Forgiveness in the face of fear:
Could you imagine trying to forgive someone who holds you captive and physically abuses you? That seems like it would be nearly impossible. That is the choice that a young New Hampshire girl is facing as her captor pleads guilty to to seven charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault, witness tampering, second-degree assault and criminal threatening.
The young girl went missing in October 2013 and was missing for nine months. During that time the missing girl made national news as search crews searched frantically to find her.
During the time that the young girl from New Hampshire was missing she underwent severe abuse which left her with wounds around her neck and other parts of the body. Reports also claims that she was also threatened with a gun and that her family would soon become a target.
This level of trauma could cause anybody to break, leaving them mentally, emotionally and physically scared. These scars could create a bitter heart than would not heal without effect to the victim.
This young girl showed great strength after she was freed from her captor and the guilty party was facing charges. After being freed the courageous girl went to authorities and revealed enough detail to prove the crimes and point all of the evidence to the guilty.
"The level of details this victim could remember while she was enduring just unspeakable acts was simply amazing." Prosector Jane Young commented after hearing the young girl's story.
With all that, that is not the most courageous thing that this girl from New Hampshire has done: she openly forgave the man who kidnapped her, held her captive for months, and sexually assaulted her.
She publicly said to him, "Some people might call you a monster, but I've always looked at you as human."
That statement alone is extremely powerful! The whole world would see the captor as a soulless person with a bloodlust, but she was able to keep a compassionate side that saw her predator as a person who is hurting and in need of help.
This element of human decency separates her from so many people, which shows the true strength that she has and the strength that she chose to show to the world.
She continues by saying, "And I want you to know that even though life became a lot harder after that, but I still forgive you."
Even in midst of the most difficult time in her life, the young girl was able to set her pain and anguish aside and extend a heartfelt sign of love. By forgiving her abuser, she shows that love is truly more powerful than revenge or vengeance that stems from bitterness.
I applaud the strength and courage of this young lady who expressed compassion to a man that may have physically and mentally damaged her. I truly believe by showing this level of compassion she is healing from the trauma that she faced. When we showed compassion to her abuser she opened up a door of opportunities to him. He could begin to see his true value through her actions, causing him to change his ways.
The truth is we don't know the end of this story. We may never know the heart of stone that broke in the abuser's chest as forgiveness was granted to him. We may never know that enteral battle that he fights in his mind as he spends his time in incarceration. We may never know the moment he asks God for forgiveness, giving him a new life in Christ.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool for healing. It begins to mend the heart as we deal with the difficult times in our lives. The same forgiveness that heals us inside and out, also heals those that hurt us. When we express forgiveness to our offenders, we are showing them that they are valuable and worthy of love and compassion. Our display of forgiveness can compel the broken-hearted to see their true value, which in time can compel them to be free from their harmful past and can give them the opportunity to choose a different path.
With this we must ask: Who do you need to forgive? How are you going to show them that they have been forgiven for what they've done to you?
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.