peace that passeth all understanding”. What situation are you letting hold you back? It may not be an actual “I forgive you” conversation that may be needed with someone, but go into your quiet place, and lay all your burdens, hurt down, and finally REALLY forgive. It’s worth it!