It was late Winter/early Spring of 2003. We had lost our house due to my husband getting laid off. So my parents graciously took us in. Needless to say it was hard because I was so proud. I didn’t want to be back with my parents. However, my kids were the reason I bit the bullet. For a 8 months we were there, all the while endeavoring to save up for another place. Being a die-hard Jesus freak, it wasn’t easy being under their roof. Parenting, and just the day-to-day was difficult because of the differences in mindsets. But my husband and I made the best of it, as best we could.
To make a long story short, one afternoon, approximately 8 months later, my mom and I were having a discussion concerning a parenting issue. She had overheard something that my son and I were discussing, and after my son had left, my mom came to me. She didn’t like the way I had handled the situation. To be honest, I don’t remember everything that was said, and for some reason we got on the subject of being a Christian parent. I do, however, remember stating that I was wanting to raise my kids to know Jesus. After saying that, something came over my mom, anger filled her eyes and she went into her room, called my dad while he was at work, and told him that she wanted us out. That was on a Friday. My husband was offered a job and just had to go through the formality of an interview, the following Tuesday. My husband tried to speak to my dad, man-to-man, but my mom was the one who was the head of house and she wanted us out, knowing full well that we had no place to go.
Although I was working, we still didn’t have enough for a down payment. But that didn’t matter. She wanted us out. October 2004, we packed up our car and left. My kids were devastated, as well as my dad. He didn’t want us to go, but there was nothing he could have done, at least that’s what he thought.
My family and I were homeless for 6 years. In and out of motels while going to work and my kids going to school was difficult. Jesus was the source of our strength. Oh but did I ever have my tantrums with God, though! There were many times I cried out asking Him why He allowed this to happen to us. So why is this piece entitled Forgiveness?
Well, I had to choose to forgive my parents, my mom in particular. June 2005, my one-and-only nephew was born. My parents would babysit him while my brother and sister-in-law worked. When my nephew was around 7 months old, I can remember being filled with a determination to not allow anything stop me and my nephew from building a relationship. In the back of my mind, I knew that I needed to forgive my mom. Not that I had to, I wanted to because I didn’t want my relationship with the Lord tainted. His word says,
“…But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:15
It seemed unfair to me before, but then the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that forgiveness is not letting the person off the hook, it’s getting out of God’s way to move on our behalf and it frees our spirit so we can continue to grow in Him. But the enemy would want us to believe that not forgiving someone of a wrong is empowering and is getting back at that person. It’s sooooooo not true. Not forgiving is very harmful to our relationship with the Lord.
So, little by little, I would go over and visit. My dad was a wonderful buffer and would place my little nephew in my arms to hold. It took awhile, but eventually my came back around to seeing me as her daughter and not an enemy.
We have a great relationship now. She goes to church with me and is now my prayer partner. All I can say is thank You, Jesus!