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