Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Unmasked and undone by forgiveness

I grew up in a family torn by secrets that never should have been.  Yet they spilled from hearts with deepest wounds. 

A journey of shame walked in nakedness as one sister demanded justice, without mercy, for a father who didn’t know how to love.  A grenade lobbied across the ocean as her letter came to the nursing home where my father lived.  Its content stained the fabric of my being from the fallout of words that set in motion days and months of darkest trials. I thought the pain would never go away and tears fell even as I felt this pull to hide these hurts from those that knew.


A letter sent with secrets spilling out for the world to read.  A threat of legal action for sexual abuse and the police were called, on this continent and on another.   Siblings in so much pain that they spun away from each other.My path was different.  He called me to walk in mercy, in grace and in forgiveness


Every day of the past two years was a choice to push past the hurts with gritty grace and many tears.  To walk the hallway to his room knowing that “they knew”, the nursing staff who watched with averted faces.

Stepping into my own scars made me feel unstable, vulnerable and unbalanced.  I felt powerless.  But God saw differently and He began to use the loving arms of nurses to catch my tears as they fell from a soul unmasked.  The shame was not mine to carry.  My heavenly Father had already done that, for me and for my earthly father.


A few weeks ago I was quietly slipping out of the room of my dying father when he called my name and I turned to see his arms opened wide.  The strength of his arms held me as he whispered, “I am so sorry”, as his tears joined with mine.  He had been incoherent most of the day so the shock of these words cracked my heart open; a sacred sacrament given from his dying lips before he died a few hours later.


Jesus has taken these years and turned them into a testament to the healing grace of God.
 






Jo Ann Fore asks "How can we use our stories to make a difference, as encouragement to help women live above these hurts that try to stifle our dreams?"  She answers this question and more on her blog:

Jo Ann Fore
Linking up with http://joannfore.com/your-story-matters/

14 comments:

  1. So sorry you had to walk through this. So thankful you had compassion and the grace to forgive. So blessed for the words that came at as a gift to you at the end. I will share this with a friend who will be encouraged through its words. Thank you.

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  2. Thank you for your kind words Norma. If your friend wants to contact, I would be honoured to also walk beside her. I pray that He will use this piece of my story to further facilitate hope and healing. Blessings, Maria.

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  3. Maria, I literally have chills right now. Your words are powerful and will stir the hearts of many as you begin this journey of finding your voice. Beautifully done my new friend.

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    1. Sarah, how encouraging are your words to this "fledgling writer". Thank you, Maria

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  4. Dear Maria,
    Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story and how God has worked in you and in your father. What a beautiful testimony to God's amazing love, grace, forgiveness and ability to redeem. Thank you so much for putting it into words.
    Bless you,
    Susan

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    1. It was one of the hardest things to write about Susan because of the sacredness, the emotions and feeling "exposed", so I thank you for your words today. Maria

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  5. Maria - if you knew how much our stories, our scars, have in common! You bless me with your courage, and your grace. And yes some of us are called to forgive, to walk through the hurt and God sends angels to hold us up, to catch our tears. Bless your voice, and I'm so glad to know you!

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    1. "mystic-mom" thank you for letting me know how much we have in common as it bonds like no other knowing there are others that "fully" understand and have journeyed through these valleys as well. Blessings to you, Maria.

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  6. What a beautiful story! I'm coming here from the link up and I'm so happy that I clicked on your picture! This has really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing, beautiful friend.

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    1. Kaelynn, so glad you stopped by to say "hi" and I also am enjoying the community around the on-line study and link ups. Thank you for you gracious words, Maria

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  7. Maria, this is truly beautiful. SO lovely and touching in your telling. The pain of the unhealed indeed spills over into and onto us all...tender Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy and Healing. Signs of His Cross. xox

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  8. Thank you Shandra for taking time to read and to comment. Yes, the healing continues as my father's death is still so recent and as I also allow the I AM to pour in all I have need of, which in turn, I want to also pour out to others. Blessings to you, Maria.

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  9. To think…if you had not waked that hard road of forgiveness and grace, you would not have been able to receive the blessing of those words spoken by your father, "I am so sorry." What a lesson for us all when we stubbornly hang on to our 'rights' and our 'wounds' refusing to forgive until the offender first speaks. Thank you for sharing this…for extending grace where grace was not deserved. What a picture of Christ's love and grace for each and every one of us!
    blessings,
    Gay Idle/CaptiveHeart

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    1. Gritty grace amidst scalding tears that never, in a thousand years, would have expected those whispered words that broke and blessed. Thank you so much Gay for coming over here today, Maria

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