“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28
I have discovered the power of blessing and forgiveness many years ago. I started from small things: it may have been a mean teacher, or a friend who suddenly turned against me, or just someone making my life difficult. Doesn’t matter. I learned to pray and forgive such person quickly, especially if my feelings were telling me to do the opposite. The power of it was amazing. Not only was I free from negative, bitter feelings but the situation would always change for better. Sometimes even miraculously.
Jesus taught to not only love and bless those who are good to us but also those who are our enemies and don’t wish us well. His goal wasn’t to make us seem nice and kind to other people. He knew what power it brings to the world: to break curses, change hearts, turn the events.
A friend of mine, let’s call her Martha, told this testimony to the power of blessing, recently in the church. Her house was broken into during the night. She was home alone with her children and thankfully nothing happened to them but they lost a few things: some cash, a phone, jewellery and what she was most sorry about – her engagement ring. It was an unusually shaped ring which she actually got 3 years after they got married because, simply, they couldn’t afford it earlier. Heartbroken and upset she put up posts on social media and in second hand jewellery shops asking for it to be returned. There was a reward waiting for someone who had it. Most importantly, she added a note to the thief saying she didn’t judge the person, forgived and even blessed him/her. Not what they’ve done but the person, because she didn’t know the full circumstances in which this person committed that crime.
There was no reply, no sign of the ring for months. During this time she kept praying for it and kept the forgiving attitude. When she felt she was loosing it, she prayed for strength.
In the meantime, her husband was looking to buy a similar ring but could not find anything like it. He wanted it especially for Martha’s upcoming birthday. Finally he gave up hope and prayed: “Lord, you are almighty, I know that. My faith in getting the ring back isn’t great but I believe you can do it.”
A few days later, on Martha’s birthday, she got a message from a woman she didn’t know, saying she had Martha’s ring. It was 2 am in the night. Sure it was a birthday joke, she thought and she didn’t say anything about it to her husband until the morning. Then they both decided it must’ve been a joke but they wanted to meet the woman anyway. She came in the evening, with her husband and… the ring! The actual one!
Turned out her child was playing in a park and found it in the grass (what are the chances?!). She then remembered coming across an ad about it some time before that, was able to find it and locate Martha through it and return it to her on her birthday, professionally cleaned! She wouldn’t take any money for it and only asked for a prayer and blessing. There was a lot of joy in their house that night!
There were many times in my life when I had to practice this act of forgiveness and each time it got easier. By the time my real trial came I knew the blessing and freedom it brought. Still, the power of emotion made it hard, the mind reasoned against it and there was so much temptation to get even. But the little, quiet voice inside my heart kept saying: you won’t win unless you forgive.
Forgiveness doesn’t always mean the same thing. Forgiving Charlie I was giving him a chance to change and prove he still wanted our marriage, forgiving Ana I was letting her go free, without wishing her bad and forgiving myself was admitting I failed too and I needed grace just as much as them. Even if my fault was only 10% it didn’t give me any right to seek revenge.
Soon the 2 year anniversary of Wicked Wednesday, our D-day, will pass, so far the hardest day of my life. I have learned to see it as the day of deliverance, “letting the captives go free” and as such I am going to celebrate it but it would not be the same had we not experienced the power of salvation and forgiveness on that day and on the days that followed. It was a long and difficult journey but worth all my pain.
I have been looking forward to the 2 year mark as that’s approximately how long it takes to heal from the hurt of the affair but reading other blogs and stories of infidelity I am aware how hard it is to find peace and to trust, even years later. I am so glad that the source of my peace and trust is God himself.
I will never be betrayed by Him.