A place to share struggles and triumphs, a place to bless and serve - but never a place to murmur or complain. 

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm sorry, It's my fault, please forgive me.

This is what my friend suggested I say to fix a frosty relationship in my extended family. We were driving home from a weekend conference, and I'd asked her advice. We were taught there that you can't have a relationship with someone you don't trust, you can only have a strategy. I had a serious 'strategy' relationship in mind. Every time we would contemplate a visit, I would form my plan. If she said this, I would do this, and so on, and so on. This had been happening for over ten years. In fact, I'd know for sure that I had PMS when this certain person would come to mind. I'd mop the floor in gleeful ferocity, replaying the wrongs I had suffered, over and over in my mind.
When my friend suggested that I write a letter of apology, there was a gripping sensations in my vitals; a knotting, tightening, nauseating feeling that told me she was on to something.
A funny thing happened though, as I opened my heart to the possibility of writing that letter. I began to see things in my behavior that had been hurtful. Memories that had been buried deeply under hard feelings began to surface. I'd completely forgotten the time she drove almost an hour to take me to the hospital when my oldest child was a baby. He was very sick, and I was heavily pregnant and without a car. All sorts of forgotten kindnesses widened the cracks in the wall I'd built between us. By the time I sat down to write the letter, all hard feelings, jealousies and resentments were gone. I felt truly and deeply sorry for the years I'd lost of closeness and friendship. I sent the letter off, telling myself I didn't care how she responded. I almost believed it. "I've asked for forgiveness, whether she forgives me or not is her problem." I told myself. I waited a little over a week with no response. When the phone rang this morning, and her voice was on the line, I knew that I really did care. She told me how sorry she was, that it was really her fault, that she'd love to be closer too. We spent a long time catching up, without the undercurrent of tension. I felt giddy, healed, and lifted to a higher place. A miracle happened in my life. Bad feelings that I'd fought for a decade and begged the Lord to remove were whisked away like smoke in the wind the moment I was willing to humble myself.


kersten campbell said...


Abby said...

Thanks! I really loved every word. Your friend was very wise to suggest writing a letter. I know I wouldn't have thought of it. It's a miracle, what that one small gesture was able to do - like what Amiee said - Small and Simple things.

Heeere's J-dude: said...

Thanks for commenting and leading me here.....you may be "too good" for me as I often get a complex from really great people, but rest assured, I will return because not only am I entertained, I think I need your wisdom. Bless you!

EarlGirl said...

Well, thank you kindly J-dude! I only look too good if you squint your eyes just right and turn down the lights. But if I look too good, then by all means, hold that pose!

Amiee House said...

That was so wonderful!