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Moving from Hurting to Healing Sample

Moving from Hurting to Healing

DAY 2 OF 4

One evening before Christmas 1946, a friend dropped off a gift for my mother: a beautiful green felt hat with a large, bright-red feather. Rather than trying on her gift, Mother cocked her head to one side and looked at our sparsely decorated tree (we really couldn’t afford ornaments). “It seems to be missing something.” Then, impulsively, she plucked the red feather from her new hat and placed it among the topmost branches of the tree.

Before any of us could protest, Mother exclaimed, “There! That’s just what that tree needed!”

My mother, in one deliberate and extravagantly generous act, had just illustrated for her family the true meaning of Christmas. In that decisive moment, she had sacrificed something of beauty and value, something that by all rights she would naturally have been expected to keep and wear proudly for others to see—and she had done it all for the benefit of those whom she loved.

Over the years, the red feather became a family tradition. It was the last ornament we placed on the tree, and a quiet reminder of Mother’s extravagant, sacrificial love—as well as God’s.

This symbol took on greater significance after my father left his ministry and his wife of 43 years. My mother, though heartbroken, continued to practice extravagant love—and when, years later on her deathbed, my father called to ask her forgiveness, she freely gave it.

Forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation, restitution, or approval of sin. Forgiving, according to Jesus in his parable of the unforgiving servant, involves a singular decision of the will by which you consider another person no longer indebted to you. 

In that same parable, Jesus draws attention to the fact that an unforgiving person lives with a desire for retribution. That desire becomes like an acid that eats a container from the inside out. An unforgiving person cannot live a life of faith because he believes someone other than God holds the key to his joy. An unforgiving person, therefore, lives a life of sin and is unpleasing to God. He is in a prison of uselessness and out of fellowship with the heavenly Father. He has made his own heart into a dungeon in which he has imprisoned those he won’t forgive, and he lives in personal torment as a result.

How liberating it is to practice forgiveness! And believers in Christ, those who have repented of sin and trusted in Him alone for salvation, can forgive others because they themselves are forgiven. In the story of the gospel, we discover that because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we can come to God, receiving both forgiveness and eternal life. That’s good news for us, as well as for others. Having been forgiven ourselves, we can now forgive those who in any way have offended us.

Pray this prayer with me: 

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of forgiveness. I can hardly believe your only Son loved me enough to come to earth and experience the worst pain imaginable so I could be forgiven and have a relationship with you. As I may see or spend time with the people that I struggle to forgive this season, please give me patience and the right emotions. Don’t allow me to sit in the emotions that threaten to overwhelm me. Remind me again to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” like Colossians 3:15 says. Give me the strength to forgive those that have hurt me, and give me your everlasting peace.

In Jesus’ precious name, 


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About this Plan

Moving from Hurting to Healing

My mother said, “Be nice to everyone, because everyone has problems!” But how does one move from hurting to healing? Out of my own attempts to do so, I share my stories. God revealed crucial scriptural, Christ-centered a...


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