Recently I have discussed the subject of forgiveness with a couple of my dear ones and it brought my own experience to the forefront of my mind. I had something happen to me about 13 years ago that was akin to someone taking a butcher knife to my heart. Needless to say it changed me forever and is still something I cannot forget. But I wanted to forgive them as soon as it happened because unforgiveness does not hurt the offender – they probably never even knew the extent of the hurt and pain – it only hurts me and could eat me alive if left unchecked for years. But, the forgiveness has been a process – not a one- time event because we as humans do not forget that kind of pain. I wanted nothing more than to forget and move on with my life. And so when the pain would come up fresh, I would forgive again and again through the years. I had to remember that forgiveness does not deny the seriousness of any offense or seemingly let anyone off the hook, but is for my benefit. But, it was about 10 years into this process I realized that even though I had worked hard to forgive them and let go of it all, I held onto the thought that someday, somehow, they should know how badly they had hurt me and affected my life for 10 years. When I realized I was holding onto that, and that it was not my responsibility to settle the score in any way or take vengeance, I willingly let that go and forgave on yet a still deeper level. Then, just in the last month I was reading a book that talked about resentment and again felt I was hanging onto some resentment for the years they had affected me and when I let that go a whole new level of forgiveness occurred like an onion with its layers being removed. Forgiveness does not come easy when the pain is deep, but I have no choice but to forgive, because I have been forgiven of everything I have ever done wrong in my life. When Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt we are unable to pay for our wrongs, and I put my trust in Him for taking my place to pay, how dare I not forgive someone else? I am compelled to forgive. And different from me, God remembers my wrongs no more – they are placed as far as the East is from the West. I don’t know why this incredible injustice happened to me but, I do know nothing happens in my life that God does not have a purpose for. He is a specialist for turning pain into purpose and I want to live my life as proof of His power and purpose in my life.