Chapter Two - Defining Moments

Soft winds of mercy gently blew away the dark, stormy clouds which had shrouded Joy’s spirit for so long. The process of forgiveness was complete, settling into her soul, never to leave, only to strengthen. But what do we do when death or circumstances prevent face to face forgiveness?

Rachel was only 14 years old when another man took her father’s life. How could this happen to her? How could something so terrible and violent be so close to her? How could Jesus love her and let this happen? During that time, a seed of hatred took root. She felt justified in hating the man who took her dad from her. For the next 17 years her hatred spread like a cancer taking hold in all areas of her life until it brought her to a place of complete brokenness before God.

This defining moment directed God’s purposes for Rachel. Just as Elijah feared God on His mountain and was relieved that LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice (1 Kg 19:12), she heard God’s still voice, “Forgive him.”

“What??” Rachel thought. “Forgive my father’s killer?”

“Forgive him, and ask him to forgive you for the hatred in your heart.”

God’s still, small voice was getting too loud for Rachel. This was asking an exorbitant amount!

Her emotions screamed one thing, but the peace in her spirit said another. “OK, Lord. I don’t want to, but if this is really what You want me to do, then I will.”

She wrote a letter to her father’s murderer, forgiving him and asking him to forgive her for the hatred in her heart. When Rachel dropped the envelope into the mailbox, all the hatred held in her heart went with the letter. Shortly after, she left for a ten day mission trip to Thailand.

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