On forgiveness


It’s amazing how quickly I, an alleged full-grown woman, can revert back to feeling like I did with other girls in elementary school: insecure, timid, and small.  Recently, a moment leapt out of nowhere and grabbed me by the throat, reducing me to those irrepressible tears that leave me shaky and sick to my stomach – because my feelings got hurt.

I am naturally a sensitive person, but I’m also fairly rational.  I don’t get my feelings hurt all that often – mainly because I am largely surrounded by pretty tremendous humans who rarely do or say mean-spirited things.

But when it does happen, it makes me feel so sad, and shocked, and ultimately, rejected.

How could I NOT cry?

But here is the difference between 9-year old Annie and today’s Annie: to forgive is to not let those feelings take root – even when they are justified.  To forgive is to deflect any feelings of insecurity catalyzed by those initial words.  To forgive is to let go of what is right, reasonable, and defensible – in favor of something entirely unsensible.

It’s hard work, forgiveness… but then again, isn’t it our very best option?  Isn’t it the easiest, most freeing thing we could possibly do – to simply let it go?

No one ever loses if no one is keeping score.



  1. candace on June 11, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    excellent. thank you!

  2. Emily on June 11, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    My wise friend.

    I’m so sorry your feelings were hurt.

    But I’m so glad you responded like the “grown-up” Annie.

    You are lovely.

  3. Katherine M on June 11, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Sensitive and slightly rational here.
    Your decision to forgive is so well expressed (as always)! And a good reminder that is an active decision. Thank you dear Annie Parsons.

  4. mary on June 11, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    I just love you

  5. Tad on June 11, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    You are a wise woman Annie Parsons.

    I don’t know anything about this case, but if it’s possible, I highly recomend letting that person know you forgive them. Grace works on both sides of the coin. I once said and did some pretty bad things to someone, and when they said that they forgave me, I was FLOORED. I felt so bad about what I did, and their forgivness set me free and breathed in new life where I thought I was dead.

    Anyway, you are so cool, and amazing, and awesome. All who know you can’t help but love you.

  6. Terry McNichols on June 11, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Annie: Did I ever give you this link to one of my very favorite handouts? http://tinyurl.com/mzq6o2
    I am careful to follow up on every one of those moments that leap up and grab me by the throat. It is amazing how often they are related to something from early youth.
    While I’m at it, here’s another great resource on forgiveness, written many years ago by a good friend of mine:
    And lastly, Smedes book, Forgive and Forget is one of the best on the subject. Enough pontificating….

  7. Annie on June 11, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Oh, SO good! The best part is that we were taught to forgive by the most gracious, loving, tender Man ever. We can (and must!) forgive because He forgave us.

  8. Greta on June 11, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Proud of you friend. Especially since I’m still on the low road, scowling at the offender on your behalf.

    You ARE wise, and centered, and lovely. I’m so proud of you for “being the bigger person,” and especially, being the daughter He asks you to be.


  9. FW on June 11, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    One of the top 3 AnnieP posts.

    Fantastic. You are a role model we all should try to live up to.

  10. […] never too late to learn how to forgive, over and over and […]

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