God is Great.
There has been so much growth and love in my heart that I am amazed. God's grace has lifted so much sadness and pain from my heart. A few years ago I lost a cousin to cancer. My sister and I drove to Chicago for the funeral. I rarely see my extended family. I love them but like so many families we don't see each other except for funerals.
Of the group of us who grew up together, I am the youngest by more than 4 years. In my extended family, there was a great deal of abuse, addictions, incest, rape, prison. I mean, you name it and someone in my family probably did it. So, this week I realized that the molestation I endured at the hand of one of my cousins was a lesion which was passed on to him. He is just a cog in the wheel. No, I am not excusing him, but I see things differently. I see him as a victim as well. I see him as a teen with too much of the wrong information. I was able to see him through an adult lens.
I saw a man killing himself with a drug addiction and it made me sad for him. I don't wish that sort of pain on anyone. I saw him as someone trying to dull his pain. I did not want to add on to that. I was able to forgive him. I called him a few weeks later and told him so. And while his response was flippant, a few months later he had gone to rehab, joined a church and a work program and looked so much better.
I do not assume that any of his progress had anything to do with me. But, I am so glad that God lifted that pain from my spirit. I thing that He did the same for my cousin. I am so amazed by His grace.