I recently attended a Sunday small group meeting. The theme of the discussion was, “Forgiveness.” This topic reminded me of my past relationship with my father.
It was the worst when I had turned 20 years old. My heart was full of resentment towards my father, and I often thought, “If my father was not here…” Believe me or not, I even took a knife in my hand. I cried till I ran out of tears. Every night in my bed, I grumbled that my father was the one who put me in this horrible situation. I wished I could disappear from this world; it was really hell.
These repeated and unhappy days passed as usual. One day, I do not know why, but I replied to a postcard with a questionnaire from a Life Study class. I started taking this course to study about life. I was slightly familiar with the Bible from when I was in elementary and middle school, but this course was deep and beyond what I expected. I kept crying during every class as God touched my sorrows. I realized that God was crushed many times and had deep sadness, struggles, regrets, etc., but He continued to love, care, and give His blessings to us.
In my family, I was the one who listened to my mother complain about my father, and I nodded and comforted her all the time. One day, I suddenly told her, “There must be a reason for him to do it that way.” My mom was shocked to hear that, and I, myself, was surprised, too. I did not expect those words to come out of my mouth. Have I ever thought about his background and why he acted in that way? No, I have not, and I’ve only accepted and listened to my mother’s side of the story. This was her perspective and viewpoint. This was not my father’s perspective at all. I even realized that this must not be God’s perspective either.
More and more, I started to have sympathy towards my father’s hard life of carrying a heavy burden without anybody’s support or understanding. He must have been so lonely. Furthermore, I knew that I was the one who could help him and take away his burden so he could have a new life. This realization set me free, and all resentment towards my father was entirely gone at that time.
Instead, my heart was full of happiness and appreciation for what my father had done for me. I was grateful that my father was alive and I was born in his family.
After these life-changing experiences, I felt that time had come for me to leave my home and be more responsible for my own life. My father was concerned about my decision, and he even took the same Life Study class to find out what made me change so much. After he attended the course, he believed in me more and supported my way of life.
He even realized the value of his own life, and we ended up working together for the higher purpose of our lives. We became so close to each other that we could not believe this day would come in our relationship as father and daughter.
In my experience, forgiveness cannot happen without God’s presence and guidance where the most valuable love relationship starts.