I was talking with a friend the other day, explaining everything that had happened with my ex-publisher, Vanilla Heart. I was unaware at the time that one of my kids was within earshot of our conversation. That night my son said, “Mom, you’re really mad at your publisher aren’t you?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“But you’re gonna forgive her, right?” He asked, his eyes wide with innocence.
Out of the mouths of babes. All at once my anger came to a screeching halt and I was thrust into the precarious position of deciding whether to live by example or let my child see that I was a hypocrite. After all, how many times had I told him that we are to forgive others, never hold grudges, and love them as we would like to be loved. I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly. I had a tough decision. Would I be the mother who says, “Do as I say, not as I do?” Or would I admit that even though forgiveness can be difficult, it’s always the right choice.
I exhaled. “Yes, I’m going to forgive her,” I said.
“Even though she hurt you?” He searched my face for the answer.
“Yes, even though she hurt me.”
That night I lay in bed under a blanket of conviction, unable to sleep. My mind kept churning over all that had happened and I found myself wondering, am I strong enough to forgive her? Do I have it in me? I honestly didn’t know.
The next morning I awoke still feeling conflicted. I wanted to be able to forgive, but I was still angry. What she did was wrong. I felt betrayed and I had a right to be angry. Mulling over my thoughts, I walked around the house picking up all of the random stuff the kids left strewn throughout and returned each item to the correct room. The last item I scooped up was a football shaped dog-tag necklace that my son wears. For some reason I happened to glance downward at it and noticed that engraved on the back it read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13”
Chills darted up the back of my neck as realization swept over me. I was holding the answer in my hand, literally. I didn’t need to be strong enough to forgive because God is strong enough. He would make forgiveness possible for me. All I had to do was let go of the anger and ask for help.
Am I still upset by the injustice of what Vanilla Heart publishing did? Yes. But I am no longer dwelling in a continual place of anger. I forgive my ex-publisher. I would still like to understand “why” she did it, but whatever the reason, it warrants no more anger from me. In fact, I found myself sympathetically praying for her.
People do unscrupulous things…maybe it’s because they are desperate…maybe it’s because of something beyond my capacity to fathom…I don’t know the answer. I wish I did. But, I know that forgiveness brings freedom and love covers a multitude of sin. I know that second chances are real and sometimes that’s all that a person needs…a “do-over.”
That is not to say that I would ever give Vanilla Heart a “do-over” at publishing my books, because financial trust has been violated. But, in my heart, in life, I’m holding no ill-will and wishing her health and happiness.
Out of the mouths of babes can come the purest of wisdom...and for that I am grateful. ~