Northview Stories

Northview Stories The Forgiveness Story: We Are Closest to God When We Show Mercy

March 24, 2019

 

Woman:
On October 18th, 1992 my life changed forever. I was a senior in high school. I had a full ride scholarship to play softball, and I pulled into a Burger King restaurant to make a phone call on the payphone. A gentleman walked towards the back end of my car. After I hung up the phone, he pulled a gun, stuck it to my head and pulled the trigger. My body landed underneath the front tire of my car. The next I knew I was in the hospital and my family was all in this one room standing over me saying goodbye. And, that was the hardest part for me was I couldn't tell them I loved them. I couldn't speak to them. I couldn't tell them goodbye.

Man:
I was 18 years old. After living a few years of crime, I was out to do a robbery to steal a car, and we found a car in a Burger King parking lot. And the lady that owned the car was on a phone at a phone booth. As I approached the back of the car to steal it, she turned and looked at me. I asked her how long she was going to be, but in my mind, I didn't want to leave anybody to witness. So I pulled a gun. I put it to her head and I pulled the trigger. When her body fell, I went to get in the car to steal it. And I went to turn the key and it didn't do anything. I tried two more times to start the car. It didn't start. I realized I wasn't going to get to the car. I took her purse that was in the passenger seat and I exited. And as I walked away, I heard her say, "Help me," and I walked away, leaving her to die in a puddle of blood.

Man:
After two days of jury trial, I was found guilty of attempted murder, sentenced to 20 years in prison. I served eight years and eight months of that sentence. I went into prison, lost, still living a lie, denying everything I'd ever done. But there I met a man who was another offender who led me to Jesus Christ. He told me about the gospel and through faith in Jesus Christ I experienced a forgiveness that I'd never before experienced.

Woman:
You had physically served eight years and eight months in a physical prison. And, I mentally spent 17 and a half years in a mental prison. I felt depressed, anxious. I had depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome. I lost a marriage. I just, I had no trust in anyone anymore. I felt lost, scared. And I came to realize that I was in this mental prison for my unforgiveness - my choice of not forgiving.

Man:
I checked my Facebook messages and seen her name and my whole body began to tremble. I knew her name. And, as I read her words and it said, "I have forgiven you." The one person that should hate me forever is now saying, "I forgive you."

Man:
I gave her my phone number and we had a 45 minute conversation on the phone and I got a front row seat to my crime, and what my crime had done to her life, and what she had been through. And, I don't know where people are with forgiveness. Forgiveness has a face that is beautiful. And to be free at this level, I know I didn't deserve to be forgiven. She deserves peace.

Woman:
I think that sometimes we have challenges in our lives that we face on a daily basis. And, knowing that I can call him my friend now that I know that I'm free. I know that I don't have to carry around anger and the hate and that bitterness anymore. And it's peaceful to me.

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