How Could Karen Forgive Cathy?

Karen thought about her and dreamed about her. She saw her in every woman she met. Some had her name, Cathy. Would she never be free of this woman who had gone after her husband and ultimately married him? She couldn't go on like this. The endless resentment, guilt, and anger drained the life out of everything she did.

One Saturday Karen attended a seminar on the healing power of forgiveness in which they were asked to think of someone they had not forgiven.

Her first thought was of Cathy. Her stomach churned, and her hands grew sweaty and her head throbbed.

Next, the leader invited them to look at whether or not they'd be willing to forgive that person.

How could she forgive Cathy? She not only had hurt her but she'd also hurt her children.

Then a voice within gently asked, "Are you ready to let go of this?  To release her? To forgive yourself, as well?"

Yes, she was willing. In that moment, she simply let go!

Karen said, "I can't describe it. All I know is that for the first time in four years I completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit. I released my grip on Cathy, on my ex-husband, on myself. I let go of the anger-just like that."

Her heart lightened. She suddenly realized that as long as she separated herself from even one person, she separated herself from God.

The following Monday she wrote Cathy a letter. On Wednesday afternoon, the phone rang. "It's Cathy," a voice said softly. Cathy thanked her for the letter, and then said how sorry she was--for everything. All Karen had ever wanted to hear from her, Cathy said that day.

Karen realized that as nice as it was to hear her apology, it paled in comparison to having God's pleasure.

Thank You, Jesus, for giving desire and power to forgive.

"If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:14, 15).