Over the years I have counseled, mentored, and taught a number of abuse victims. The stories are appalling and far too common. One of the questions I often get is, "How can I possibly forgive the person who abused me?" It's a difficult question; one that is painful and challenging, and fraught with a great deal of soul searching, usually accompanied by anger, a demand for justice, and confusion.
Today I'd like to share a poem with you. It's written by Kris Caudle. It is her response to the question of forgiveness. When I heard Kris read it, I was struck by her honesty and her willingness to entrust herself to her heavenly Father, but even more than that, I was reminded anew of God's supernatural grace and mercy. Forgiveness is not something that comes naturally to us. It is a divine gift from God; it is the gift of freedom.
My hope and prayer is that you will take comfort and find hope in "A Walk to Forgiveness".
Thank you, Kris, for sharing such an important part of your story.
A Walk to Forgiveness
Written by Kris Caudle October, 2009
God brought me into this world
A child so innocent & pleasing in His sight.
Life so full & free was meant to be
But a life of shame is what would come to be.
What could I have done to deserve such a terrible deed?
Men of this world, so cruel & desperate with only one plea
You must satisfy my need no matter what the cost may be
Big, strong, & powerful you might be,
But that’s no match for my Father to be.
I learned to hate & live in fear
My anger so out of control death was near.
I trusted you to love me, I trusted you to protect me
Yet you destroyed me; now hatred reigning in my soul forever to be.
I thought I’d entered the land of no return
But what I found was my Father for eternity.
He taught me to love & trust again
He taught me to life there was no end.
Unworthy though I felt
For tainted & damaged is what I was dealt
I turned my back on Him with anger, fear, & doubt.
Then in shame, loneliness, & desperation to Him I turned once again
Forgiven & free is what He would say without a doubt.
His promise of life so full & free was sure to be
But there was a choice I had to see.
Be a prisoner or forgive and be free
For life only comes from me.
Father you know not what you ask of me
This indeed will take too much of me.
But because you chose to forgive me
I will choose to forgive those who have sinned against me.
For a prisoner I choose not to be
Because this is not the life you meant for me.