Forgiveness – Five Photos, Five Stories – 1

Darla Sands, who writes the most delightful stories, nominated me to participate in the Five Photos, Five Stores Challenge. I’ve been mapping out the life changing lessons I learned that must be included in the middle chapters of “Loved As If.” This challenge is an excellent way to sketch out five of them.


debt paidI’ve learned that forgiveness is marking the debt paid. Those who have hurt me (and there have been some inexpressibly deep wounds) stole some extremely precious things from me. Eventually, I had to accept they could never return what they had stolen and I must either go on demanding payment or write it off and trust that God would either restore what was lost or make it possible for me to live with the holes in my life. When I realized I was demanding payment from people who annoyed me but never really hurt me, I knew I must do something about the rage in my heart. The only sane thing to do was mark the debts paid. And when I couldn’t, I asked God to work forgiveness within me. He does.

Turns out I can live with certain holes in my life. Also turns out there are fewer holes than I feared. God holds much that I thought was lost forever, like family, like my innocence. Nothing is returned in the same way but all is restored. The greatest gift of forgiveness is learning how great God is, so much greater than murderers and rapists and child abusers. Through forgiveness, the monsters from my past are ephemeral shadows blown away by a gentle puff of air.


Here are the challenge rules:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Write a post that relates to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a short paragraph, or some other type of composition.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation.

And here are my two nominees:
Carrie McCoy, whose blog,  Living With Unspeakable Joy, is filled with encouragement, faith, and hope.


  1. You are so kind. Your first post literally gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. My own blessed existence is still sometimes fraught with grudges my heart wants to hold and I, too, try to leave them at the foot of the cross with prayer. I humbly feel that anger can be healthy to a certain degree if it causes us to take positive action but that’s a rare thing. Blessings, my dear.

    1. Anger is wonderful. It can energize us. And. there are some things that deserve anger, righteous anger. But when we cling to anger and wrap it around us like Gollum, when we become convinced that the world owes us something, then it’s deadly; it eats us inside. You are so right, anger that energizes, anger that is righteous are much rarer than grudges or even clinging to anger because we have been genuinely hurt.

      May God bless you and keep you. Thanks for the invitation.

Tell me what you think. Thanks.

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