Asking Forgiveness - the Other Side of
By Brenda K. Blakely
The voice at the other end of the line
was silent. I was asking my mother to forgive
me for being such a difficult child to raise.
I asked her to forgive me for my anger and
judgments directed at her, and for my bad
behavior reflecting my untrusting and suspicious
attitude toward adults.
I didn't stop there. I went on to ask her
to forgive me for not accepting her love
or returning it because I had judged it
to be insincere. I acknowledged I had made
her life and the lives of others around
me miserable during my growing up years
because I wanted them to feel as miserable
as me. I attributed my misery to my parents
not living up to their commitments to each
other, my sister, and me.
It was clear she had no idea how to respond.
Our family was so different from the picture-perfect
ideal of family life that I cherished in
my heart. In my early years we moved back
and forth from our home to my grandparent's
home to avoid my father's unpredictable
behavior when he was under the influence
of alcohol. Later, our family had to deal
with the erratic behavior of an alcoholic
God prompted me that that I had to forgive,
or He would not be able to forgive me of
my sins. As Jesus said, "For if you
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you" (Matthew
Thanks to the patience of my heavenly Father
and the love and support of friends, I have
been able to see my life from a different
perspective and forgive everyone involved.
As I experienced healing through my relationship
with God, I realized that my mother had
done the best she knew how to do in the
Forgiving my mother, my father and then
my stepfather were significant steps in
setting me free from an unhealthy need to
be in control. This also enabled me to regain
a sense of safety and security.
Once this was accomplished, God began to
work on the other side of the story.
It wasn't enough for me to forgive others.
I also needed to ask forgiveness for the
pain I had caused by my behavior. I began
to understand that I could not do anything
about the actions of others, but that I
was responsible for my negative actions
All this helped provide me with a clearer
picture of my relationship with my Father
God, and to more deeply understand what
He had done for me. Jesus set the example
- while he was suffering and dying on the
cross, He extended forgiveness and love
to those who had wounded Him. Clearly, I
had not lived up to His example.
Of course, none of us can live up to that
example on our own. It is only by drawing
on the love and grace of Christ that we
can extend unconditional love and forgiveness.
After the telephone call to my mother that
night and my confessions of wrongdoing and
requests for forgiveness, God began to restore
our mother-daughter relationship. The tension
was broken that night, and over time, mother
was also able to say, "I forgive you,
and please forgive me."
Not only has reconciliation been accomplished,
but we were both set free to enjoy a special
mother-daughter relationship. My relationship
with God has deepened through this experience.
And I am experiencing healthier and more
authentic relationships with others. Through
this experience, God has also equipped me
to encourage others struggling with relational
issues, and help them receive and appropriate
God's love and grace in every area of life.
I'm reminded of the words of Corrie Ten
Boom, "To forgive is to set the prisoner
free, and to realize that the prisoner was
Brenda Blakely is a writer/ consultant
with a Masters of Education degree in Christian
Education from Columbia International University.
Her works include the "Freedom the
Price is Paid" project & "Green
Pastures and Red Tape" workshop. Additional
articles may be accessed at Faithwriters.com
and in the Faithwriters 500 Magazine online.