Learn How to Forgive from Unbroken

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I finished Unbroken and it brought back a lot of painful memories that I thought I had forgotten. But it taught me an important lesson. I realized I needed to learn how to forgive. It was painful to read through his torture. I was looking at the dates and wondering how he would survive. Each day was a struggle and when you thought his torture couldn’t get worse it would. But he forgave his captors.

Afghanistan wasn’t easy

While in Afghanistan there were two members that I worked with who did their best to break down my spirit. They constantly lied about the work we were doing. One morning the girl I worked with was in the office extremely early and their office happened to be right next to ours connected by a wooden wall. They spent an hour spewing lies about her, me and the other people we worked with. The stuff they concocted was unbelievable, but for some reason people all around the Forward Operating Base believed it.  I am not sure why they had a personal vendetta against us, but it hurt.

Although most of the things said about us were behind our backs, other times there were nasty emails sent about our incompetence. And then days later request for help from the very person who said we were not needed and irrelevant.

This picture was taken inside an MRAP on one of my first missions in Afghanistan. (March 2010)

This picture was taken inside an MRAP on one of my first missions in Afghanistan. (March 2010)

I think the lies spread hurt more because people actually believed them.

The Captain I was deployed with worked countless hours. Rising long before anyone knew she was in there. And at a meeting when our commander was fired she was told it was directly because she had not worked hard enough.

This hard working, diligent, intelligent woman had the wind knocked out of her and that day was her breaking point. Mine came a few weeks later while sitting in a meeting with a contractor. The girl causing so much pain and a few other people. She started telling lies. And something stirred so deep inside of me it scared me. I had to excuse myself from the meeting, facing mockery from the one I needed to get away from. I went to my office to find it empty and broke down.

Sometimes a good cry makes you feel better. Sometimes it makes all the frustration and hurt to dissipate a little. Somehow we made it through the last few months. I stopped reading emails written by her and her counterpart. And when I finally left my only thought was to never remember again.

My faith was challenged

I have been a Christian my whole life so I know I was taught to love. But you don’t realize how far away you can drift when you don’t have reinforcements. There was no Chaplin on our Forward Operating Base and most of the people I worked with were not Christians. It is hard to admit how much hate I had for the people who seemed to be making my life even harder than it already was.

[tweetthis]Louie forgave and I can too. #Unbroken #forgiveness @Airman2Mom[/tweetthis]

Time has passed, but I haven’t forgotten

So now, four years later. I am reading Louie’s story about how he was able to learn how to forgive the people who terrorized him. And I guess I realized I needed to do the same. Even though I thought I had forgotten, I still remember. And remembering is not bad because we are human, but the lack of forgiveness was still lingering inside of me and I could see where the root of my anger has been coming from.

Years have passed and the hurt is not so intense so forgiving comes a little bit easier. I have been praying for these two people to find God and hope if my path ever crossed with them I would be able to not feel the resentment and hurt. I will not let the anger caused by my deployment to stay with me any longer.

If Louie learn how to forgive, so can I. His story inspires me to be a better person. If you have not read Unbroken I highly recommend it.

The word for Tuesday at Ten this week goes with my post for today so I’m linking up. The word is Forgiveness. I think this post works perfectly.

Tuesday at 10: Finding the grace within

 

See more Tuesday at Ten link ups at Finding the Grace Within

I finished Unbroken and it brought back a lot of painful memories that I thought I had forgotten. But it taught me an important lesson. I realized I needed to learn how to forgive. It was painful to read through his torture. I was looking at the dates and wondering how he would survive. Each day was a struggle and when you thought his torture couldn’t get worse it would. But he forgave his captors. #forgive #unbroken #mystory

 

24 comments on “Learn How to Forgive from Unbroken

  1. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal part of your journey. I had no idea you went through that. I’ll be praying for you as you forgive these people <3

    • It is something I never wrote home about and never really talked about. It is a lot easier to forgive years later, but it was still something that needed to be done.

  2. Hi I’m visiting from Tuesday at Ten. So thankful you found a great role model in Louie. Christ is our greatest role model who gave Himself up for us and forgave it all. Blessings to you!

    • That was the best part of Unbroken for me. Reading how Christ changed his life. I realized if he could find a way to forgive through Christ I could too. I had to share my story because Louie helped me because he was brave enough to share his.

  3. Wow. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. I know from reading the book that the tactic of the enemy is to break you down with lies and make you feel invaluable and broken. That’s the tactic of our spiritual enemy too! I am so glad you were able to find healing and forgiveness, even if it was difficult to revisit some of those memories you have worked hard to forget. God bless you.

  4. Very true the devil does try to break us down through lies and making you feel broken. I am glad I was able to forgive and grow stronger through this experience.

  5. but you don’t realize how far away you can drift when you don’t have reinforcements – Wow, I cannot imagine – Satan loves to play with your mind for sure. People – good heavens why must they always be putting people down? I think y’all who have served see things differently from the rest of us – I envy you that.

    • I think we do while we are gone, but you quickly get back into the way things are in the US and forget. And then you read a book or watch a movie and something hits you and reminds you of all you have gone through. I will be forever changed, but I think the whole experience made me stronger and I love that I can share my story. Thanks for reading.

  6. Wow! I am so sorry that you had to go through that. And I am so happy that you were able to work through the hurt and find a way to forgive. I haven’t read the book but we did go see the movie and it was hard… well done… but hard! Amazing what the human spirit and body can endure when God still has plans for you!

    • I have heard the movie ends before his faith story begins. The best part of the book was seeing how his life was changed by Christ. I’m glad the book didn’t end where the movie stopped. He went through so much and I am thankful the movie brought the book so much publicity. I want to see the movie, but don’t think I can right now. I highly recommend the book.

  7. Being an ‘army bratt’ myself I often think about how my dad coped when he was away, he doesn’t really talk about it but I get the impression he had it hard sometimes too. I’ve not seen/read Unbroken. It’s one of those films I’m sure I should see but I just don’t know that I could. and I feel bad about that x

    • I don’t think you should feel bad, I want to see American Sniper to support it, but i know I can’t. It won’t help me and I already lived it. I think we try and keep our emotions hidden. In the military it is a male dominated world and emotions are considered a sign of weakness. That is why i think it is important to share the good and the bad.

  8. That must have been awful. People that were supposed to be your colleagues, on your side, who concocting BS lies to hurt and cause damage.
    I’m glad you’re alive and well to tell us this story.
    Thank you for your service.

    xo
    Lindsay

    • It was hard and has taken a long time to start trusting people again. Luckily the people around me helped me get through it and those friendships have lasted making all the pain and hurt worth it.

  9. Oh, wow! I’m so sorry you had to deal with such spiteful people in such a frightening situation. I loved Unbroken so much I listened to it twice over Christmas vacation. And you’re right, if Louie had the grace to forgive his torturers, who am I to begrudge forgiving someone who hurt my feelings or cheated me.

    • It makes you put it into perspective. If he can forgive people who tortured him is it really that hard to forgive someone you think wronged you. I applied it to my personal life as well and will continue to remember. His story is such an inspiration.

  10. So far I haven’t read Unbroken, but want to; but I don’t think I want to see the movie. You are brave – not only for what you went through “over there”; but in sharing your story now that you are home. And, to share how Louie’s story of forgiveness has affected your life and how you view forgiveness in your situation.

    I wrote about forgiving those who I felt wronged me through the years…but it certainly doesn’t compare at all with what you went through. Still..to see that there IS forgiveness in all things, through what Christ has done for us.

    Thank you for serving; thank you for sharing such a personal piece of your life!

    • I think forgiveness is hard in all circumstances. I have people I deal with on a regular basis who I have been trying to forgive as well. And since I see them it is a lot easier to know if I have truly forgiven them. I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂

  11. Thank you for this post. My Tuesday @ 10 post is about my own struggle at work with someone seeking to break me down with lies and slander…And, I am having a hard time letting it go. I really needed to read your post, and your words: “Louis forgave, and I can, too.”

    I saw the movie, what he went through, and was in awe of his capacity to work through & forgive.

    Thank you for the encouragement & the reminder.

    Blessings.

  12. It hit me pretty hard how much resent me i still had within me and I know that it is something I will continue to struggle with unless I let the past be in the past and forgive them for what they did. I am blessed that I don’t have to interact with them on a regular basis. Praying for you to find the forgiveness you need. I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂

    • Thanks I have come a long way toward healing and it is one of the things I am currently working on right now. I have even started praying for so many people I deployed with. It was a hard year, but I know in the end I will be better and stronger after going through it.

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