When I was in Kansas City last weekend, I confessed to my mom that I am really angry with someone. Really mad. I am harboring some strong unforgiveness toward this person for wronging me – and trust me, I was wronged. This person did some sloppy things, and I was the recipient of the mud-to-the-face.

But my mom, as usual, had some wise words. She said that forgiveness is letting go of your “right” to harm the other person, no matter how justified your anger might be. She said that forgiveness is being willing to carry the pain, until the day that it doesn’t hurt anymore. And she said that forgiveness starts with choosing to forgive, and then praying that someday, your feelings will match that choice.

I believe in forgiveness. I believe that choosing to love rather than harm is always the right decision. And I believe that our hearts can be healed, no matter how bad it might feel right now.



  1. Sarah on August 7, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    I’ve been on the other side. I was clumsy and managed to hurt someone, almost a year ago, but I’ve apologized profusely. He hasn’t forgiven me, that I’m aware of, however, and I am still in excrutiating pain over the ordeal.

    Forgiveness on your part might alleviate a lot of pain and tension for both of you, and hopefully prompt an apology from the other person. If not, at least you would be the bigger person in the situation…

  2. Deborah Barnett on August 7, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    I once heard that the unforgiveness is the root of bitterness. If you find someone who is bitter, either in a particular area or just overall… you can always trace that bitterness back to the place they chose not to forgive. An I have found that true in my own life.

    Thanks for living transparently…

  3. Anna Marie Seymour on August 7, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    moms always say it best..mine is constantly having to remind me of who i really am. you know what I mean-reminding us of the truth. i am so forgetful.

  4. Greta on August 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Wow. That is one of the hardest realizations to face up to, especially when you’re still in the red center of the anger. Praise the Lord for objective, loving outsiders that can help our floundering hearts beat a little more truthfully. Go Susan Parsons.

    I wish my mom read your blog.

  5. Adam on August 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    “Forgiveness is setting a prisoner free and then discovering the prisoner was you.” – John Eldridge

  6. Rebecca on August 7, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Amen. I know exactly how you feel. And it’s hard, because there IS a PLACE for anger at points and times, but when it’s harbored and becomes bitterness (like Debs touched on), that’s not cool. It’s often my pride and my inability to see how much I’VE been forgiven by Christ that holds me back. I’ll be praying for you my dear friend. Please pray for me, too. xo

  7. Deborah Barnett on August 7, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Nice quote Adam.

  8. rachel rianne on August 7, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    susan parsons only speaks truth.

    we know this because of her music critiques and her words of wisdom.

  9. Anonymous on August 7, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Why, Rachel, you are too kind!!
    Come back to Kansas – misery LOVES company!

  10. Shannon on August 7, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Oh man, forgiveness is so hard. Why is it that I find carrying the pain of others so much easier than carrying my own?
    This is just what I needed to read today.

    Thanks Annie and Annie’s mom :)

  11. Paul on August 7, 2008 at 8:09 PM

    Dear Annie,

    You are, as always, my hero. And part of that is because you listen to your mother when it really matters. I am so proud of you for choosing life over death.

    Love, Dad

  12. Lyla on August 7, 2008 at 8:45 PM

    I’ve never met the woman, but I really like your mom. She’s kind of awesome.

  13. erin on August 8, 2008 at 7:44 AM

    i want to be like annie parsons when i grow up. i’m not being facetious here, you live life out loud and i’m in awe.

  14. Anonymous on August 10, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    I appreciate this post, going through something similar in my life. Thanks for the reminder.

    From- the guy who took you out and got you really seasick.

  15. K.C. on April 22, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    I have found forgiveness to be the only path out and beyond. Surrendering to the discipline of it (regardless of my feelings, regardless of what would be just) is the only thing that has ever made me stronger, in the long run. I try to take the pain the other person gave me and dump it at Jesus’ feet (it’s his job to sort it). My goal is to make that trip shorter and faster, for therein lies Life.

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