“I have nurtured my own hurts and meted out my judgments for so long-“ In life, we have two choices about what to do with our past: We can let it define us, our past, present, and future; or we can realize that our past is a part of a much larger story that God is writing, one in which He will redeem us from our past and use the things that hurt us the most to bless the most people around us.
In her new book Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, Leslie Leyland Fields shares how God has walked with her through her past. And through the redemption of it, she is helping to lead others through their own dysfunction.
Through the stories of Jonah and Joseph, she reveals how all of us to experience pain and hurt in life, but God gives us the opportunity to release those who have harmed us from judgment, which ultimately allows us to be more like Christ in our life and to show more of Christ to those around us.
This is an extremely personal book, as Leslie shares how she learned to forgive her own father prior to his death. Through stories of her life, as well as the lives of others, she relates how we must revisit our hurts if we truly want to release them. We must learn to “remember well” and choose to humanize those who have harmed us in the past. Later, we can choose to forgive, as Christ has forgiven us. She doesn’t sugar-coat. She doesn’t make it sound easy. This is hard work and takes time and energy and a close walk with God.
I was inspired by reading her assurance that we can forgive and honor within the confines of our specific relationships. So often, we compare our lives to the lives of the best around us, and feel defeated before we even begin. We have the freedom and responsibility to walk out our own life and uniquely and individually work out our forgiveness and reconciliation.
I was disappointed that little time was spent in addressing those who harbor hurts against those who have already passed on. Although it is specifically mentioned on the jacket, it is barely covered in the text. My father, who I was estranged from for most of my life, passed away a few years ago, and I realize that this is an area that I need to continue to work on forgiveness and release.
This is a great book. It deals with a very heavy subject with love, humor, and a transparency that that much needed. I strongly recommend it.
I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Book Look Bloggers program.