It was 12 years ago today that I was happily driving home from picking up some supplies for my brother's birthday when another vehicle hit me. I was just a few weeks pregnant with my firstborn Evan. The young man who hit me was drunk, very very drunk.
And in the blink of an eye, my life changed.
Evan was too little to have been hurt, thankfully, but my body wasn't so lucky. This accident left me unable to work, with severe debilitating migraines, in constant pain, with a 3 year lawsuit and a big dose of bitterness.
"Why me?" Ever ask that question?
For years, I didn't realize that the pain growing in my heart was far worse than the physical pain I was constantly in. I was angry, all the time. Angry that this had happened to me; angry that I was in pain; angry that I couldn't do the simplest of things without suffering. I was unaware that this had entangled me, till one day Hamish and I were at the lawyer's office, for another meeting and my husband broke down in tears and told the lawyer that all he wanted was his wife back. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had allowed this accident to change me, to have an effect on my marriage and it was all coming from this bitterness lodged firmly in my heart.
This bitter root was growing.
Waiting for the pain to subside or the symptoms to decrease was no solution. I needed "heart surgery", and fast. Although I considered myself a strong woman of faith and an overcomer, this battle was too much. The pain was relentless.
I needed forgiveness and hope.
I needed to forgive the young guy who hit me. I needed to believe that somehow this situation would be used for good. I needed to find hope to experience peace.
Hope did come when I realized that when I was blaming this driver for having caused me years of pain and grief, I kept the story going. I was choosing to let these events dictate how I lived my life, how I behaved towards by husband and children and how, by not taking responsibility for those reactions, I was hurting myself and others. I needed to let it go, let him go. So one day, in the quiet of my living room on Snowdrop Avenue, while my boys were napping, I let him go; I forgave the drunk driver. I decided that from this day forward my husband had me back. My boys could have a Maman who laughed even though she was in constant pain. Did my symptoms diminish because I forgave the driver: nope.
But my heart changed. It was no longer poisoned by thinking that blaming him would bring me peace. Offering that driver forgiveness brought me peace.
As I believe that simplicity and beauty flow from the inside out, and as we are in the Christmas season, my prayer for you is that peace fills your heart. A peace that settles the fiercest of anger. A peace that comforts as it floods your heart. A peace that passes all understanding. The choice is yours.
Will you take responsibility and let "it" go to welcome peace in?