The Road to Forgiveness

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This anger is familiar, but without the familiar confines of your relationship with food, it may seem overwhelming. The danger is to want to remain angry, wallowing in placing blame, which only leads to more anger. It takes great courage to confront those who hurt you, to acknowledge the power they have to cause you pain, and to make a conscious choice, for your health and well-being, to forgive them and move on.

Resentment at finally understanding what happened to you may foster an intense desire to retaliate against those who caused your pain.

The Long Road to Forgiveness

You must fight against remaining in a blaming mode. Instead, you need to move beyond blame and toward forgiveness. Forgiveness is the balm that allows your soul to heal and you to grow beyond your pain and anger. It is also possible that you have an unnatural fear of conflict in any form. You may fear being rejected again by the person who hurt you.

The Long Road to Forgiveness

It may be easier to continue to take out your resentment on yourself rather than to express the truth to that person openly. Your well-established pattern toward food can seem much more comfortable and safe than the unknown consequences of dealing with the person who hurt you and extending that person forgiveness. Acknowledging your truth and laying blame where it belongs will surely cause conflict between you and the person who has hurt you.

Expressing forgiveness , however, allows for a safer avenue of communication. When you can approach them from an attitude of forgiveness, you provide them with a buffer to cushion the blow of old images shattered and the realization of their own mistakes and responsibility.

Whether or not the people in your life accept your forgiveness, you need to be sure in your own mind that there is something to forgive. In this small country — just a little larger than Belgium — located in the middle of the continent, radical Hutus murdered between , and one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Hutu and Tutsi were originally social groups; they were recategorized as races by the colonial powers. After independence, the government exploited this distinction to incite the majority of the Hutu against the Tutsi minority.

Radical Hutus used this attack as a pretext to start the genocide that they had apparently already planned — militias began slaughtering people in the capital just half an hour after the plane crash. Twenty-four years later, she sits on a sofa in her little house, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Three rooms: a bedroom, living room, and kitchen, a corrugated metal roof over their heads, a stone floor underfoot. Here in the Burgesera region, an hour from the capital city of Kigali, is where she used to live with her family, as well. In a panic, she ran into the Catholic church, where other Tutsis were huddled together in fear. She found her uncle there.

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He had been lucky, as well. Together, they made their way to Burundi; they walked for four days, hiding behind bushes, drinking water from puddles, and eating seeds they collected along the way. Strands of colorful raffia are spread out on the table in front of her; she concentrates as she weaves the dry fibers into a colorful coaster that she will sell to visitors out in the little village square.

The village owes its fame to a fact that was unbelievable when it was first founded: in Mbyo, Hutu and Tutsi, perpetrators and families of victims like Jaqueline, live next door to one another. The revolutionary idea for the village came from a young priest, who himself is a Tutsi survivor. With trembling knees, he went to a prison to meet the men who had killed members of his family.

They were Hutus who, in the meantime, had been sentenced to prison terms by the new government. We should kill him. He wanted to change these men.

Every two weeks, he went back to the prison and talked to the men about their crimes, about God and his faith, and he read the Bible with them. Will hatred swell up in them again? He wanted to create a place where Hutus and Tutsis could extend a peaceful hand to one another.

A place of reconciliation. Today, he is guiding a tour of the village where Jaqueline lives. I would internally argue that I was right, that justice was not prevailing in this situation.

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Follow me. My example. And watch Me provide the forgiveness you need. The key to supernatural forgiveness is that I cannot offer it in my own power. I do not possess it.

Dead-End Detours Along The Road To Forgiveness

I could not cross the violent waves in front of me by swimming. And let me tell you, I tried. To pray that God would give me the strength to swim across the ocean. Not really. Deep in the crevices of my heart, the crude of unforgiveness was impossible to remove. And the waves of my pain and hurts continued to crash over me.

Drowning me. Defeated, I would crawl back to the edge and sit there drenched in my broken mess. But God had this forgiveness.

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He had a way through the waves of pain. He gives it to us freely so we can then give it to others. I watched in awe as He, in His power, parted the violent waves, the dark waters of all my pain and led me through. As I left my right to be right on that beach, I was able to walk through my ocean of hurt on dry land. He never fails to overwhelm me with His provision.