Monday, March 19, 2007


Craig and I were exhausted. We had just concluded Wednesday night service and our day was finally over! All I wanted was to get into my pajamas, eat a slice of pizza, and watch “Lost”. After throwing a few slices of cold pizza in the oven, I kissed the kids goodnight and decided to check our phone messages while waiting.

I scrolled through the caller ID before pulling up voicemail, to see if anyone had phoned. One call in particular caught my eye, “Private Name, Private Number.” “Humph,” I said to myself. “Wonder who that was.” As I pulled the pizza from the oven I listened to our messages, most of them were for the kids, but the last one made me stop what I was doing in midair.

My skin crawled as I heard a sinisterly, disguised voice begin to call my husband and I terrible names. However, the worst part of the call was as the caller threatened me, and my unborn baby. I was shaken and shocked. I handed the phone to Craig. “You need to listen to that message.” He looked at me quizzically and put the phone to his ear.

I did my best to continue preparing our meal as he listened. I turned to him after I heard him hang up. He looked angry and annoyed. He then spoke, “Do you know who that was?” I nodded my head and we both named the culprit at the same time. We then called our associates who also confirmed our suspicion after listening to the message.

A family had recently left the church after we had a record number of salvations. They were upset that the new Christians were taking up so much of our time. We did what we could to make them understand, tried to involve them in the discipleship process, but nothing mattered, they were mad and they left. We released them and let it go. However, it had seemed that they had not.

It was so difficult for me to forget that nasty message. It was sinister and the voice tone sounded downright demonic! And they had threatened my baby. I wanted to march up to this person and tear into them, but I knew I could not.

Four months later, I received a call from this person at home. Imagine my shock! They wanted to come back to the church, they were sorry. My immediate response was the pastoral-ly correct, “Yes, of course you can! We’ve missed you!” BUT, inside I was raging! This person had threatened me, and my baby! I didn’t trust them as far as I could throw them!

After the phone call ended I sat there and prayed, “God! What is going on! I don’t know what You are doing, but I need you to help me!” At that moment I heard Him speak clear as day, “Tara, have you forgiven her?” Immediately I started to say, “Of course,” but I stopped short, because I knew I had not. Could I? Looking at my very pregnant belly, I wasn’t sure I could. How could I forgive someone who had hurt my family?

“Well, maybe I can forgive her God, but I won’t forget, “ I muttered.

Again, He spoke. “Tara, I forgave you, and I scattered your sins as far as the east is from the west. I forgot when I forgave.”

I sank down on my bed and flipped open my Bible.

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22).

I got it. I could not forgive her while holding her past over her head. “But God, “ I reasoned. “She hasn’t even acknowledged that she did this! I know it was her! She couldn’t disguise her voice that well and I heard her kids in the background! What if she does something like that again! What if they leave again? Even if I did forgive and forget, I could never trust her!”

The Lord gently prodded me again, “Forgive and forget Tara. Trust is earned, but it can’t be earned if you don’t first forgive and forget.”

“Okay Lord, okay, but you’ll have to help me,” I said I as gave the situation to Him. I prayed and I forgave- and asked God to help me forget.

I quickly got up and began getting ready for a women’s ministry meeting. As I applied my make up the doorbell rang. I went to the window and to my surprise it was the recipient of my forgiveness. I opened my door and as she embraced me I told her how good it was to see her. And I meant it.

1 comment:

Bebemiqui said...

Whoa, powerful story.