Chapter Two - Defining Moments

Joy responded the way she did, because the love she had in her heart was greater than the hate that had threatened to usurp its place. Her defining moment reflected her purpose and showed her worth.

Although she knew God had heard her impassioned plea, forgiveness was a road filled with obstacles and pitfalls that would take years to follow. However, this was all part of the forgiveness process and Joy choose God’s will over her way, slowly thawing her emotions that had been frozen in fear.

The shadow of her cruel stepfather loomed long after Joy left home and married Hershel. She couldn’t pardon him for all the years of battering she’d endured. Even after coming into a pleasant place of love and peace in her marriage with Hershel, Joy stayed in touch with her beloved mother, with the threatening presence of her stepfather never far away.

Once when visiting, he tried to hit Joy, but she looked at him and declared, “Oh no, you won’t hit me. I’m not under your roof. I’m not under your hand. You put your hand down! You’re not going to hit me.”

She knew reproach was holding her back, but Joy didn’t know what to do about it. So she made it a matter of prayer, “Oh, God, I just don’t know what to do. I know I’m not supposed to hate my stepfather, but I do. I hate him with all my heart. He deserves to go to hell, and frankly, God, I hope he does. Please, please, You have to help me.”

She didn’t whine and complain to other people…she went straight to God. Over and over Joy pleaded in prayer for help, even feeling like she might go to Hell herself. Finally one day, the thought came to her from God, “Joy, have you ever thought he really is pitiful? That he really is going to hell?”

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