Forgiveness

This is the one big testimony that I've been praying for, for years now, to be able to give. And all the glory goes to God for putting this through me on the computer, and for giving me the boldness to share this with you.

Personally I believe this is the one big reason that I was brought back to life - to share the important message of forgiveness with others:

Just over 12 years ago I "had it all": I was an incredibly successful Electronic Engineer, Computer Engineer and System Developer. I had written a world first computer program on Neural Networks, and I had complete work satisfaction. Over weekends I got my adrenaline pumping by doing parachuting, moto-crossing, Kung-Fu, white water rafting and bungee jumping down the Victoria Falls bridge. Whatever challenge I encountered: "I have been there, done it, got the T-shirt!"

My life changed dramatically when a lady skipped a Stop Street and hit my motorbike. I was thrown off the bike, my helmet came loose and my skull was crushed against the curbstone. After three weeks in a coma, a brand new life started for me.

After having to learn the basics of a new life - learning to talk and walk again, 48 operations and years of therapy and treatment, I am left unable to enjoy any of the thrills of my previous life, due to spinal and bone marrow injury and the fact that physical impact can cause brain haemorrhage again. I used to be constantly in pain, was unable to count correctly even up to 10, struggled for years to comprehend what I read or see and have also lost all memories from my previous life.

The lady that hit me, was found guilty of reckless and negligent driving in two courts, but, up to the day of her death in December 2000, according to her, she has done nothing wrong and has never contacted me. That was the most difficult aspect of forgiving - the fact that, according to her, as "innocent" party she doesn't need forgiveness at all.

As I've never encountered her, but just knew that she was an elderly lady, I was consumed with hate for all elderly women. I got myself a 36kg punching bag, named it after her, and punched out all my frustrations on that. I really had to control myself not to drive over every grey-haired lady crossing the road too slow (but don't worry, I never did it )!

This unforgiveness consumed me, and I was embittered, avoided people and tried to push them away with my anger. I about attacked people when they tell me that I'm looking good, furious that they could even dare to say that when they can't see how I look inside.

Unforgiveness can be compared to a handgranade: you have to get rid of it as quickly as possible, or else you yourself will be destroyed by it. The other person that needs your forgiveness don't get affected in any way - its only you, yourself that is getting destructed through unforgiveness. My closest point to complete self-destruction, were when I had to spend a month in Denmar, a psychiatric clinic, trying to work through my frustrations. Part of the therapy was to write a letter addressed to the lady, in which I put my frustrations on paper.

After I was released from Denmar clinic, on the one side, I desperately wanted her to receive this hate letter. As new Christian, however, I wanted to know more about forgiveness, as I understood that it's God's command to forgive, but I was very confused about giving forgiveness to someone who doesn't feel that they've done anything wrong - that they didn't need forgiveness at all.

I talked to various people and ministers on this tricky concept of forgiveness. I made notes of everything, and constantly tried reading this. The ladies own minister refused to give her the initial hate letter, BUT, he said, that whenever I'm ready, I must write another letter to her letting her know what the consequences of her reckless and neglicent driving is, … BUT that I forgive her.

Eventually I had all facts concerning the forgiveness of this lady on paper and in my mind, but I was earnestly praying to the Lord to make this a reality in my heart. To eventually forgive this lady from the bottom of my heart.

For yet another year I was constantly struggling, and battling with this. And then I went on my first Valley Methodist Church camp in 1999. As I was totally consumed with pain and anger on being unable to follow the teachings, one of the ladies from our prayer ministry team prayed for me and laid hands on me. There and then I received a vision from God that I would witness to audiences on the wonders that He has done for and with me. First I just had to get rid of that root of bitterness and unforgiveness.

Immediately after that weekend, I was spiritually ready to forgive the lady. Through the Holy Spirit, I was able to put a letter to the lady on paper, in which I mentioned what the consequences of her reckless and negligent driving is, BUT … that I forgive her!

After her minister gave her that letter, my life has really opened up: immediately after that my 3rd Party case that would have been 7 days of utter pain and humiliation in Suppreme Court was settled out of court; I won another Supreme Court case to keep my cats; The Lord taught me something about how to live with all my inabilities and pain; The Holy Spirit put my testimonies on paper; The Lord gave me the boldness to share my testimony with audiences; The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful husband, I became webmaster for two Rotary Clubs (for which I've recently received a Paul Harris fellowship recognition from one of the Clubs!), I've recently started work again for the first time in nearly ten years, my testimony has been published in book-form … and this what I'm doing today must be my greatest victory so far - thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to share this very important testimony on forgiveness with you!

It only goes to show: God just want us to be obedient to Him - He just ask for obedience - then everything else will fall into its place.

And God really has got a wonderful sense of humour: initially I wanted to attack every old lady I see, associating her with the lady that hit me, but afterwards I became very involved in both the Morning and Afternoon/Evening Women's Auxiliaries at our church, where they turned out to be my biggest buddies!

I've heard a wonderful thing on Impact Radio the other day, summarising this message and the concept of forgiveness:

When some person hurt you, you have got the human right to get back or to hurt that person back … BUT … Forgiveness is giving up that right to hurt another person for hurting me. And then, consequently, through forgiveness and only forgiveness eventually comes healing. Click here to commit your life to Christ

In the Afrikaans language, the word "VER-GIF-NIS" is used for "Forgiveness". If you just remove the "-GIF-" (meaning "poison") in the middle of the word, you will soon be immersed and completely covered with Jesus Christ's loving and mercifull "VERNIS" (meaning "VARNISH")

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