A Year of Forgiving
By Shirley Vallier Remmenga of Fort Collins, CO, USA
The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit. —Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a
I was out of the USA when an e-mail message came from someone important to me. His employers terminated his job without warning. I sat there and sobbed. An institution that I had valued, loved, and supported had done this to one of my loved ones. It devastated and hurt me deeply. I was ready to throw out my connection with this institution and wanted to withdraw my support.
I prayed, wept, thought, and meditated. The hurt I was feeling was deep, but nothing like what he and his family were experiencing. It was like they pulled his legs out from under him and discarded him on the floor.
I knew the lack of forgiveness on my part would hurt no one but me. However, I was so badly wounded, I just couldn’t forgive. I struggled with this for a long time. I could not believe that my beloved institution could do this to one of its employees. Others lost their jobs and felt the same way. How could this be? How could an institution that promotes love and the worth of persons do this to someone—anyone? It just didn’t fit.
Days and weeks went by, and I gradually moved toward forgiveness. I came to realize it was not the institution itself that was to blame. Administrators decided which jobs were necessary because of financial circumstances. I determined that those decisions would not ruin my connection to the institution. I would continue to love what I loved about it, and forgive where forgiveness was needed. Forgiveness heals the wound, but the scar remains. That is where I am in all of this. I often bump into this scar, tears form in my eyes, my heart does a flip, but I move on. Forgiveness is the right road to take, and God’s grace reigns.
Prayer for Peace
Thank you, God, for helping us forgive and go on living a life of joy. You never leave us alone in our struggles and always are available to help us forgive and love. May peace and reconciliation heal our spirits.
Spiritual Practice: Healing for Broken Spirits
Begin with quiet prayer. Ask God to help you detect some “sore places” in the body of Christ and God’s creation. Become aware of people who feel separated, wounded, or left out. Ask God for words that will touch this person’s broken spirit like healing ointment. Keep this person in your heart and prayers today and act on any ideas that come to bring blessing and wholeness.
Today, God, I will reach out to someone who has been hurt. I will foster peace and understanding.