/ / When You Can’t Hold Back Your Tears {Genesis 42-45}

When You Can’t Hold Back Your Tears {Genesis 42-45}

Whether you find a private place to cry, or whether you wear your heart on your sleeve, God's Word comforts you when you can't hold back the tears. #Biblestudy #Genesis #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Today I want to answer a really important question asked by a reader on Wednesday in the comment section.

She asked, “When you forgive someone, does that mean you have to have a relationship with them?”

We’re also going to cover this week’s Good Morning Girl’s reading.  As we look at Joseph in Genesis 42-45,  we see Joseph weeping privately from the pain his brothers caused him, then he washes his face and steps back into public view –with strength.

If you’ve had to hold back tears in public that sometimes flow easily in private…then this video is for you:

{if you are reading this post in an email or feed – don’t miss this video today – come visit me here!}

Twice Joseph cries but conceals his tears. The final time, he weeps so loudly the entire house of Pharaoh hears him.

Just because we choose to do what is right in the midst of a bad situation, doesn’t mean it won’t be terribly painful.

Chime In:

How do you handle tears when they come?  Do you try to find a private place to cry or are you someone who wears her heart on her sleeve?  We see in today’s passage Joseph did both – he concealed his tears and he cried loudly.  God gave us tears to express emotions we cannot put words to.  

In the video, I discuss the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.  Are you in this place today?  Have you forgiven someone but a wall between you and this person still remains?  I hope the message of the video comforts you.

Next week – we finish the book of Genesis!!!  Let’s finish strong together!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

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36 Comments

  1. Well yesterday I blew my top because the manager of the trailer park shut off our water illegally I am learning to forgive him, but the forgetting part not so much. After my boyfriend’s dad and brother left I went to bed and wept to God, and for half of today I was balling my eyes out because I am wondering how are we going to survive without water. I have handled my tears by holding them back and when nobody is looking I begin to find a quiet place to let the tears flow.

  2. I have never heard it worded that way… that there can be forgiveness but the strain or awkwardness we feel after can be the lack of reconciliation!!! I’ve been struggling with this issue and honestly questioned if I was doing forgiveness “right”. Oh glorious bliss… This puts so many of my emotions into words! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Forgiveness is so hard. I’m not quite sure that I know how to forgive someone. I keep remembering what they did to me and my family. How do I go about forgiving?

    1. Hi Darrelyn,

      Forgiveness is a choice we make out of obedience to God and a genuine love for others. It is releasing the other person from their wrong they have done, not seeking revenge, moving on, and leaving justice in the hands of God. It’s an ongoing process – we forgive and we have to keep on forgiving – especially when those emotions creep back up on us.

      Hope this helps.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

    2. God gave us the ability to forgive others as a tool to free ourselves from the repeated pain of allowing the transgressions of others to continue causing pain and having an influence in our lives. So, when we forgive others we are freeing ourselves from that hurt too. By not forgiving we are allowing that person to continue having a negative effect on our lives. So, as Courtney says, make that choice and forgive them and peace will follow soon after…

      Every blessing

      Sharon xx

  4. We just lost our home to foreclosure. I have hidden my tears from my husband and children. I only cry in private. I feel that I have to be strong for my family. The other evening, after dinner and unpacking a few boxes at our new rental, I broke down in the kitchen in front of them all. My children didn’t know how to react; my husband let me cry it out. He drew me a bath and sat with me while I was in the tub and talked with me about all that I was feeling. Crying out loud was the greatest relief for me.

  5. I cannot say thank you enough. My journey with God has been a long distant relationship but recently, moved incredibly closer. Today is my first time using your site and reading/studying the Bible. Today, is also my father’s birthday. The connection is, is that someone I have forgiven is still causing me pain even after a 10 minute phone call and I struggled thinking I didn’t forgive him right, enough, or it didn’t work. I knew God had my heart – I gave it completely to him on 10/10/14 and he accepted it and personally welcomed me, so why today was I in so much pain? I sat down and started to read, and couldn’t imagine that THIS story that picked up halfway through could do ANYTHING for me. Boy was I wrong! I read it and kind of got it, but then hearing this video and reading this blog, God truly was able to deliver the message. It’s not that the forgiveness isn’t there. It’s that the reconciliation is missing and that takes 2 people! I did my half. The rest is up to him. And I accept that fully! He’s doing the best he can for what he knows right now and I will continue to pray that he finds a relationship with God and lives a life pleasing to Him. I can’t thank you enough for this and look forward to this wonderful journey.

  6. About 15 years ago a person who was a very good friend at the time hurt me very badly and after I had confronted her about it she asked me not to contact her again. As what had happened revolved around the death of my daughter and I was dealing with that I was happy to oblige. However, as time went by I came to realize that I needed to forgive her and eventually that’s what I did but there has been no reconciliation. At times this has bothered me because as a Christian I felt that perhaps I should reach out to her for that very thing. My problem was/is that what happened was not the first time that my trust had been broken and other things came to light after our friendship ended, and I don’t want to take the risk of it happening again. I do question my decision from time to time but can’t get past how I feel about this.. My life has moved on . I have a good marriage, a wonderful son, part-time work I enjoy, and I belong to a great, lively church. I don’t want to rock the boat. Am I right to not pursue reconciliation?

    1. Hi Julie,

      You did the right thing confronting her and letting her know how she has hurt you. If after 15 years, there are some things that you look back on and realize you had done wrong that you wish to apologize for – then taking that step and doing that might be helpful if you are longing to restore that friendship. But if there was nothing on your end that you need to apologize for and she has walked away, I would not pursue her as you would basically be asking her if now she is ready to apologize…and rarely does that work out.

      I know it hurts to have that loss of this friendship…but it takes two people to reconcile. The ball is in her court – she is the one who walked away.

      Release that hurt to the Lord, do not replay the scenario in your head over and over – that only hurts you more, take your thoughts captive, enjoy your husband and children and be content where you are at. Pray when those feelings creep up on you and do not let her steal the joy that God wants you to have in Him. Let this draw you closer to God almighty – as that may be the good that he wants to work out in your life through this hurt.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  7. I have forgiven people and felt the wall and always thought… I’m not forgiving enough, but now it makes sense. I have forgiven them, but since there was no reconciliation, I still feel the pain when I am around them. The hurt that they caused cut deeper than they will ever know.
    I now know that I can stop trying to forgive them more and be okay with what is in this moment.
    Thank you for this post.
    As far as my emotions go… sometimes I cannot hold it together in public and sometimes I can it depends on the situation.

  8. Last weekend I had a huge fall out with my dad and stepmom over my daughter and the other grandchild. They were being totally unfair to them and I jumped in and defended them. It got really ugly, shouting at each other and my stepmom turned around and said I don’t love my daughter because I’m always shouting at her. I asked her why she even had the grandkids over because all she does is shout and she asked me why I even had my daughter….so anyway, I was reminded through a friend and through Genesis that I need to forgive. So I made that choice, hard as it was because I don’t want anything to come between me and God. But it is really challenging as I live with them and this whole week has been horrible. I tried talking to my dad on Monday I think and all I got was “mmm” “mmmm”! I say thanks for the food and sometimes don’t even get a reply or get a crummy “pleasure”. I set the cups for coffee and my stepmom couldn’t even thank me properly. You see I can handle it, Im a big girl but my issue comes when they go for my daughter. She is only 7 and can’t understand why they nasty to her. My dad went off at her for leaving an empty toilet paper roll in the bathroom?? I think it is because they see I am not bitter and twisted as they are over this, I have forgiven and am not walking around moody and spiteful… Its hard to keep forgiving when all you get is nasty, spiteful behaviour back. I feel sorry for them, they Christian but yet refuse to forgive. But I keep pushing on and won’t let the enemy win. God sees my struggle and when I do get angry and have a “revenge” thought, I quickly as for forgiveness. Thank for this Courtney! I also had a feeling I wasn’t completely forgiving, but now I see the problem is reconciliation.

    1. Yes, I’m with Sheila, thank you so much for this today. It has really hit the spot for me. I was definitely confusing forgiveness with reconcilliation……

      Sharon xx

  9. That is a very thought-provoking video, however, I am still confused. To be specific, I have been wronged in the past by someone in my life who has a substance abuse problem, and a convict boyfriend. While I have forgiven all their transgressions, I still feel as if it is best for me not to have them in my life as I am the parent to 6 small children. They still contact me and want to get together, they have apologized and I have forgiven them, but for the safety of my family I no longer wish to have them in my life. Is it unChristian to cut someone you feel is dangerous, out of your life after forgiveness & reconciliation???

    Looking forward to your response.

    Frances L.

    1. Hi Frances,

      I think you are very wise to have a guard up to protect your family. Even though this person has apologized and you have reconciled that does not remove the consequences from their past actions. Trust has been broken and going forward this has changed how you will relate to this person.

      Since I do not have all the pieces to your puzzle (for example is this a mother or father or just a person in your church), I am not sure to what extent the boundary you have placed is best? Cut off is a very strong term. Perhaps a birthday and Christmas card could show you still care, while still keeping your boundary. Perhaps a phone call once a year would be appropriate to show you have forgiven and love this person but do not feel they are safe. Boundaries to keep not only your children safe but you as well are good. To what extent your boundary should be – is harder for me to answer…

      Praying God gives you wisdom and peace as you navigate this difficult relationship.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  10. Thank you for identifying this issue so well – the distinction is very needed in this world. When Dr. Adrian Rogers addressed this issue, his analogy was that we forgive and put it in an escrow account. An account accessible to the other party, but separate.

  11. I have recent experienced extreme hurt at the hands of fellow church-goers. In my efforts to make some sense of the pain and to seek reconciliation, I came across this passage from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship.” I believe that this sentiment expressed why my attempts at reconciliation have been unsuccessful. Since Christ is mediator input relationships, both parties must draw closer to Christ I order for reconciliation and unification to occur.

    “[Jesus] stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality. Since the whole world was created through him and unto him (John 1:3; 1st Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole Mediator in the world…”

    “The call of Jesus teaches us that our relation to the world has been built on an illusion. All the time we thought we had enjoyed a direct relation with men and things. This is what had hindered us from faith and obedience. Now we learn that in the most intimate relationships of life, in our kinship with father and mother, bothers and sisters, in married love, and in our duty to the community, direct relationships are impossible. Since the coming of Christ, his followers have no more immediate realities of their own, not in their family relationships nor in the ties with their nation nor in the relationships formed in the process of living. Between father and son, husband and wife, the individual and the nation, stands Christ the Mediator, whether they are able to recognize him or not. We cannot establish direct contact outside ourselves except through him, through his word, and through our following of him. To think otherwise is to deceive ourselves.”

    “But since we are bound to abhor any deception which hides the truth from our sight, we must of necessity repudiate any direct relationship with the things of this world–and that for the sake of Christ. Wherever a group, be it large or small, prevents us from standing alone before Christ, wherever such a group raises a claim of immediacy it must be hated for the sake of Christ. For every immediacy, whether we realize it or not, means hatred of Christ, and this is especially true where such relationships claim the sanctions of Christian principles…”

    “There is no way from one person to another. However loving and sympathetic we try to be, however sound our psychology, however frank and open our behavior, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man, for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul. Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.”

  12. I have recently experienced extreme hurt at the hands of fellow church-goers. In my efforts to make some sense of the pain and to seek reconciliation, I came across this passage from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship.” I believe that this sentiment expresses why my attempts at reconciliation have been unsuccessful. Since Christ is mediator in our relationships, both parties must draw closer to Christ I order for reconciliation and unification to occur.

    “[Jesus] stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality. Since the whole world was created through him and unto him (John 1:3; 1st Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole Mediator in the world…”

    “The call of Jesus teaches us that our relation to the world has been built on an illusion. All the time we thought we had enjoyed a direct relation with men and things. This is what had hindered us from faith and obedience. Now we learn that in the most intimate relationships of life, in our kinship with father and mother, bothers and sisters, in married love, and in our duty to the community, direct relationships are impossible. Since the coming of Christ, his followers have no more immediate realities of their own, not in their family relationships nor in the ties with their nation nor in the relationships formed in the process of living. Between father and son, husband and wife, the individual and the nation, stands Christ the Mediator, whether they are able to recognize him or not. We cannot establish direct contact outside ourselves except through him, through his word, and through our following of him. To think otherwise is to deceive ourselves.”

    “But since we are bound to abhor any deception which hides the truth from our sight, we must of necessity repudiate any direct relationship with the things of this world–and that for the sake of Christ. Wherever a group, be it large or small, prevents us from standing alone before Christ, wherever such a group raises a claim of immediacy it must be hated for the sake of Christ. For every immediacy, whether we realize it or not, means hatred of Christ, and this is especially true where such relationships claim the sanctions of Christian principles…”

    “There is no way from one person to another. However loving and sympathetic we try to be, however sound our psychology, however frank and open our behavior, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man, for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul. Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.”

  13. Thank you for this post! It has helped me so! I’ve never thought about or really heard about the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. My sister in law hurt my heart very deeply and I struggled with forgiveness. After crying out to God for years about it, asking for him to show me how to let it go and truly forgive her He finally gave me the wisdom and the heart to just that several years ago..or so I thought. Initially I felt so free and full of joy for the freedom that came with forgiving her. I don’t see my sister in law often but I soon discovered that feeling of separation you talked about in the video whenever I did see her. I began to think I hadn’t forgiven, that I must still be “hanging on” to the hurt of the past and not getting this forgiveness thing right. Your explanation has brought me the freedom I’ve been praying for in terms of my relationship with her. I understand now and believe I have forgiven her in my heart but our relationship is not reconciled and that is the reason for the pain and separation I continue to feel when I see her. I weep in private, like Joseph, and then I do the work of getting on with it. I am kind to her, I try hard to bless her when we are together.. I have forgiven but we are not reconciled and thats okay..reconciliation may not come in this lifetime.. I feel so lifted up knowing this!! God has spoken a much needed Word to me through you, Courtney. I’ve struggled with this for seven long years, prayed about it for seven years, and I’m so thankful to understand now that forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation.

  14. Thank you Courtney for taking the time to respond, and for the wise counsel. The person I mentioned is a 2nd cousin – she lives across the state so I do not have to worry about bumping into her. I do send her a Christmas card each year, and have sent a small token on her birthday. By cutting her off, I meant to physical contact with my children. I am sure that we will still see each other at weddings & funerals and be cordial, I just do not feel that it is best to have her as an active participant in my life.

    You are truly and inspiration and a great minister of the faith.

    Thank you.

    Frances L.

  15. Thank you so much Courtney for expressing what forgiveness and reconciliation are. This is so confirming in a situation in my life.

    Reading and writing each day through the story of Joseph has been just beyond amazing!!

    Thanks too for the linkup today.

  16. Such a good reminder, great idea to compare it to Joseph. I have had so many hurts this last year 1/2. So many days where it’s hard not to focus on all of the trials and then forget to enjoy the blessings God’s given us. I’ve had to learn to forgive and make myself enjoy life again. So I guess I would add, after the forgiveness part, make yourself smile and think of how amazing God is! I’m sure that’s what got Joseph through those 13 years, when things were still so uncertain. That’s where the faith is tested, the stage of life I’ve been in, hard, but God’s using it to mold me and strengthen my faith in Him. 🙂

  17. Thank you for this Courtney! Definitely hit home with me. So what if you did the hurting, asked for forgiveness, and now that person is just going to family to tell what you did just to condemn you? Back Story-They did said hurtful things in regard to them being healed and me not, and I retaliated verbally. 🙁 Not very Christian. Then per text messages initiated by my sibling I apologized, she apologized. Some things needed to be worked thru. I did say that she had to at least be respectful of my opinion whether she agreed with it or not. Then it got weird, she demanded that I apologize with my mouth. I know that there are major boundary issues there. But I accepted her apology via text, why can’t she accept mine. So should I, as a Christian, call her and apologize? My main concern is that if I do, that she will call me and continue to bully me. I don’t believe reconciliation is going to come to us. But as I have seen as we have read, that God has used Joseph. I just want to do the right thing that God would want me to do. Without putting my kids in danger.Thank You for all you do! Your work has been a blessing to me!

  18. Love is a commandment by God. We can only can Show Agape love through the Holy Spirit and truly forgive. Let’s pray and love those who have wronged us. (I think of Christ, when He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.)
    Pray for God to give them a tender conscience and heart.
    If they are truly His they will want to put things right. Their conscience and prompting of the Holy Spirit will catch up with them.

    Openly in the home the kids have seen me cry when I’m in fellowship with The Lord.
    I tend to get very emotional when I’m spending time with Him, especially when I think about what Christ has done for me, and when I’m praying for the lost.
    I’m very personal though and don’t like to express emotion in public.

  19. During a significant family trauma, while I was praying, I looked up and to my left a little and ‘saw’, with my spirit, that the Spirit was revealing to me an overwhelming, out of control, oversized pile of yarn made up of at least a dozen skeins of yarn, all unrolled and tangled up – not really in knots, but in such a state that they would all tangle and even turn into knots quickly if anyone tried to sort them out. I also sensed that when I would look up higher and to the left further, that I would ‘see’ the shelf that was supposed to hold them. Sure enough, when I looked up, the shelf was empty. The Spirit helped me to understand that each of those skeins of yarns were usually all rolled up neatly, and that I *typically* took them down one at a time to pray over them; and better yet, that He had been patient through the years, teaching me to pray over them in praise, praising Him and meditating upon His names, until His peace ruled my life until I needed to fall to my knees again. Now, I’m not saying that I always prayed over those ‘skeins’ as much as I ought to have, but He had been faithful to show me how to take my emotions, concerns, confusion, and lack of direction to Him. After He showed me that massive mess of ‘skeins’, it took several days of seeking Him earnestly for me to begin to understand emotionally and with understanding what was going on in my life so that I could begin praying specifically about the struggles our family was facing at that time. Once I had more clear ‘understanding’ about the problems, I looked back with my spirit’s eyes to see what was going on with the skeins of yarn. Sure enough, they were off the floor, neatly rolled, and up on their shelf. And yes, I resumed the task of praying over each ‘skein’ in praise, meditating upon His names. — I still need to be more specific about other aspects of prayer, and I still need to be more faithful in my prayers. But He cares about every hurt, concern, fear, and need…… even my need to realize that He still loves me when I didn’t take my concerns to Him as quickly or faithfully as I ought to have……..

  20. Thank you for this. I have been hurt and have forgiven but questioned myself because I no longer talk to a couple of people. it is a jumble of a mess now that I try to write out the situations leading up to me not talking to these people, no words were said (by myself-but I do know the many hurtful things they have said about me) I just backed off and cut them out of my life. I am guarding my heart and I do not want to be around this kind of gossip, and negativity that I see from them. my struggle is am I wrong to be polite but avoid talking to them. because I do not trust them and will never feel they are being honest with me, it may hurt me but I can let you go rather than to have you as a “fake” friend. I wish only good for them, I still pray for them, but I cannot and will not let them take my energy I put my focus on God and Family. I know a lot of people but by choice keep my circle small I am not a “clingy” kind of friend but am always here if needed and have friends that do the same. Thank you for the video on this topic, it did bring back memories that I choose not to let myself think about but has also made things clearer for me. <3

  21. Bless you sweet person for explaining that so well. It has been at least a seven year struggle for forgiveness of a hurt from my sister that I have always been so close to and loved dearly. I have struggled and constantly asked God to take the care away, but as you say, I thought I’d forgiven but then I would let the bitterness seep in. I have finally given it to God as I knew as a Christian that I could not continue to harbor the bitterness. Things will never be the same as in our childhood and for the years up to the hurt. There is still a relationship of sorts since she is my sister, and I love my sister(s), but in all honesty she did kill some of the love. I don’t know if there will ever be reconciliation to the degree it was because she does not see the hurt that she caused. We talked early on, and one day I suppose we will talk again and I may have to explain the depth of the hurt. Anyway, I like that you explain that I have forgiven her because I felt since we no longer had the relationship as before that I may not be forgiving right in the eyes of God. I struggled because in all honesty, I did no longer want a relationship but that is difficult when it is family. We are constantly thrown together.

    Also, as far as Joseph, I like how he explained to his brothers that what had happened was God’s direction and Joseph was needed to be in the land of Egypt so that Jacob/Israel, his father’s family could survive what was to come in the future. Joseph understood the mysterious ways of God. When I read that part, I did compare to the hurt from my sister, and thought maybe some time down the road God will reveal why I was so hurt by my sister’s actions. God Bless and Praise Jesus for your ministry Courtney.

    I have followed along with the reading everyday (some days more than one chapter if I fall a bit behind), and this seems a great way to be reading and comprehending the bible as best that I can for now. Thank you Courtney.

  22. I have been hurt deeply and repeatedly by my father. I know he is a very broken man and I have forgiven him and now I know I am ok in not wanting a relationship with him. I have struggled for a long time with this issue.

    My father is responsible for so much pain to my siblings and my mother and yet he does not see that. He continues to destroy my sister who is a struggling drug addict. I know it was his abuse that started her addiction because I struggled with it myself. I have overcome it but I fear she is not as strong as I am.

    Our mother passed away a year ago and my father has become this horrible angry man. My sister lives with him because she has no way of supporting herself enough to get a way.

    I try to help when I can but his behavior is so consuming that I find myself falling into despair when I have to interact with him.

    Your message was so powerful for me! I now know that I can stay away from him and it is ok.

    Thank you for this!

    Please pray for my sister as she struggles to get away from him and pray for him to finally see how he has caused so much pain.

  23. Thank you for this. I have forgiven my mother and family for what they did to me but every time I tried to reconnect I was treated with hate. I was beat my whole life physically and mentally (until I married at age 23) by my mother & everyone looked the other way. Then at 25 I divorced my 1st husband and I thought she had changed so I ask her for help to keep my 1 yr old son from living every other weekend with my abusive and drugged up husband. So my mother and daddy helped me with protective custody. Meaning my son lived with me and they made sure he couldn’t be alone with his dad. I lived 1 mile from them and when the paperwork went through I found out they had tricked me with a crooked lawyer and Justin had to live with them. I was a grown woman needing help from my family but they decided to take Justin and had him call me his sister and it was my mothers “menopause baby”. So I wasn’t allowed to come to his b’day parties or school events or games or k5 graduation. He called me Michele and my brother was his brother and so no family member was the name they should be. I fought this everyday. Crying in a rocking chair in her house saying please don’t do this to me! Everyone still to this day thinks she had him and I’m his sister. He is now 26 and I’m 50. I got remarried at 26 and had 2 sons and they watched the battle I fought for Justin their whole lives. When my youngest son told my brothers daughter he is not my cousin he is my brother, my mother beat him & said your going to ruin our family telling people that. Mother had told me that she wanted another child because me & my brother were worthless she needed a do over. Do you know how hard it is to sit at the Thanksgiving table and be called sister or new people come into the family and be called sister or sitting at my grandparents funeral and hearing they had 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren! It hurt so bad I cried daily. I was pushed out of the family. I forgave the beatings easily but had a harder time with mother taking Justin, & all the family going along with it. My daddy would just say well your mother is my wife & this is what she wants, you can have more children. When I miscarried my first child at 41/2 months pregnant at their house they through a party and looked at the baby and clapped & said to my brother, hey Michael come look what a baby looks like at this age in the womb. There wasn’t a day that I wasn’t beat or treated badly. Daddy use to say just take the beatings cause you will leave one day but I will live with her until I die. When I was pregnant with Justin she sat on train tracks (with a train coming) on the way to the doctor visit saying I’m going to kill us all because you won’t get rid of that baby. (remember I was married and 23 yrs old). She baby sat a little boy & he was in the car with us.I finally cut them all off 4 yrs ago after daddy died. I recently tried to talk to them again but they treated me with so much hate, so I said goodbye. My hubby of 25 yrs and our 2 grown sons live on the west coast, we have for 17 yrs now. They still live in the south where I was born & raised. Joseph has always been the one I connected with in the bible. Justin told me at 13 to leave him alone & get on with my life & that his kids will never be my grandchildren! I still cry every single day but I have forgiven them all, but I don’t want to have anything to do with them. So this really helped me a lot because I wondered if I was wrong to move on with life & let them all live in their own lies and hate. Oh everyone she is friends with feels sorry for her because I’m not in their lives anymore & looks down on me for it. She really plays it up to get everyone to feel sorry for her, & she has done that my whole life! So thank you Courtney for these encouraging words. Jesus gets me through each day, but the hurt is still there. I haven’t ever found anyone that could understand what I’ve been through. Yes many have been beat and many had their babies taken away due to the mothers doing drugs or prison or whatever but that was not me, so far no one has had their mother take their child and raise him as her own, while his real mom is called his sister, by the whole family! Everyone always tells me I should write a book, because so much more happened than I could write here. I feel the Lord has called me to write a book about my life but I battle Lupus & I don’t know where to begin. I’m always home sick! From age 18 I always felt the pull to help other women & girls that have been through hard times because I do understand what they have been through or are going through. At 50 I feel it’s time to start helping those lost due to so much happening in their lives! Jesus pulled me through this for a reason & I know it’s to bring more people to Him! I’m sorry this was so long! Actually I couldn’t get it all in. lol…. Your sister in Christ, Michele

  24. Courtney,
    I’m running a bit behind on reading through the Bible, but I’m so glad that I read this! I have been truly STRUGGLING to forgive. I don’t even know how to forgive in this situation, let alone reconcile.
    As a child, my sisters and I were raped and molested by our dad. When my mother finally realized this, she was mostly able to stop the abuse, but she didn’t leave him or report him. I believe it is because she was a foreigner in this country and was afraid to lose her kids. For the rest of my childhood, he continued to make attempts to molest me, but by then I was mostly able to stay away from home with school activities and get away from him when he would try. I found Jesus in junior high, but the Bible spoke so heavily of forgiveness, so instead of turning my dad in when I was old enough to realize just how bad things were, I dove into the Bible and tried to forgive him by keeping silent. I thought that if I turned him in, I wouldn’t be forgiving him.
    When I finally left the house after graduation, PTSD and depression hit me like a wall. I struggled with wanting to die because I just couldn’t live with the depression and PTSD. I spent months in psych wards and years in therapy. In the beginning, I didn’t even want to talk about the abuse because I was convinced that I had forgiven him and that wasn’t the cause of my depression. Eventually, I was able to talk about it and begin to work through it all. I was finally able to get beyond myself to realize that reporting him had nothing to do with forgiveness. That I needed to report him because other children in my hometown (and family) were at risk, because children were constantly in my parents’ home and my dad was a cop, so he was very trusted.
    At first, I thought it was beyond the statute of limitations, so I told my family and wrote a Facebook page, to try to get the word out so that others could protect their kids. My family isn’t large and I’ve never been too close to them, but I wanted to protect my cousins and any future nieces and nephews. So, after telling my family, I didn’t really talk to them again, especially since my sisters were mad that I had exposed what had happened to us as children. You see, up until this point my sisters had not wanted anyone to know what had happened. That our perfect family was not perfect. As far as anyone else knew, to include their husbands, we were a happy, close knit family.
    So, from what I’ve gathered, after I told my family, my sisters and mother basically lied and told the rest of my family that I was making it up and had psych issues. Since I wasn’t talking with any of them, I couldn’t defend myself.
    A year or so later, I found that my state did not have a statute of limitation, so I reported my dad. It was possibly the hardest thing that I have ever done, especially because a part of me still believed that in doing so I had not forgiven him. And that in doing so, I would be hurting my sisters and mother. And that in doing so, people would know what had happened to me, that I was molested and raped, that I was a victim. But I knew that the safety of their kids and my cousins and all of the kids in that community was more important than any of that.
    As you can imagine there was a huge fall out between my family and me. They all publicly said that I was lying and had psych issues. After being questioned my father killed himself. The investigation that had been all over the news went quiet. The police did find many things in my parents’ house that supported all that I had reported, but it wasn’t made public because he had killed himself and the news was no longer reporting on it. So the rest of my family still continues to believe that I made it all up.
    It has been years now and after my husband pushed for me to contact my mother, I finally did. We now talk and she has visited, but it is very limited and strained. She won’t talk about what happened and even gets angry when I bring up small things. Recently, one of my sisters has begun contact with me and wants our children to meet. They pretend and want to go on as though none of this happened. (In the beginning, my sister even went as far as saying that my dad killing himself was my fault.) But I am so hurt, that my entire family would turn their backs on me, calling me a liar with psych issues, all to protect a child molester. I am sorry that I disrupted their lives by reporting what had happened to us as children, but can’t/couldn’t they see that it had to be done to protect other children?
    So, after all of this writing, how do I forgive? How do I know that I have forgiven them? And how can there be reconciliation when they won’t even discuss what happened? Does there have to be reconciliation? Any help, insight, response would be very appreciated, because my sister wants to get together soon with our children, but part of me doesn’t want to. How can I let my children be around people who knowingly protected a child molester? What does that say about their morals and character? And should I allow them around my children? This is all so difficult because I want my children to have a grandma and cousins, but at the same time, I don’t want them around my children because they knowingly protected a child molester. Please help shed some light.

  25. Thank you so much for this video. I have struggled my whole life with forgiveness, or so I thought. But, seeing it in this new light, I am maybe thinking that maybe all along I have forgiven people who have hurt me, but because there was no reconciliation I thought there was no forgiveness on my part. You explained it so clearly though. Just as when we repent to God, then ask for forgiveness of our, it restores and reconciles us with Him again. Hence there is forgiveness and reconciliation. But, when you have no repentance or asking of forgiveness to create the reconciliation from the other party, that whole other part is missing. This is HUGE for me, you have no idea. Thank you again! Blessings!

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