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God Erased the Silence
By Brenda K. Blakely

The voice at the other end of the line was silent as I spoke.

"Mother, forgive me for being such a difficult child to raise. Forgive me for my anger, which was directed at you and others when I judged your behavior; forgive my bad conduct which I demonstrated over and over in my attitude toward adults because I thought they could not be trusted; and forgive my rejection of your loveÖand for my not showing love to you.

I confess I did these things because I wanted to make everyone else as miserable as I was. I held you accountable for my grief because Dad failed to keep his commitment to you, to my sister and to me."

The silence remained.

I knew it was a lot for her to take in and it was clear she had no idea how to respond.

Growing up, our family didnít fit the picture I had in mind of how a family should function. I was young when we moved between our house and my grandparentís house to avoid Fatherís behavior when he was under the influence of alcohol, and later, we also suffered due to the erratic treatment of an alcoholic stepfather.

Thanks to the patience of our Father God, I gradually formed a different picture of my life and a reason to forgive those involved. I eventually realized that my Mother had done the best she could for our family at the time.

God showed me I had to forget my past unhappiness and stop finding fault in those whom I held responsible. He made it clear to me that without my forgiveness of others, He would not forgive my sins. Being able to cleanse my heart of hate and hurt toward my parents and stepfather set me free from depression and resentment. The peace that followed filled me with a sense of safety and security I had lost as a child.

Once this was accomplished, God began to work on the other side of the story.

Understanding that I could do nothing about the actions of others, I accepted responsibility for my own actions. It was time for me to ask forgiveness for the pain I had caused.

This revelation resulted in a closer relationship with God and gave me a profound realization of all He had done on my behalf. In my mind, I again saw Jesus on the cross forgiving those who wounded him, and saw Him act toward them with love. His actions set the example for me which I could clearly see I had not been following.

By enabling me to submit to His will and act in obedience, God strengthened my walk with Him, and made it possible for me to encourage those around me to experience Godís love in their lives.

My Father, God reached into the recesses of my heart and brought healing. He restored a right relationship between Mother and I, and also brought about the chance to rebuild that special bond that God meant for mothers and daughters.

Then, God erased the silence.
Brenda Blakely writes from her cabin by the lake which she shares with her husband.† Her writing includes experiences from their work in inner city ministries, group homes and youth camps where they have worked.† Even at her age, she prays that she is still teachable and rejoices at God's patience with her as she struggles to live in His will and do His work. You can write to Brenda through the Letters page of this magazine.