Today’s guest blogger, Laurie Coombs, learned radical forgiveness while corresponding with her father’s murderer in prison. She tells her story in the recently released Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. I met Laurie last summer and heard her story. Today, she shares it with you. This post is also a giveaway! To enter, share this post on Facebook or Twitter, then comment below and let me know you shared!
I didn’t want to revisit my past, but I knew I needed to. I had already seen God move mightily on my behalf in the short time since giving my life to Christ, but I knew He wasn’t finished yet.
Healing begins the moment we allow Jesus complete access to the darkness contained within our souls. Darkness must flee in the presence of light, in the presence of Jesus, but light cannot go where it is not permitted. Doors must be opened for light’s rays to touch our darkest dark. And at this point, I was flinging doors open left and right, begging, Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Soon, I heard God’s gentle whisper––“It’s time to forgive.”
I knew what God was calling me to. I knew I was being called to forgive Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. But quite honestly, I thought I had already done that. Yet over the course of the next several weeks, God slowly showed me that, while I had forgiven Anthony as far as I was capable, I needed His grace to forgive completely, to forgive unconditionally.
But then God took it a step further––“Love your enemy,” He said.
At that, I cried out to God and said, “Okay, God, I get this whole forgiveness thing, but love my enemy? How am I to do that?”
I wrestled with what God was calling me to do, but I had read account after account in Scripture of God redeeming losses. Of God healing physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. I saw Jesus’s heart toward the brokenhearted, and I believed God could do all that for me as well. I didn’t want my faith to be just a belief system. I wanted it to be real. I wanted it to impact my life. I wanted it to change the way I lived. So I followed, believing wholeheartedly that God would deliver. That He would faithfully keep His promises.
And He did.
What began with a simple, seemingly insignificant call to love and forgive my enemy led to years of correspondence with the man who murdered my dad, through which I witnessed God do the impossible. I have seen God redeem a situation that seemed without hope or purpose. He has brought good out of evil, love out of hate, and peace out of despair. God has truly worked all things for good in my life. And I believe with all my heart that He will do that for you as well, if you let Him.
I pray you will.
You see, God has not left us to sit in our pain. Jesus came to heal. He is our redeemer, and I know it is His desire to lift each of us out of our despair and bring us in—to a new, better place. A place rich in beauty and blessings. But in order to get there, we must be willing to allow God unhindered access to all the pain and bitterness and anger in our souls. And we must be willing to forgive.
For this is where our healing begins.
Have you ever struggled with forgiveness?
This post is a giveaway. Enter to win a copy of Laurie’s new book by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter, then letting us know in the comments of this post! Drawing will be Sunday, July 5 at 8pm CT.
Laurie Coombs’s new book, Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness––which tells an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God––has just been released. It’s available wherever books are sold. Be sure to pick up your copy today!
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Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, and she is a featured writer and blogger for iBelieve and Crosswalk. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters, Ella and Avery.
For more information about Laurie or to book her for a speaking engagement, visit LaurieCoombs.org. And be sure to connect with her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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I shared this on Facebook. Thank you for sending this to me. It can sometimes be very difficult to forgive people who have hurt you. I have found that it can only be done with God’ s help and a whole lot of prayer!
Thanks for sharing Cheryl, you are entered!
Good article! Thank you! I’ve shared it on Facebook!
Thank you Vicky! You’re entered!
Great article at the right time! Thank you!
Thanks Amy, you are entered!