The other day, one of the news reporters asked me if I’d ever be able to forgive the murderer of my son.
Could I ever forgive and forget?
I had a very tumultuous childhood. I won’t go into detail, but I’d been surrounded by abuse, prejudice, and anger. I was truly terrified that I might not be the type of mother my children would need.
So when I found out I was going to have Corey, I decided to seek counseling. I wanted to ensure that I would never hurt my children; whether it be physical or emotional. Additionally, I’d become a Christian in my late teens, and I knew that I had to let go of some of my baggage before I let it effect my kids… I had to forgive my abuser.
I don’t remember my therapist’s name. But I remember his face. He had dark features, brown eyes, dark straight hair, and glasses. He wore a military uniform (Terry was in the Air Force). I remember explaining to him that I was seeking a way to forgive my abuser.
I also told him I thought I needed to forgive and forget everything because that’s what God would want.
I can still hear his words:
“I am Jewish and you are Christian, but do you think you and I have the same understanding of sin?”
“Yes. I believe we do.” I answered.
“Then let me ask you a question. Do you believe that getting pregnant out of wedlock is a sin?”
I thought for a moment and said, “Yes, fundamentally I’d agree with that.”
“Do you believe that if the woman (pregnant out of wedlock) would go to God and ask for forgiveness, that God would forgive her?”
“Of course I do.”
“Do you believe God would kill the baby?”
I blinked. “Of COURSE NOT!”
He grinned just slightly. “So you mean that even though God forgave the woman, she’d still have to face her consequences? She’d still have to feed, bathe, sacrifice for, and protect her child… even though she was forgiven?”
“Yes.” I felt the light bulb snap on over my head…
“Shelley, forgiving does not equal forgetting. You can forgive someone but still expect them to pay the price of their actions. Such as your abuser. You can forgive them and let them face their consequences. In this case, their consequences are they are not allowed to hurt you or your children ever again. Not even through your continuing the cycle.”
So, yes. I have already forgiven the murderer of my son. Not for their peace, but for mine.
Will I forget? No.
Will I give up trying to bring this person to justice? Never. They need to face the consequences of their behavior.
I’ve been protecting my children since the moment they were conceived. I won’t stop now.