This is not an easy thing to do, yet she handled it with grace. She knew she had made mistakes- she had treated others poorly and she needed to apologize.
As I read the words that she had written, I was challenged. Have I always apologized for my bad behavior? Have I been quick to seek reconciliation when I have hurt others?
If I am being honest, the answer to this would be no. Oh, I am always willing to apologize for my wrongdoing in a situation if the other person comes to me first. But to take that step of humility and to apologize when I don't feel like it? I confess that I am not great at this.
I wonder how many people I have wronged in my life because I have not sought reconciliation. When I look back at the times when I have been hurt, I can clearly see how I responded badly. I allowed my selfishness and my pride determine my responses. I behaved just as badly as my little girl- sulking and pouting in the corner.
And while I truly believe that "hurting people hurt people", it doesn't make it okay. I can see how I have allowed my hurts to become an excuse- a justification for my bad behavior.
I used to think that if I did take that step and say "I'm sorry", then reconciliation would always be the result. I now know that this is not always the case. There have been times when I have written those letters of apology and I have not received a response. There was no reconciliation. And there are other situations when I have been completely written out of someone's life and reconciliation is not an option.
These relationships lost still hurt. I still have unanswered questions. I wonder why things happened the way that they did.
I was reading in John 14 this morning and finished my reading with an encouraged heart.
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in me.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(the words of Jesus~ verses 1 and 27)
I am pretty sure that I will have more opportunities to say "I'm sorry" in the future. I mess up. I desperately need grace.
But these words of Jesus comfort me. I do not need to live with a troubled heart. He wants me to trust in Him and He offers peace. I do not give to you as the world gives. He will not meet my apologies with a cold shoulder or a deaf ear. He will not withhold reconciliation.
I don't know how the recipients of my daughter's letters will respond. I don't know that they won't hold her bad behavior against her.
What I do know is that I intend to wrap her in truth from God's word- these same truths that have comforted her mama today!