“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

~ Ephesians 4:32

IMG_0393At our Spring Hope4Hollywood Ladies Tea: Stories of Courage, Mary Taylor shared how God challenged her to forgive. Read her courage in action:

My brother Jamie was three years older, and loved to shall we say, annoy me. Despite growing up in the same house, we never learned to talk, to share, to help each other. We were strangers who occupied the same camp, with an unspoken truce drawn. I felt a true sense of loss and regret.

Fast forward a few decades where we each had one child yet rarely saw one another. Then in 2012 Jamie developed throat cancer. My four other siblings were unable to be with him, and I was 2,000 miles away. That left me out right? Well, no. The Lord ever so gently laid it on my heart that I was the one to go, saying, “This will be blessing for you.” “God, how could this be a blessing for me? I questioned out loud. “Because you have always wanted to know your brother better.”

One night a few weeks later as I helped Jamie into bed, I realized that his shoulders that once were so broad and strong, were now bony. The little boy who had once teased me was now scared, sad, quiet, and dependent on me. I held him close as we both cried. As each day passed, I could feel the change happening more and more–we were seeing each other through new eyes. I wasn’t a stranger any more, I was his sister who could pray and laugh with him again.

Ephesians tells us to be kind and tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Jesus did. I realized that when Jamie and I let go of the past we discovered that tenderhearted feeling, that positive force of God called forgiveness. I learned that His grace was sufficient for us, and it will be for you too. Trust Him.

Who do you need to forgive?

How can you rely on God’s courage to take steps towards reconciliation?

~In July, Mary Taylor delivered a eulogy for her brother Jamie who passed away.

You can read more of Mary’s stories at her website: theschoolmarm.com

~Learn how to take practical steps of forgiveness at our Fall Forgiveness Journey beginning Sept 10. (Join us in person or via Skype) More info here: https://hope4hollywood.com/current-study/



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