After all of the overwhelming support I got from my “God is still there” post, I decided to keep telling my story from GYC. Friday night when my sister-in-law and I had a heart to heart, I said some pretty profound things. I mean she did too, but for the sake of where I am in my healing journey, I want to discuss what I had said. One of the things I said was, “My head knows that God was with me during all of this horrible things, but my heart doesn’t.”
In my heart, I had felt that God had abandoned me. He left me to suffer the humiliation all on my own. I was so heartbroken. I didn’t even realize I had felt this way. My head knew that He was right there with me through every step and every tear He caught. He cried with me and was in pain with me all these years.
What do you do about something like this? What do you do when your head knows something your heart doesn’t? In a society that believes in following their hearts, your first thought would be to follow your heart. Your heart tells you how you are feeling and that is important. However, the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 ESV, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” I have found that when I am focusing on how I feel about my situation, I never get to hear what God has to say about it. My problem was I was allowing my heart to dictate my life. We are suppose to give God our hearts, that is how He talks to us. If the Devil can trick us into following our hearts, then he can cover up the soft whisper of God.
After talking with my pastor, my eyes were opened to what I had been doing. He gave me this scenario: If a man walked into the GYC conference and was going to hurt everyone. I had this laser that could zap him, but I couldn’t get a good shot because my pastor was standing in the way. What if that was what I was doing with holding on to my bitterness? What if my bitterness and anger was blocking God from taking control of the situation?
I was floored. I mean, this was exactly what my sister-in-law and I were talking about the night before. Out of my own mouth, I had said these words, “You know, God does give us more than we can bear. He gives us so much to deal with so we can daily learn to lean on His strength. You know what, God’s strength is all powerful. So with it, we can handle anything.” So, all of these years that I was carrying all of this hate and ugliness inside that I was forced to bear, God was walking beside me asking if He could carry it. In my emotionally raw state, I knew what I had to do.
Before I go any farther, I must admit something. I did not want to do it. It was by far the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. I would have rather had been shot than do what I was about to, but God was urging me too. My pastor said, “Morgan, forgiveness isn’t about condoning what they did to you. You went through some horrible stuff and saying you forgive someone doesn’t mean that you are condoning it.” I replied heavily, “I know, Pastor. Forgiveness is for me. It is for my peace of mind.” He smiled at me and nodded. He was shocked at my next sentence.
“Can I borrow your phone?” I asked. I had not talked to my parents since July 23, I told them I could not allow them in my life as long as they were supporting a serial rapist. I even changed my number but I did call them once more on my husband’s phone. The one time I did call my parents in November it was a disaster. My father called me a liar and accused me of sleeping around. That conversation ended in my asking to be un-adopted and he wished he could un-adopt me.
All of this flooded to my mind as he handed me his phone. The degradation, hurt, and rejection flooded me. As tears flooded my eyes I pounded out the phone number that is ingrained in my memory. It rang and my pastor started praying. With each ring, the panic and bile rose to my throat. I wanted to run away. I wanted to cry, but most of all I wanted relief. The bitterness was like an infection that needed cut out. I needed to do this to drain the ugliness out of my heart. My mother answered. I said, “Hello, this is Morgan.” I don’t think we had a good connection because she kept asking if anyone was there. I hung up and my pastor prayed with me.
Shaking with fear, I dialed the memorized number again. I got the voicemail. These next few sentences were the hardest things I have ever had to say. “Hi, this is Morgan. I just wanted you to know that I forgive you. I love you and am glad that you are my parents.” I hung up. The last seven words were the hardest of it all. As soon as I said it, I felt this awesome release. I could breathe. All the last bit of pain I had evaporated like water from a dry road.
In my giddiness, I asked if I could call my sister. My pastor nodded. I called the number and she answered. “Hi, it is me Morgan. I just wanted you to know that I love you and forgive you. I am so glad you are my sister.” Saying it this time was so much easier and I didn’t even know I could have felt better, but I did. She and I talked for a little while and I hung up with a huge grin on my face. I gave my pastor his phone back and I was so thankful that I could share that moment with him.
I didn’t lie about being glad I was part of their family. I love them still. They are all God’s children, and I am suppose to love them no matter what. It hurt to forgive, but the freedom I felt afterwards was so great. When my husband came out of the meeting and I told him what I had done, he was speechless. He knew how much anger I held towards them. God never meant for me to carry that pain. It wasn’t my place, that is why for three and a half years He orchestrated circumstances in my life that lead to me giving Him control. By forgiving them, I stepped out of God’s way. I am letting Him have control of the situation. I can finally be free because my heart knows Him now.