By LeAnn Thieman. This was originally published on LeAnn's blog.
This is one of my favorite stories I’ve read, called The Miracle of Forgiveness:
For years, I had been unable to forgive my dad. I blamed him for everything that went wrong in my life. If he hadn’t been so strict, so overbearing, so distant, so volatile, I would have turned out to be a better person.
Maybe I would have made better choices as an adult if he had just taken the time to show me he loved me.
Eventually I came to realize that Dad was only human, just like I was. I understood that he did the best he could, based on what he knew at the time.
I also came to know that as an adult, I could no longer blame anyone but myself for the bad choices I’d made. Once I accepted all of that, the miracle of forgiveness occurred. Privately, I forgave my dad, and eventually myself, for making so many poor choices. I was able to move on with a new resolve in life.
With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I sat at Dad’s hospital bedside.
He woke and said groggily, “I’m so sorry you have to do this.” He stared into my eyes, as if to penetrate the message. “I’m sorry for a lot of things.”
At that moment I realized Dad didn’t know I had forgiven him.
“Dad, it’s an honor to take care of you.” As I said those words, it seemed like it was someone else who had been so angry with him just a few years before.
Dad looked up heavenward and whispered, “Thank you, God.”
Then I knew he had been praying for this miracle of forgiveness for years too.
Forgiveness is healing and freeing. Who are you going to forgive?
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