Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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The Hardest Ones to Forgive by Ane Mulligan

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on March 25, 2011

I’m honored to have Ane Mulligan with us today. She’s one of those ladies always ready to lend a hand or a kind word of encouragement. She plays a vital role in the rapidly-growing ACFW critique group and has an eye for that timid newbie, ready to take them under her wing. We’ve been discussing forgiveness on my personal blog, and because lack of forgiveness destroys countless marriages each year, I decided to bring the topic here. Each day, we offer grace to the slightly rude man in the grocery line, the distracted clerk at the library, and the inconsiderate driver on the freeway, because we’re Christians and that’s what we do, right? Forgive as we’ve been forgiven? Demonstrate the grace of God by dishing out a bit of our own? But then we come home to our not-so-perfect spouses, who are supposed to be our knights in shining armor. Suddenly, forgiveness isn’t so easy.

Here’s Ane’s story:

The Hardest Ones to Forgive

Sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is the one we love the most. We expect better from them. I can’t even remember what the argument was about, now, or what he said that hurt my feelings.

But I definitely remember the feelings. You know the “poor me” ones. Why is it wallowing in self-pity feels so good? I stood at the kitchen sink, long after he’d gone to work, washing the same cup over and over again and crying.

Of course, y’all know that’s exactly when the Holy Spirit decided this was an excellent time for an attitude adjustment. Well, I couldn’t agree more. The hubs certainly needed one!

Oh … You meant me? ME?

I argued with the Lord for a while. I mean really. After what I’d been subjected to, I needed some more wallow time. Finally I said, “Okay, Lord. Take these feelings from me. I forgive him.”

I dunked the cup back in the water, splashing soap bubbles up in my face. As quickly as I’d handed over my feelings to God, I snatched them back. “But he was so mean.”

Disclaimer here: the hubs was not mean. It was a clear case of I was right and he was wrong and refused to admit it—wink.

This tug-of-war with my self-pity went on for another 20 minutes. Finally, I gave up and gave into God. I let Him take my feelings and work on me. He could work on the hubs later.

I dried the cup and put it away. Then I tried to tap into my feelings again, but the Lord had done what He promised. They were gone. There wasn’t one iota of self-pity left. I’d truly forgiven.

What a freeing feeling. I had to laugh. I could hear the Lord chuckling at me and laughter is so contagious.

Hmm … I may try that next time.

Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, she’s worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), business manager, drama director and writer—her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for fiction (try saying that three times fast). She’s editor of the popular literary blog Novel Journey—one of Writers Digest’s 101 Top Websites for Writers, a humor columnist for ACFW’s e-zine Afictionado, and a past Board member of ACFW. She’s published dozens of plays and numerous articles and won several awards in contests for unpublished novels. A mom and grandmother, she resides in Suwanee, GA, with her husband and one very large dog.

You can find her at:
Her personal website Southern-fried Fiction
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5 Responses to “The Hardest Ones to Forgive by Ane Mulligan”

  1. How many times have I stood with my hands in the dishwater, trying to tell the Lord how much my husband needed to change! Lol. Thanks for an inspiring—and all too real—post tinged with humor.

  2. Welcome, Ane! I’ve always loved your tag, “Southern Fried Fiction.” In my book, anything southern fried (well, almost anything) is delicious. You were one of the ACFW members who personally congratulated me when I received my contract for Awakening, and it was a kindness I won’t forget. I try to infuse humor into my books because the world has enough angst and we need more laughter and smiles in our lives. This post is marvelous. Funny, as Elaine said, how many times it’s when we have our hands in dishwater that we start stewing about things -and then wise up, talk with the Lord, and give it over to him. In other words, get over ourselves. I’ll confess to struggling with some things even today (but not with my hubby). Maybe I should go to the kitchen sink here at work and clean up some coffee mugs and have a little chat with the Lord. {SMILE} Thanks for giving me inspiration in so many ways, Ane! Blessings.

    • I love it when humor is woven into a book. After all, the Lord says a merry heart is good medicine. :) Thank you for your kind words, too. :) I LOVED The Awakening.

  3. Jodie said

    I love this! Don’t you just LOVE it when you ask God to change someone, and He does… you. :-) Ah, a lesson I wish I could learn.

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