Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
TITLE: 30 Days
By Leola Ogle
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
That hurts because Ron, more than anyone, knows what I’ve had to deal with. An abusive alcoholic father, a whiny neglectful mother, and two sisters who don’t include me in their lives.
I think I’m doing great. I shower love on my son and daughter. I take them to church. I tell them Jesus loves them. I pray over my household.
But, okay, a 30 Day Forgiveness Challenge. Praying for those who have offended me. Asking God to help me find true forgiveness. And keeping a journal. Ho-hum. I do pray for my family. I’m sure I’ve forgiven them.
Day 1: Write letters to those who have wounded me, tell them what they did that hurt me, pray over it, then burn them symbolically at the foot of the cross. Letters written. They are not short letters because the offenses are long. I read them to Ron, who patiently listens. Then I ask him how in the world I’m supposed to burn four people symbolically at the cross. He rolls his eyes and says, “Jenny, you burn the letters, not the people.”
Duh. I like my idea better. I should also write a letter for my cranky neighbor, Albert. He’s always complaining that our cat digs in his garden. Oh, and old Mrs. Janson at church who thinks she can give me parenting instructions.
Now that I think about it, there’s a lot of letters I should write, but I’ll stick to these four.
Day 2: Nope, not feeling any warm fuzzies for my parents and sisters. Doesn’t Jesus understand some people don’t deserve forgiveness?
Day 3: I wish I hadn’t joined this challenge. Why should I pray for people who hurt me?
Day 4: Ugh! Not feeling it.
Day 5: Out of the blue, my sister, Kyrie, calls and asks if I want to do lunch tomorrow. Really? But, I said yes.
Day 6: Kyrie sobs and says her husband is having an affair. She asks me to pray. Figures. She ignores me until she wants something.
Day 7: Our group meets. We each take a turn reporting how it’s going. I smile and say my sister and I went to lunch. People clap because they think I asked my sister to lunch. My face turns red. Week two assignment: Make contact with at least one person on our list.
Day 8: Pick up the phone to call Mother, but can’t. God, I need help with this. Ron says I have been snapping at everyone. “No, I haven’t,” I yell, then erupt in tears. What’s wrong with me?
Day 9: I call Kyrie to ask if I can pray with her. I’m trying, Lord. She doesn’t take my call.
Day 10: I am so over people. I’m done.
Day 11: Still done. Not doing this challenge.
Day 12: Ron took me to dinner and a movie last night. A comedy. Laughter is good medicine. Today I pray for Mom, Dad, Kyrie, Cynthia. Oh, and Albert and Mrs. Janson. And a few others.
Day 13: Kyrie calls to tell me she saw a missed call from me. She was on a mini-vacation with her husband. They’re working things out. She tells me she loves me and thanks me for praying. Wow.
Day 14: Call Dad, the most difficult to deal with. He’s drunk. I tell him I have cancer and two months to live. It’s a lie, but guess what? He blubbers about how his boss didn’t give him a raise. It’s all about him, as usual.
Day 15: Today during prayer all I can think of is how Cynthia always thought she was prettier than me. Sisterly love, huh?
Day 16: I pray more than usual because I feel I might explode with anger.
Day 20: Things are going so much better, I haven’t written. I’m calm, focusing on my blessings. I invite my parents over for dinner tomorrow.
Day 21: Mom hugs me when she comes in. Dad tries to be on his best behavior. Nothing phenomenal happens, but it’s nice.
Day 25: Sister Saturday. The three of us go to lunch. Cynthia asks me about my faith. Say what? It’s a miracle. We hug as we part. In awe.
Day 26: Praying today is easy. PTL!
Day 30: Not feeling complete victory, but God’s working in my heart and family. It’s a start.
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