Throughout my marriage my in laws, although “nice” on the surface were a thorn in my side.
I have a memory of my mother in law telling my soon to be ex husband as we were leaving on our honeymoon “Make sure you call me as soon as youget there.”
They acted more like wayward children than my idea of how in laws should act.
Well, fast forward 15 years later and my ex was gone. The first month that he was gone I was wondering how I was going to support myself and my three kids, and keep us in the same place we were living. I remember my stepdad telling me we would have to move in with he and my mom.
My sweet cousin offered a room in her house where my kids and I could stay. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a ways away from my job and the kids’ schools.
One day my mother in law came to visit me and we were having a conversation and got into an argument. She blamed me for a lot of things that had happened in the marriage, and for the reason that he was gone. Shortly after that she wrote me an apology letter. I remember reading it, and holding unforgiveness in my heart. I decided things wouldn’t be the same with us EVER AGAIN.
I still can remember coming home after a busy day at work on that day and finding an envelope with cash under my doormat.
One thousand dollars in cash. Enough for me to buy food, pay my monthly bills, and pay my rent. The money showed up under my mat for 20 months, always in a blank envelope, always on the last day of the month.
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Wow, did you read that scripture? Pray for those who persecute you? Not tell them off, or blow them off, or try and get even with them. Pray for them. I was always pretty good at ignoring or not dealing with people after they upset me, and definitely not forgiving them. I can still remember offenses from 30 plus years ago. My motto was “Don’t ever forget how they treated you.”
Recently, while going over the divorce papers, my ex and I were having a heated discussion about bills. He blurted out “My parents gave you money to pay for things.”
Umm, what? I asked him if his parents were the ones who had given me all that money when he was gone.
I was able to find out the men’s group that my ex had been a part of had taken up a monthly donation for me and my kids, and it was my in laws idea.
Even after his mom and I had gotten into that argument, and even though I held unforgiveness in my heart and she apologized to me. Even though 10 years had gone by and I vowed to myself I wouldn’t forget that argument we had gotten into.
I was humbled. I was ashamed of myself. I had wasted ten years of my life holding unforgiveness and bitterness and a grudge.
Romans 5:8-10 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him thorough the death of His son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”
I am a sinner, and God forgave me for my sins. Yet, I was holding unforgiveness against others, and not accepting a genuine apology.
I am forever grateful to that men’s group for their support and I often think of the people that anonymously gave to us. I hope one day I will get to say thank you in person.
And I will never forget God’s provisions for my children and I. He had a plan before I even knew what was ahead of me.
Looking back now I am ashamed I let the enemy get the better part of me for all those years. The things that were said and done to me is in the past and I wish my prior in laws nothing but the best. I even miss them.
Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your anger.