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Learning To Forgive

Updated on July 21, 2009

" And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

...even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
...even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

A Testimony of Forgiveness

Our Heavenly Father is most amazing. He removes all doubts and stills all fears. Even my smallest concerns are important to Him. I don’t dwell too much on the past. However, I did have a dark shadow of a memory haunting me that the Lord in His wisdom had chosen to bring into the light. Just this past year I learned how to forgive.

In the mid 70's, I belonged to a local Lutheran Church. My pastor was a good friend, near and dear to my heart. He guided me through the many difficulties I experienced within my marriage. Yes I really did have my children "sprinkled" there. I attended regularly, taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. I had a good relationship with our Pastor. I felt like I was doing all the right things that a person should be doing when "practicing religion". It didn’t last very long. My husband decided that getting up early on a Sunday morning and dealing with four kids at church was not for him. I continued on with out him. When our marriage started to fall apart, Pastor gave us counseling and encouragement.

Then came the announcement and with it the heartache of knowing that my Pastor had cancer. I was devastated as chemotherapy and radiation treatments robbed him of his strength and dignity. During this critical time, my father passed away. He was to be buried in a cemetery one hundred miles away from where I lived. When we were unable to find someone to speak at his grave side service, I asked my Pastor for help. Even in his weakened state, he wrote a prayer devotional for me to read. While it was a real test of my emotions and stability, I was able to lead the grave side service.

What happened next destroyed my trust in many people who considered themselves to be Christians causing me to leave the church behind. I watched in anguish as certain members of the church circulated a petition to have Pastor removed from his position. Their reasoning was that he could no longer perform any of his duties as a pastor. How dare they even consider such an unspeakable act? Unfortunately, they got their way. One week after Pastor and his family (wife and two small children) relocated, the cancer consumed him. His life ended at the age of 41. Could these people really call themselves Christians? Where were their hearts? Here was an opportunity to love, support and share the burdens of someone who loved the Lord and they turned their backs on him!

Disillusioned, I left the church. For almost thirty years, I wandered, never finding myself at home in a church until God got a hold of my heart on March 11, 2005 and I was born again. The Lord led me to my Christ centered, Bible teaching church/Christian school in April of 2005. There I was blessed to have met and known Pastor Jim. Pastor Jim was a teacher in the school and was appointed assistant pastor of our church. Shortly after taking on that position, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.

With His infinite wisdom, God knew I still had that bitterness buried deep within me. When Pastor Jim was first diagnosed with cancer, all those horrible emotions accompanied by the fear of that memory, erupted from my heart. Then I heard His still small voice whisper, "No child. This time it will be different." Along with it came the Lord’s assurance that I have as a believer. Without anyone speaking a word, I knew in my heart how our Church family would respond. We are not just a Church family. We are the body of Christ, bought and paid for with His blood, adopted into God’s family as His sons and daughters. Pastor Jim is a part of that family. We will never forsake one of our own. My fears were stilled. In awe, I watched my brothers and sisters in Christ rally around Pastor Jim and his loved ones. Pastor Jim established a blog to record his daily struggles and triumphs as he walked with the Lord through this very difficult time. Through reading his blog, I could see day by day our incredible God working through all things together for the good of those who love Him. What a blessing to watch the love of Christ flow from the hearts of true believers! What a blessing for me to belong to the family of our great God! I am so thankful that I can rely on the love and compassion we have for one another. The bitterness of long ago has melted from my heart. It’s been replaced by an even greater love for my awesome God and the family He has adopted me into. At last, I have forgiven those who couldn’t know better because the love of Christ was not in them.

Pastor Jim is now home with the Lord. He established a blog to record his daily struggles and triumphs as he walked with the Lord through this very difficult time. His testimony and his love for the Lord is an incredible story. If you want to be blessed go to and see the faith of one who knows and loves the Lord.


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    • madisonmiller profile image


      9 years ago from Princeton, Nj

      As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy a rent-free space in your mind. Isabelle Holland

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      9 years ago from the beautiful south

      I am sorry I have missed you for so long. What a story and well, this is a fact about many who call themselves Christian, even here. At this very time I am being attacked to get my score down because of my views, but it doesn't shut me up. It is hard to forgive and sometimes I wonder if we even have the right to, if the sin is not against us. But I realize what you mean as far as living life with unforgiveness in our heart. Hope to read more of your hubs soon.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 

      9 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      sis i really need your prayers i'm not doing good..

    • akune profile image


      9 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      keep shining your light.

    • jseven profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Your story is real and touching. I'm glad you have found the true meaning of forgiven and live in His love. I, too, went through church hurts but know that God is never to blame. Voted up and beautiful. :)

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

    • justamber profile image


      10 years ago

      What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this. I thought it was so beautiful when God said "No child, this time will be different." That's just like him :)

    • carolp profile image


      10 years ago from Switzerland

      I forgive all those who hurt me and have done things against my will but the relationship that once i had with my best friend or relatives is not the same as before. It is a matter of developing trust and believing someone to do good. I always pray that God would help them find their way and hope for peace and harmony. I sometimes ask myself to those who are frequent going to church really have kind heart or is just a status quo.

    • Claudin_Dayo profile image


      10 years ago from Southeast Asia

      It's never easy to forgive in our own but by the Lord's grace it'll be easy =)

      I must admit of depositing grudges for sometime now, I'm hating my sister for the disaster she brought home, for the burden she placed in my shoulder and for all the pains she caused to our family. It takes time to forgive, time and faith in the Lord.. .

      thank you so much for this

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you so much, what a wonderful testimony this is about true believers.

    • stars439 profile image


      10 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Your heart is kind, and loyal, and good. How sad of that church group to do that to your pastor, but they may have also felt that the poor man was over doing himself , and needed more rest. It is not always easy to understand decisions in such situations. Maybe in a way it was for his best interest in his declining condition. God Bless him, and God Bless you, and God Bless everyone that loved him. You , and your family cared for him and awful lot. Maybe in his heart he may have taken a lot of love with him on his way by the right hand of God. Wishing you , and everyone you cherish all that is wonderful and good from our Lord in Heaven's heart. GBY

    • Ken Barton profile image

      Ken Barton 

      10 years ago

      Great Hub! I carried bitterness around inside for years before I finally gave it over to Christ some 12 years ago. Learning forgiveness was more for my sake than the other persons was quite a revelation that changed my life.

    • arb profile image


      10 years ago from oregon

      Well done. Forgiveness is the key and He the grand example. Our actions prove everyday, why He is so needed.

    • arb profile image


      10 years ago from oregon

      Wonderful story. I am reminded of something I read long ago and I keep it near when churches or people fail. It isn't that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, it has been found wanting and left untried.

      Our failings are the reason He died for us. If we were all as we expected from one another, we would have less need of Him. God bless and (forgiveness is the key) isn't it?

    • ladyjojo profile image


      10 years ago

      Oh sorry to hear about your dad and the pastor.

      Forgiveness is easy to say but it really takes God to remove every spec of bitterness and malice from within our hearts. It takes prayer and a lot of supplication etc.

      Thanks for sharing

    • Emily40 profile image


      10 years ago

      Forgiveness is something people take hard to do.. Only by the Grace of God we are able to forgive.. Thumbs up.. Bless you

    • UlrikeGrace profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Wow...what a great testimony to the love and sovereignty of God. His timin g is always perfect and He has blessed you with incredible love that come straight from his heart. How can we not forgive when we experience such love from him and his true people. We are all in process and I am so glad Father never gives up on us. Thank you so much for sharing this so honestly and bringing glory to Father in it. Blessings to you

    • matt6v33 profile image


      10 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      hello young lady,

      I rec'd your msg.. Thanks, and sorry for the delay..

      Hurry Back plz... We Miss U!

    • matt6v33 profile image


      10 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      hello young lady,

      once again, i wanted to stop by, and check in on you, its my prayer this day for you, that u r ok!

      Look fwd to your return.

      Just me!


    • Pratonix profile image


      10 years ago from Asia

      "We are not just a Church family. We are the body of Christ, bought and paid for with His blood, adopted into God’s family as His sons and daughters."

      This is a precious truth that few Christians know.

      Blessings to you.

    • matt6v33 profile image


      11 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      hello young lady,

      I'm still wipeing my eyes, as i type this. Beauitful, just Beauitful! Keep The Faith Missy, Keep Going, rmemeber always Phil 4:13, and Matt 6 19-34 and you;ll be fine, for He says so, and u know what? I Believe Him, and I now know u do as well! Would like to encourage u, to once again place YOUR "Pen to Paper", so others can learn from you.

      In Christian Charity,


    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      11 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for sharing your personal story of hope and forgiveness. Our God is such an Amazing God. Voted this up and beautiful.

    • profile image

      His daughter 

      11 years ago

      God has His ways of testing us and exposing areas in our life where He knows we may be weak. Unforgiveness can sure be a big one in any of our lives. However, we must realize that unforgiveness can lead to bitterness and both can be more devastating to us than anyone else. Bless you and happy to hear you were able to forgive.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      11 years ago

      70 x7...It is a very hard to do. Thank you for shining a light on it.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      It's hard to understand how God can forgive us as we rarely forgive ourselves or each other, but God's mercy and grace and forgiveness are there for us.

    • rprcarz50 profile image


      11 years ago

      Great articles . Nice Bio to I'm pretty new .and really love inspirational stuff . I had a death experience 7 years ago. And will be posting it before long. I breifly touch on it in my first hub on another account . Let me know if you like it . And watch for my death experience to come on the a2z50 account. Thank you !

    • christinecook profile image


      11 years ago

      what a beautiful testimony of Gods love. Thank you for sharing

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      11 years ago

      Great hub and great spiritual truths.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Looking forward to reading more of your work! How sad are the consequences of picking and choosing parts of Scripture to suit our own thinking rather than considering the whole counsel of God's Word in all situations.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      11 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      What a long and glorious road it is to learning how to forgive. I have been there when every inch of your flesh wants to hold onto anger and bitterness. What a miserable place to be. But God in His infinite goodness, reaches down in the brokeness of our hearts and brings peace and resolution. Go is great and greatly to be praised. Thank you for sharing your tesimony.

    • TimeHealsAll profile image

      Vicky Gentry 

      11 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      This was a very touching story of compassion and strength. Through everything God prevailed. We will all meet in Heaven someday and what a day that will be!!! Blessings sister and much love!!!

    • heart4theword profile image


      11 years ago from hub

      It was nice that you showed the difference's in the 2 churches and the people. Isn't it great how God will help us face the fears of the past as they surface. Just because it happened one way, we build those walls of defence up. God takes the walls down and shows us it won't be this way this time:) Just hold me hand, it will be ok! Is a picture I get. Thank you, good hub-page!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      11 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      A lot of church goers tend to cause great harm and pain to other members and to God himself, but the truth is they really have no idea what their doing in such dire cases,I'm glad to have read this good testimony!

      God Bless you Born Again 05!:)

    • awsydney profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Forgiving is an act of love. God bless you.

    • By Grace 7 profile image

      By Grace 7 

      11 years ago

      God is so amazing, He so often takes the things that have hurt us the most and transforms them into something that benefits us and others through us. I love that in God's economy everybody wins, and you end up with powerful testimony that is then a blessing to others such as the one you have shared in this hub.

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


      11 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      This is a wonderful wrenches the heart to think of a Pastor being treated in such and ill manner instead of offering prayers for his wellness....I know it took a lot to read at his funeral...God made you strong so you could do this. Forgiveness is the hardest thing...But we have to forgive, if we want to live. May God Bless you abundantly as you walk in Christ Jesus....

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 

      11 years ago from United States of America

      Very powerful testimony of faith and forgiveness- thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Father, Forgive them, For they know not what they do.

    • juliehess profile image


      11 years ago

      our testimony glorifies our one and only savior . beautiful testimony thank you for sharing and spreading the gospel be blessed sister in the name of jesus

    • Born Again 05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Van Valkenburgh 

      12 years ago from Honesdale

      Pastor_Walt...Thank you for your kind words.

    • Pastor_Walt profile image


      12 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      A great story and powerful testimony. Thumbs up. God bless you and this hub.

    • Born Again 05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Van Valkenburgh 

      12 years ago from Honesdale

      Lady_E...You and the other believers on HP are such an encouragement to me. For those 30 years that I wandered, I was not yet a true believer. God's timing is perfect. While I've come to know him late in life, He has a plan for me. Thank you for the warm hug! Returning one to you!

    • Lady_E profile image


      12 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful Hub. Its not easy to forgive or get rid of better feelings but I'm glad its all left you now - by God's grace. (wasn't happy to read that you were not able to find yourself at home in a church for 30 years though. Quite a big chunk of one's life). May God bless you and continue to use you as a Channel of Blessing. All you need to do this- may God provide. As you are making a difference in people's lives, may your life continue to be a testimony to God's Glory. Sending you a warm hug. :)

    • Born Again 05 profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Van Valkenburgh 

      12 years ago from Honesdale

      HOOWANTSTONO...the Lord gives me strength and boldness to share whatever He chooses to do in my life. I believe testimony is valuable in encouraging others of the faith. It's also valuable to unbelievers as they wonder what we have (Christ) that they don't. Thank you for your comment.

      James...Your welcome...and thank you for your kind words. I'll be watching to see if this sparks a hub for you!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      This is an awesome story. It raised the hairs on my arms. Thank you so much for giving me much to think about. Love and forgiveness.

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      12 years ago

      Hi there, its a brave confession you have here, Treat people like the Lord does, he doesn't remember anything.

      God bless


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