Monday, March 8, 2010

Help Me to Freely Forgive

Yesterday was Fast Sunday. I have been fasting and praying for help with many things but one thing in particular has been hardest for me to do.… to let go of hurt feelings and forgive my neighbor. I have a neighbor who I have offended, I’m not exactly sure if it was something I did or my kids did or something I didn’t do??? I don’t know...and she won’t tell me... I wish she would but she refuses to communicate with me.

Just over a year ago we were great friends. Once, I stayed up till midnight helping her make a birthday cake for her daughter. I helped watch her kids all the time and I even let her borrow my car on several occasions. Now she hates me. Many times I have tried to talk with her and figure out what went wrong but to no avail. She avoids me and ignores me when I say “hello”. And when my children go outside to play she rushes hers into the house saying nothing. A few months ago she had the flu so I brought her over some soup … and still no response. It must be about a year that she has refused to even look at me. It hurts. It really hurts. So I’ve been fasting and praying for the ability to forgive her for months now. I need a mighty change of heart. Matt. 18: 23-35 D&C 64: 9-10 has been on my mind all week.

Yesterday we arrived to church early so we had a little quiet time before the meeting began. My 7 yr. old daughter climbed on my lap and asked me if I would read her a story from The Friend (a children's magazine in my church.) As I read to the end of the story my eyes filled with tears. My sweet little daughter had a stack of magazines and hundreds of stories to choose from but this was the one she wanted me to read....perhaps the Spirit guided her. All I know is that it's what I needed and it was a message for me! I’m so thankful for little children and their example of forgiveness to me… it’s no surprise that Jesus said little children are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.



Help Me Dear Father
(Children’s Songbook #99)



Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive
All who may seem unkind to me.
Help me each day, Father, I pray;
Help me live nearer, nearer to thee.


Help me, dear Father, to truly repent,
Making things right, and changing my ways.
Help me each day, Father, I pray;
Help me live nearer, nearer to thee.

6 comments:

RGG said...

Hi Alicia
Thank you for your testimony in this matter. Last week I had an experience that left me wondering whether it was worth pursuing a freindship or just letting it go. I had received a "chain letter" from my VT. My Vt and I are friends just starting to get to know one another. She sent an email that posed a question and opened a forum for responses. I don't like chain letters and when I saw this one I should have deleted it. In fact, it was impressed upon by the Spirit to do so. I didn't listen and went ahead and answered the question and gave my opinion. Well unfortunately,my VT did not like my opinion, which is ok too. But she disliked it so much that she wrote me a 2 page paper that attacked everything from my right to freedom of speech, to the fact that I had no right to voice my opinion since it was contrary to hers.Luckily she realized what she was saying and asked if we could agree to disagree. I read all of this and I wasn't mad but I was stunned and a little hurt. I asked her to please take me off of her email list that sent out random forums. I told her that I was sorry if I had offended her. She was worried that we might not be able to continue our friendship. I told her that everybody doesn't always agree, but the blessings come when you realize it and stop the madness, regroup, kiss and make up. Offer the other cheek so to speak.(I found this on lds.org)

Forgiving Others

In addition to seeking forgiveness for our own sins, we must be willing to forgive others. The Lord said: "Ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (D&C 64:9–10).

In the everyday circumstances of life, we will surely be wronged by other people—sometimes innocently and sometimes intentionally. It is easy to become bitter or angry or vengeful in such situations, but this is not the Lord's way. The Savior counseled, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). He set the perfect example of forgiveness when He was on the cross. Referring to the Roman soldiers who had crucified Him, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34; see footnote c ).

We should pray for strength to forgive those who have wronged us, and we should abandon feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. We should also look for the good in others rather than focusing on their faults and magnifying their weaknesses. God will be the judge of others' harmful actions.

Alicia said...

I can't stand chain letters either. I think it's sad when we get all caught up in "who is right" rather than "what is right". It is a very sad day when we lose our civility and let go of charity for others to save our own face or gratify our pride. Christ said we would be blessed for persecution we recieve in His name and that we can feel at peace knowing all judgment is in His hands.

Therefore we can let go and agree to disagree and sometimes it is best to just say nothing at all. The spirit of contention is not of God so we must do all we can to avoid it and seek the Spirit of the Lord as described in Galatians 5:22,23

"Meekness is not weakness, it is the badge of Christian courage."- Elder Robert D. Hales Do you remember that talk? I put some clips of it here...
http://artofchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/11/christian-courage.html

I've been thinking about it alot lately.

God Bless you Ramona for the wonderful person you are and thanks for your comment.

6L's said...

thank you for sharing this personal story. i am struggling with something similiar and really needed this now. :)

Alicia said...

6L's you must have had a little baby to go from 5L's to 6. Congratulations!! After my fourth I just gave in to the chaos! Ha ha. I think the only time my house is clean now days is at 11:00 at night.

I hope all goes well for you with your "forgivness" situation too. My situation has given me greater appreciation for the Lords mercy and grace.

God bless you.

6L's said...

thank you, alicia! yes we had a new addition recently and she is a doll. :) i'm not one to get worked up about the house being a mess so i am just trying to soak it all in this time around, probably our last. :(

Alicia said...

6L's I'm so excited for you! My husband and I are not sure if we are done having kids yet, I kinda feel like we are and I feel a little sad too. I have enjoyed having my 4th little one. I think I have appreciated everything about her more than I did my others. It seems with each child I treasure them more... not love them more, because I love them all just as much. But I'm learning now, just learning how quickly time goes by and I want to soak up every last drop I have with them.

Good for you to not worry about the mess too much. Messes always keep coming back but childhood eventually won't.

Have a good night.