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I Forgive You {Guest Blog By Anthony, My Dad’s Murderer}

Posted on: February 28th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 11 Comments

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And to that, I say, “absolutely.”

God has allowed both Anthony and I the opportunity to share this story with many. I believe it’s a story that needs to be heard, for there are many who remain chained to their past, to their resentment, their bitterness, and their lack of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a topic that will always resound in each of our hearts, mine included. It is so easy to hold on to our wounds, but what relief it is to finally let them go. [Tweet that]

So, without further adieu. Here’s a word from Anthony.

“I forgive you.” I read the words again. “I forgive you.” These weren’t just lightly said words from someone I had hurt with some casual remark. These words had come from the daughter of the man I had shot and killed eleven years earlier. [Tweet that]

Suddenly, the enormity of what I had done punched me right in the gut. Tears came, guilt threatened to overwhelm me. What had I done? How could I have done it? I asked God these same questions: how, why? He had always responded the same way Laurie did, “I forgive you.” I had taken that forgiveness for granted, I mean I knew His word in 1 John 1:9 said if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us, but the cost of that forgiveness began to sink in.

And how did that explain Laurie forgiving me?

Yes, God’s word also tells us in Matthew 6:14 that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven but how many of us actually do it or receive it? Especially from someone we had hurt so deeply.

This is why Christ hung on that cross: forgiveness.

Not cheap forgiveness in the form of words we throw around hoping to make everything better. But sacrificial, pain-filled forgiveness. Forgiveness the world can’t understand, even us sometimes.

I knew Laurie had not said these words lightly, that it was one of the hardest things she’d done. But I also knew that her relationship with Jesus would not allow her any other way, “I forgive you.”

How many of us have that kind of relationship with God? My guilty feelings weren’t only about what I’d done, but the realization that I didn’t have this kind of relationship with my Lord and Savior.

How many times had I judged another inmate because of his crime? Unforgiveness.

How many times had I angrily thought about the past? Unforgiveness.

So, when Laurie forgave me it set in motion in my life a new attitude. I wanted to know Jesus! I wanted the kind of relationship with Him that allowed me to forgive, to love, and to seek the fallen. When you destroy someone made in God’s image, how can you make up for that? You can’t. But Jesus did, He died so that we can be forgiven. Because He did this for us, our relationship with Him must be sacrificial too. We have to forgive. How can we do anything less?

Die to self.

We have to forgive even when it’s the most counterintuitive, painful, gut-wrenching thing we’ll ever do. [Tweet that] Because after that, love flows in and it fills up the space that the anger and the hate and the bitterness took up. And it just may save someone else!

Let His light shine in you. Unforgiveness dims that light. It starts with forgiveness.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin. – Romans 4:7-8

Have you experienced forgiveness like this? Or in what area do you need to experience forgiveness? Share in the comments.

  • JA

    What happens when we say, “I forgive you”, because we know we are “supposed” to and we pray for our enemies who have hurt us because we know we are “supposed” to…..but we don’t really feel forgiving or wanting God to bless them. I have this problem… I want to be sincere…. I want to be able to truly forgive….I want to want blessings on my enemy….but honestly I don’t. How do I change my heart?

    • I think that’s the key. You want to be sincere. Continue to pray for God to work forgiveness in you. You cannot do it yourself. You won’t be able to change your own heart. God simply asks us to come to Him with empty hands, saying, “Lord, I cannot do this. Please do it in and through me!”

      • Brad

        Dear Mrs. Coombs, Its been a minute since I have been able to be on here so when I am able I find it refreshing to see what the Lord has been sharing thru your heart to others. I am humbled that you are and demonstrate the Agape Love of Jesus toward others in encouraging them. My heart still breaks daily because I don’t understand why others dont have the heart of forgiveness that brings healing and continued relationship. How many could be healed if they just know there is an enemy to their success as a true disciple of Christ and Love. We all do and say things we regret but the remedy is laid out in scripture and there are those who have gone before us to demonstrate what you share and do . Yes…. I know it takes a surrender to Jesus and a brokenness that invites his presence because in that healing and washing takes place. Thank you for the testimonies you share and Please always remain humble and tender in the ministry God has given you. We the struggling body need examples like you where God has produced his spiritual fruit in a heart to example what true forgiveness is . Blessings, Brad

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  • Thank you for your encouraging words, Julia! I pray you continue to be blessed and please let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to answer. Have a wonderful evening! Blessings…

  • juliariv412

    ,hi Laurie,just want thank you
    I’ve learn lot and have more understanding about forgiving.

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  • Jamie Peterson

    This is powerful! Thanks for writing this blog and sharing with us Laurie!!

    • LaurieCoombs

      Thank you for your encouragement, Jaime! God has done an amazing work. I can’t help but share 🙂