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A Story of Forgiveness

by Lucy Amina Chaves
(Download this Article as a PDF)


When I was younger, I thought forgiveness was an easy thing, if someone did something wrong all they had to do was say “sorry” and that was the end of the story. As I grew older, I began to realize that forgiveness isn’t always so simple - it is a journey, one best walked with Christ. This lesson did not come easy.

A Painful Experience

I once had a very dear friend who was more like a sibling than a friend to me. But one day she started a rumor about me. The rumor was not only false; it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. In one moment I lost my bosom buddy as well as my reputation.

A Prison of Pain

The situation lasted for about three years, and I kept hoping for an apology that wasn’t to come. As much as I felt I was the one wronged, holding on to the pain was not making me healthy or happy. I felt stuck and unable to move beyond the point of pain, but at the same time I was convicted while praying the Lord’s prayer specifically the part that says “forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” I remember asking the Lord to help me forgive, I couldn’t do it on my own, I didn’t know where to begin.

The Gift of Forgiveness

One day I reached out to my former friend in an attempt to reconcile. Things didn’t go as I hoped - I didn’t get an apology, but one thing was different, I felt the Lord lifting the burden from me.

Even though I was disappointed, it seemed like the anger was fading away. I felt stronger and more in control of my emotions. I walked away that day, not with what I wanted but with what I needed. My friend didn’t apologize until years later but that day I felt like healing had begun, I felt We’re encouraged to show this kind of unconditional love as we settle our wrong-doings or trespasses with our brothers, friends, fellow workers, and neighbors. As we forgive one another the kingdom of God comes in our midst.

This also happened to be the time when I was preparing for my wedding. How was I going to do this without my dearest friend? I felt betrayed. How could the most joyous period of my life also be the worst?

Needless to say, things went sour very quickly, and the rumors kept spreading like a bad tumor. It is hard to explain how I felt, I just remember shaking with anger every time I saw my friend. I would feel the frustration and could barely speak. It was at this point that I knew forgiveness was hard; I was unable to forgive on my own strong enough to let go of my expectations, I felt strengthened by the Lord and slowly the weight of anger started to fall. Eventually I was able to give the Lord my expectation for an apology, and in exchange I received strength to choose joy even when things were not going my way.

I’ve realized that forgiveness is a gift from God. I’ve also learned that forgiveness is a gift for me. The decision to forgive healed me. I am not quite sure how it benefited my friend, but I know that the peace and healing within brought back joy and an abundance of strength to withstand hardships. Today I know for sure that forgiveness is a gift that actually benefits me the giver. By God’s grace, I practice it quite frequently, I love reaping the benefits.

Lucy Amina Chaves

Lucy Amina Chaves is a missionary with Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders and the co-founder of Kenya Connection. She manages discipleship, community development, and student scholarship programs. She holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree from St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya and is currently pursuing an LL.B from the University of London.

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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