How to Get the Forgiveness You Need

We’re all broken and in need. Sometimes we’re too blessed to see it but, there are days when our prone-to-wander hearts lead us off track and we quickly become aware of our needs. Grace. Mercy. Love. Forgiveness. We need these and so much more!

Recently, I had an argument with my husband. It was a doozy! I was angry and let my words fly. I have a lifelong love of words and have developed quite a vocabulary. Believe me, I contain an arsenal of verbal weapons capable of mass destruction. And, unfortunately, I hurled my fiercest words at the person I love most in the world.

I quickly wanted to reel those harsh words in and take back the pain they caused. I wanted to restore the relationship I had hurt.

I’ve heard that harsh words are like nails. Once you hammer a nail into wood, you can remove it, but the hole remains.

I didn’t want that hole to remain.

But I was still feeling the offense that drew my fire. I was hurt and angry.

Here’s what I’m learning about forgiveness: don’t bother seeking it while your heart is unforgiving toward others. Mine was.

I needed to soften my heart before I could address the issue with my husband. I needed to go to God with the hurt and anger I was feeling and work it out with him before I could discuss it with Mike with any clarity or kindness. Ideally, I would have done this before blowing up at him. This time, I’d failed.

I brought my needs to the One who could make things right.

Have you ever blown up at someone because you were hurt or angry?

Here are the steps I took that you may want to take if you find yourself in a similar situation:

1. Search your heart.

Discuss with God what happened. What did the other person say or do that pushed my buttons? What part of me did they hurt? How was I impacted? Is there a deeper trigger that needs to be resolved with a counselor, mentor, or pastor? Don’t skip over this part. The hurts against you need to be worked out. Address your feelings and learn new ways to express them.

2. Own your part.

What attitudes and expectations led me to react as I did? Once I understood my part I repented.

3. Make a start.

I forgave my husband. Period. After working through Steps 1 and 2, my heart was softened and forgiving was easy. Sometimes it’s not and I just have to do it anyway!

4. Humble your heart.

Next, I humbly asked my husband for forgiveness for my harsh words and the attitude behind them. He forgave me! Then we were able to discuss the conflict and gain an understanding of each other’s needs.

Scripture tells us: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, it will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

If you’ve used harsh words and need forgiveness, try giving forgiveness first and then ask if the other party is open to forgiving you too! You just might find that giving what you need brings it right back in your lap!

There are No Racial Boundaries in the Ladies’ Room

Flickr: Matthew G

Last Sunday we made the long quiet drive home from Los Angeles after dropping our son off at Biola University. It had been an emotional week and I wanted to get home and begin our new normal — with only one child remaining in our nearly empty nest. Around Stockton, said child declared her hunger and asked for an In-N-Out stop. While waiting for her food, I stepped the restroom. (Did I mention, it’s a VERY long drive!)

In the ladies’ room was a woman deep in conversation with her son. He was maybe 10 years old and, I thought, a little old to be in a women’s restroom. But with so much craziness happening in the world today, I’d be tempted to keep my son at my side too. I was observing this mother-son duo at the sink, listening in to their conversation about his new dirt bike and her insistence that he always wear a helmet when he rides.

Caught up in my own thoughts, I didn’t realize I was staring until I saw the woman watching me watch them.

Racial tensions are high in the US right now, with Black Lives Matter protests nearly every day.  Afraid my eavesdropping might be misconstrued, I quickly blurted out, “I just dropped my son off in college. In LA.”

The woman sized me up and said, “Momma needs a hug!”

Before I could respond, she had wrapped me in a hearty embrace — right in the middle of the In-N-Out restroom!

Her son must be used to her demonstrative behavior because he was clearly unphased by it.

I hugged her and thanked her. Tears streamed down my face, not because I was missing my son, but because I felt so blessed that a complete stranger, a lovely black stranger, had entered into my loss and comforted me.

 Just moms who love their kids and understand each other’s hearts.


When was the last time a stranger comforted you?

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31

Happy New Year!

32505474_sWe’ve closed the book on 2014 and we’re opening a new one titled 2015. I can’t help but wonder what secrets 2015 holds. What surprises are in store for the coming year. I’ve spent several weeks contemplating what I hope to achieve in the new year. Making plans. Setting goals. Seeking a word from God that will permeate the days and weeks of 2015. The word he gave me is GRACE. And, oh how I need it!

Already 2015 promises to be a year of change. I’ve committed to cutting back on some of my responsibilities with Inspire Christian Writers. I’ll be homeschooling one of my darlings and refocusing on my personal writing. Those are a few of the knowns. The unknowns will have to unfold as the year progresses.

As part of my re-focus on my personal writing, I’m launching this blog. I have big plans for it and will be tweaking it quite a bit in the coming weeks, but I wanted to launch it today–New Year’s Day 2015.

So, Happy New Year!

I hope your year, and my year, will be filled with grace.

What are the knowns for you in 2015? What are you hoping the year will bring? Do you have a “word of the year”?