of Wendy Berkley
Those of you know Wendy Berkley know her as someone who can lift your spirits when you see her. She is always cheerful and quick to give every person she sees a warm, friendly smile. Emotions like hate and anger seem foreign to her nature. However, a few years ago Wendy discovered something that filled her with hate and began eating at her.
Wendy discovered that when she was a teenager her brother had molested someone very close to her. Worse, that person had cut off all contact with her. Wendy’s brother lied and told her the reason this person was not contacting her was because they thought Wendy was trying to control them. The real reason was because the person thought Wendy knew about what had happened and had done nothing about it. But Wendy didn’t know and didn’t find out for decades and a relationship with someone dear to her had been destroyed.
When Wendy finally find out, it filled her with hate towards her brother for molesting someone so important to her and for allowing her relationship with this person to be destroyed in order to cover up his heinous action. The thought of forgiving him was unimaginable. How can you forgive, as if it were okay,
someone who had done something so despicable ?
Then Wendy heard a message Pastor Phil gave a year ago on forgiveness. She was convicted when she heard him share that “if you cannot forgive, you are not following Jesus.” But then, what released her to be able to forgive was when she heard him say that forgiving is not saying what happened is okay, it is not the same as trusting, and it doesn’t mean you have to let the person back into your life.
Wendy went home and put what was shared to the test. She forgave her brother using the pattern shared of naming the person, the harmful action and how it made her feel. The result? “I felt such a tremendous, tremendous relief.” As Wendy surrendered herself to God’s direction and forgave her brother, God removed the hatred and anger that was making her miserable.
Wendy said that she realized looking back that she had been going around to different people asking their advice on what she should do instead of going to God and doing what God has told us to do.
A year later, Wendy rejoices that those feelings have not come back and she wants to give testimony to what God has done in her life by sharing this story. Oh, and to add blessing on top of blessing, after decades Wendy has been able to reestablish her relationship with this person whom she had been so close with.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Pastor Phil’s message yesterday was on forgiveness you can watch it by
Pastor Phil also shared a spiritual growth exercise on forgiveness