In part one of this article, I shared about Mark, whose daughter was killed by a serial killer. Mark is still wrestling through his anger and pain, but learning he can choose forgiveness even when his emotions tell him otherwise. Mark has discovered that his only responsibility is to engage his will; the "heavy work" of forgiveness is God's part.  For many of us, our journey towards freedom begins by duty, and we just have to “fake it till we make it.” We may only have a weak “yes” to offer God as we continue to flounder about in turmoil, but this is actually all God needs to work in our lives. Since we are shaped by what we practice, if we choose to pray for our enemies even when we do not feel like it, and we persist in obedience and surrender, somewhere along the way . . .

I check my schedule when I get to the office and notice that a patient was accidentally booked in two appointment slots. My schedule is typically full, so I notify the front office so they can open that spot in case someone calls that day needing to be seen. Later that morning I realize who filled this opening and I begin to fret inside. What possibly could I do or say to help this patient? His daughter was killed just a few weeks prior by a serial killer, and the memorial service happened to be four years to the day after his wife’s memorial service . . .

There was a time in my life when I was really struggling in a relationship. I had prayed for God to restore things, but after being wounded yet one more time by this person, I was weary of the fight for peace. Their words hurt too much, and I was not sure I had the strength to face this person with grace.

I sat down at my computer feeling broken, wanting desperately to defend myself and point out the wrong they had done to me, but knowing this would only escalate the distance between us. I wiped my tears as I tried to find the right words. Deep within, a voice kept whispering . . .