The month of February. During this month we think of love and happiness. Today as I stood in front of my mirror, I was thinking of these things and thought, if there was no forgiveness, there would be little love and happiness. For it is through forgiveness that we find pure love and happiness.
Now, I don’t want to get preachy on you, because if you want to be preached to, there are other places you can go. But I did want to share with you an experience I had with forgiveness.
Almost twelve years ago, I had a close friend who betrayed me. I don’t want to go into specifics. Most people would think it was really no big deal, and maybe it wouldn’t be to them. But to me, she may as well have filleted my soul. Shortly after my experience with this friend, I left home and figured I’d probably never see her again.
I was wrong, as I generally am in situations like this. There were two instances that I was thrown into mingling with this friend. She was polite, but not friendly. (This was my impression, remember. It is entirely possible that she felt as uncomfortable as I did. But then again, she may never have even realized how badly she hurt me.)
Nearly five years after my painful encounter with her, I saw her again at a party with some friends. She had just move into the area, and I knew I’d be seeing her regularly. I tried to engage her in conversation, but it felt forced and strained. I remember driving home with my husband and wishing I could be close friends with her again. I tried to think of something I could invite her to do with me so we could get reacquainted, but there was this painful nagging in my heart that she would turn on me like she’d done before.
Over the course of the next couple weeks, I thought the situation out at great length while weeding my garden. I finally decided to write a story with a girl who had been betrayed by her best friend and then reconciled with her. (Believe it or not, this is one of the origins for A Season for Love, although I’m not sure that part stayed in the story.) I found that writing it was very therapeutic and gave me time to examine my feelings and give me some closure.
About a month later, I needed to find someone to help me with a project. I was asked who I wanted, and I knew I wanted this old friend of mine to help me. I knew she would be the best (and of course, she was.) As we worked together, our friendship was renewed. I was able to forgive and forget that one incident that had defined the past five years and learn to love the girl she had grown to be. We never have spoken about the incident, and it leads me to believe that perhaps it was hard on her too. But by working together, we were able to put it behind us and become close friends again.
I hope that during this month of celebrated love and laughter that you will examine your own heart and try to heal the parts of it that are damaged. Believe me, it’s worth it!