Forgive a Murderer

forgive a murderer

[Guest Post by Laurie Coombs – I met my new sweet friend through our mutual friend Sarah Francis Martin. Her story on forgiveness rocked my world. Could I forgive a murderer and not only that but–without ruining her story–please keep reading!]

What do you do when your world comes crashing down upon you?

What do you do when tragedy strikes? When relationships fail? When trust has been broken? When your cheated on,
lied to, abandoned, and just downright sinned against?

I can tell you this much.

Everything inside you will want to hold onto the anger you feel. You’ll be drawn toward bitterness. Yet, even though you may be just in your feelings of anger, there comes a time that you need to let it go.

There comes a point that we all need to heed the words of our Savior and forgive.

But what does this look like?

How can we forgive amid all the pain, all the anger?

For almost ten years, this question cast its enormous shadow upon me, yet the answer continued to evade.

How do I forgive a murderer–especially the man who murdered my dad? I thought.

Is forgiveness even possible in a situation like this?

Many would say I had justifiable cause to hold on to my anger. I, certainly, wanted to. After all, this man took my dad away from me. I was only twenty when my dad died, and my dad was forty-six. I felt robbed, like every memory I should have been able to make was ripped out from under me.

My dad wasn’t there to walk me down the isle when I got married one year after his death.

He wasn’t there to see me graduate from college.

He wasn’t there to hold my babies when they were born, and my children will never know the most important man in my life, aside from their daddy.

I, certainly, had grounds to remain bitter.

But here’s the thing. Jesus commands forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a suggestion. It’s a command.

But it is the love of God that compels Him to command forgiveness. Truly, we cannot experience all Jesus died for us to have in this life while holding onto our wounds.

As a new Christian, I read the account of Jesus––dying on the cross––hands and feet pierced only moments before, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and I was amazed by His mercy to forgive those who were in the process of murdering Him.

This is why we forgive, I thought. This is the example we all must follow.

So, I did.

I followed, knowing God would bring healing and wholeness to my soul.

I began writing to Anthony, who was in prison serving his sentence. Together, we worked toward forgiveness as we hashed out some of the most heart wrenching circumstances surrounding my dad’s death.

I can’t say it was easy.

In fact, it was one of the most difficult seasons in my life, but in the end, I stood in awe of our amazing God, having witnessed the impossible happen.

After I was brought to a place of forgiveness, Anthony was transformed before my eyes. God brought him to repentance and set him on a new path bringing glory to Himself in prison.

And I was set free.

I was freed from the pain and the bitterness rooted deep within my soul.

It was nothing less than a work of God. Jesus brought good out of evil, love out of hate, and peace out of despair.

And it all began with prayer.

I’d like to encourage you today to seek God. Pray. Ask Him to reveal any unforgiveness within your heart.

And then follow Jesus as He leads you toward freedom through forgiving those who hurt you.

{Forgiveness always begins with prayer.}

To read more about Laurie’s journey toward forgiveness, read Freedom Through Grace or {Redemption} “Your Testimony May Have Saved a Life!

Laurie CoombsLaurie Coombs is a writer who encourages others to forgive others and to follow Jesus wherever He leads. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, Travis. They have two little girls and are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Be sure to visit and connect her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

[Photo credit: susanne anette via photopin cc]