Personally, I find it very easy to say I’m sorry when I’m the one who was wrong. My conscience bothers me and I have a hard time finding peace when there is discord in a relationship, especially when I’m the one at fault. But, what about the times when we are the ones who are wronged and they owe us an apology?
As parents, we raise our children with “Say please, thank you, and I’m sorry.” We teach them to be polite, humble, and even brave. No matter what your age, when you’re the one in the right, it takes incredible courage to pursue forgiveness and heal a broken relationship. Sometimes, it’s just best to eat a little crow. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, Urban Dictionary defines it as: “To eat crow implies, at its mildest, an unpleasant action since the flesh of the crow is believed to be unpalatable.”
I want to share a life story, which I hope will illustrate those certain times when you have to open yourself up to false accusation, criticism, anger, bitterness, or even unforgiveness and press on for a reconciliation.
It was August 1982 and my husband and I decided to move to California to start a business practice, leaving both our families and friends for the great unknown. For months, Jim spent the week in California and flew home weekends. I was tasked with selling the house and caring for our 3 sons (4, 3, and 1). I listed it with a local broker and infuriated my mother-in-law, who had a part-time real estate practice in a different city. She refused to talk to me, even though I tried to explain. Our relationship was completely severed. About 10 months later, I was tucking the boys into bed. We were saying our prayers and blessing family members (including grandparents). A yearning so strong rose up inside of me. I said to myself, “These boys need their grandmother. Whatever it takes, I’m going to get her back.” And so, I turned off the light, went to the family room, sat down, picked up the phone, and made the call. With my stomach queasy, my mouth dry, and my voice shaky, I asked Mom to forgive me and to please come back into our lives. The call lasted almost an hour and I had to hear all the reasons why I was wrong several times, but in the end, the matter was settled and reconciliation was made.
Less than a week later, a package with Mom’s handwriting addressed to me arrived. In it was a ceramic heart box with the words “You are Loved”. No note. No letter. Just the heart. I kept it on the windowsill by the kitchen sink for many, many years as a reminder to make peace, whatever it takes.
Nana’s Nudge: It’s not a matter of being right or being a better person. It’s a matter of the heart. Be a peacemaker.
Nana’s Songs: Forgiveness (Matthew West) | Forgive Me (Trolls) | Forgiveness (TobyMac)
Nana’s Prayer: Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son, Jesus, to pave the way for me to be reconciled to You. Help me to be quick to forgive and quick to seek forgiveness as He taught in words and by example. When everything within me wants to stand firm in my “rights”, help me to lay them down, pick up my cross, and follow Him. (Mt 18:21-35)