Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Does That Look Like?

" For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."~Matthew 6:14

Good Morning!  It has been far too long since I sat here and wrote a blog. One of my many New Year's Resolutions is to write consistently.  SO many things have happened since my last entry in May 2011. I have many many stories to share.

 However, this morning one is weighing so heavily on my heart and mind  that I haven't even had my first cup of coffee yet. For those of you who know me well, this is as near a MIRACLE as there is! Typically, I'm unable to speak or even remember my name before the first two cups of coffee have been consumed.This is and only can be God at work through me!

A few years ago, along with a group of friends, my family and I went on a Caribbean cruise.  It was an adventure we were VERY excited about. The girls looked forward to it for months and we had a fantastic time in Aruba, St Martinn, St John, Cozumel. It was the vacation of a lifetime!

When we arrived home, late that February evening, I remember rounding the bend and my home came into view. I said to my husband "I love my house". He was worked endlessly at remodeling this 200 year old money pit and has created the most comfortable, welcoming, safe haven for us all. Imagine our surprise when a few short minutes later we entered this  haven to discover it had been burgalarized while we were away.

So many emotions hit us at once. Panic, fear, anger, grief, confusion, and anger. Did I say ANGER?

Over the course of the next 24 hours, we had State Troopers set up a sting in our garage, neighbors interrogated, my daughters slept in our bed and on our floor. We had been violated beyond comprehension. Our clothes had been rummaged through, our brand new computer was gone, our food had been eaten, our DVDs watched, our hot tub soaked in, our money, cell phones, ipods.... stolen. Nothing felt safe, nothing felt like home.

Within hours, the State Police investigation revealed that the neighborhood boys, the very ones we had taken to baseball games, invited to swim in our pool, welcomed into our "home".....were the same boys who had intentionally obtained our security number and entered without our permission. Not only did they invade our privacy they invited along 5 of their friends to do the same. Over the course of days, they vacationed in my house. They took, ate, drank, and did whatever they wanted to.

It took nearly 7 months but all of the boys were prosecuted to varying degrees. During that time, the girls were harassed at school. One of them even physically intimidated by the neighbor. Our camper was vandalized by them. We received offensive obsene gestures when they drove by. Its safe to say that I'm still strongly wounded by the entire scene of events.

People have suggested that I forgive and forget. I'd like to......really I would! But "What Does That Look Like?" I truly don't know.

Last week I found amazing husband Chris gave me a lesson I doubt I'll ever forget. I had just gotten home from work and was upstairs changing my clothes. I heard a knock at the door and Chris talking with a woman. Moments later he was by my side putting on his sneakers.

"Where are you going?" I asked

The neighbor's mother.....yes, the mother of the boys who had violated our home..... was at the door. One of the boys had been in a car accident. She was crying and needed a ride to the next town over. Yes, it was one of the boys who had broken into my house. Without hesitation, Chris took her. I wasn't sure whether to be angry at his stupidity or awed by his generosity and compassion. I couldn't fathom her nerve to even ask.

And that's when God used the opportunity to tell  me "That's what forgiveness looks like."

Heavenly Father, thank you that you use real people and real circumstances to speak to us. Thank you for showing me, through a man I love and respect so much, what forgiveness looks like. I pray that my heart will soften and I too will be able to forgive our neighbors. Thank you for your forgiveness. For all those moments, I've said and done and thought the wrong things but you still love me anyway. Oh and one last thing....Thanks for the blog! I'm so glad to be back :) In Jesus' name~Amen



  1. I love it when you ask God to show you and he does in the most unexpected ways.

  2. None of this surprises me in the least, knowing Chris as we do. The day he became your husband, God was watching out for you, Chel. Then as a father to your beautiful girls. Now as a real flesh and blood example of what a true Christian is.
    You tell him Pep is so damn proud of him. I couldn't love him any more than if he was my flesh and blood son.