Choosing to Forgive

I needed to choose to forgive my neighbor last night. In fact, CJ and I prayed together within an hour or so and said that we forgave her, after the police incident.

After reading MIA's comment though, it made me think, about showing her forgiveness too. I had already spoken with her in the past. Explaining our situation, offering specific times of the day that we could remain "extra" quiet. I wanted to find a way to compromise on our living situations. Back then, she had agreed to stop banging so much.

Truth be told, she speaks VERY loudly and when she is out on her porch, and our screen door is open, we hear much. I know that she is suffering from all sorts of issues. She is reactive and angry. She is a single mom of two boys of her own, with a teen nephew living with her. I have overheard that she is unhappy with her job. And even heard that her church gathered money to help her pay for her rent. She is an unhappy woman.

And while, her actions and reactions to my children are still wrong, it is being done out of anger towards her own life. I am sure if I was exhausted and had nothing left inside of me to give, that the sound of thumping feet and children playing loudly, would rub me the wrong way. I bet that if I had little money, three boys to feed and a workplace that was unfriendly, I would be a bit irritable at a vacuum running above me. Her life is hard. I believe it.

I attempted a peace offering today, with a card and a treat, and placed it on her door. I did talk with my landlord, who was kind and understanding to us.

And through out the day, I chuckled at the fact that a police officer was at my home last night. I giggled over and over again at MomTeacherFriend's experiment. But mostly, I pondered at forgiving my neighbor and trying to understand her circumstances.


  1. Good call!
    I thought of our imaginary neighbor throughout the day. Sometimes it was as a snaggle tooth old lady with no compassion, other times I saw her as a lonely person in need of Christ love. While it was easy to feel resentful over the implied restrictions "she" put on us, I found that it is a choice. We can take our problem people and resent them or we can see them as angry, hurt people who Christ loves and died for. I remember something our pastor often says, "Treat everyone you lock eyes with as if they matter to God, because the truth is, they do."
    I have a lot of respect for your whole situation and how you are choosing to forgive and love. You rock!

  2. Not an easy choice...but I believe God gave you insight. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers". I believe that as you walk in obedience to what he has asked, laying aside your concerns, you WILL see the fruit of HIS BLESSING! What a witness you are being to others and more specifically to your boys. Praying for you...and hoping to see you soon!

  3. B ~ Great series of posts! And Great series of choices. Good for you that you allowed yourself to be frustrated and protective over your home and your boys, but better for you that you chose to rise above your "natural" response and take it to a higher plane. And thank you for the reminder that annoying or angry people are really hurting and hopeless people. Your example is a great reminder to me as I'm walking through a particularly hard time with a difficult relationship in my life right now. Blessings to you all and I'm praying for supernatural insulation between the floor of your apt. and the ceiling of hers :) Hugs . . . .

  4. I just caught up on your last couple of posts (and MomTeacherFriend's as well). I can't imagine what you have to do to try and get the kids to quiet down. You shouldn't have to, but it's wonderful that you empathize with your neighbors troubles. Being Jesus to her can only rack up treasures in Heaven for you and , better yet, witness to her. Good for you!

    And by the way, thank you soooo much for the prayer you wrote for me!! That made my day!

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm sorry the post about abortion upset you. It upsets me too but so many people are ignorant about this ugly issue and need to be informed.
    Your post could have been mine. I have a neighbor that I have tried to befriend on more than one occassion but she is not interested.
    Her hateful behavior really made me angry at first, then I realized how unhappy she must be to be so mean to someone she doesn't even know, and I prayed for her. We still don't have a relationship, but I'm not hurt or angry anymore. Forgiveness is so important. Thanks for the reminder.