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The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

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Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."

How to Forgive the Person Who Murders Your Sister

I’ve come to believe that forgiveness is not an option for Christians. We have to forgive. I don’t judge how long it takes people to forgive, but I do encourage it to happen as quickly as possible so that bitterness and hate don’t take root in our souls.

Over the years, I’ve learned much more about grieving. It comes in waves. Earlier this year, my Mom died. I still cry frequently. I miss her too. Tears help me deal with pain and ultimately help me heal.

About a month ago I was cleaning out a file cabinet at home to make room for new files. I came across an envelope with my own handwriting on the front of it. It says, “Becky’s Stuff.” I fumbled with the envelope, walked into my writing room, and closed the door.

In this envelope were three documents from the lawyer who took her case. There was a Petition for Formal Adjudication of Intestacy, Determination of Heirs, and Appointment of Administrator, who would be me. I was only 20 years old.

As I read the documents tears sprung up from inside of me. I didn’t expect this reaction. It’s been 35 years since she died. But these documents are evidence of my sister’s brutal death. Grief showed up again. I can’t imagine what she was feeling or experiencing in the moments just before she was murdered. I actually try not to think about it because it’s really painful. On this day just a few weeks ago, I let myself cry until no more tears came.

It’s okay to do that. Tears help us heal.

This experience in no way means I haven’t forgiven my brother-in-law, but it does mean that grief comes in waves. It was that very afternoon that I decided to write about Becky’s death. She would want people to know how important it is to forgive. She would not want people becoming bitter. That would ruin what her life represented. God made her to be a fun, light-hearted, happy person. I know her demeanor means she readily forgave people. You can’t stay that way in life without forgiveness.

Prison

About a year after my brother-in-law was in prison, I went to visit him. I needed to tell him I had forgiven him. My boyfriend (now husband) went with me. It was a conversation I won’t forget.

He was surprised to see me. I told him immediately why I had come. “I forgive you,” I said. His eyes told me what his heartfelt. Tears are our soul’s transparency.

Just like I can’t imagine what my sister experienced in the moments before she died, I also can’t imagine how my brother-in-law felt hearing those words after what he did. Forgiveness is freedom from prison.

Encouragement for You

While Becky’s death has impacted me and my family forever in many ways, the biggest way is that we know the power of forgiveness. We also know what would have happened had we not forgiven our brother-in-law. None of us ever want to be joyless and bitter. That would not honor our sister, and we all expect to see her when we get to heaven. I’m pretty sure none of us would want to hear her ask why we didn’t forgive him when she had.

Friends, the Bible says that we are to forgive others who sin against us (Matthew 6:14-15). It’s even in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6). We need to obey this command. It’s not to dismiss how horrible someone may have treated you or someone you love, it’s to protect our own soul and to keep it out of prison.

I know some things are really hard to forgive, but I know with Jesus’ power to help us we can forgive anyone for anything any day and every day.

Is there someone you need to forgive? Just do it. Set them free and set yourself free.

To Becky

Becky, my sweet and funny sister, thank you for being you. Thank you for loving life and loving people. I know I’m not the only one looking forward to seeing your smiling face one day. You have a few siblings here who can’t wait to hug you again. While we won’t be gifting you with anything from Fredericks of Hollywood, the best gift we could ever give to you is forgiveness.

With joy,
Your youngest sister Michelle

**This post appeared originally on Michelle Barringer’s blog

Michelle Barringer
Michelle Barringer
Michelle is positive, joyful, and passionate about Jesus. She’s a writer and speaker, holds a Master’s degree in Communication, and is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. Michelle and her husband of 32 years have three adult children, one daughter-in-law, one grandson, and a soon-to-be son-in-law. You can find her lending her faith, encouraging hearts, and inspiring grit on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook.

The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

"When we pray these words, we are acknowledging that He is in control of us, and we are not in control of each other. It is offering our own will in exchange for God’s will."

Dear ‘Good Parents’: This Is How You Miss the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How do good parents miss child sexual abuse? It is simple.

Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."