“Amish Grace”

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Change, Church, Forgiven, Generation Conference 2010, God, Jesus, Life, Lifetime Movies, Loving others, overcoming

I spent this past Thursday night with my mom watching LMN (tha’ts: Lifetime Movie Network for those of you who are not familiar). The movie we watched was called Amish Grace. In summary, it’s based off of the true story of a man who went into a one room school house in Pennsylvania, shooting and killing the children in that school; then taking his own life.

No doubt as I sat there watching this, I cried like a little baby. It was intense. One of the main characters, Ida, is someone who we all can relate to. Her eldest daughter, Mary Beth, lost her life in the shooting. Throughout the movie, you see her struggle to forgive the man who took her daughter from her. The rest of the Amish community surrounds the family of the shooter, with love and acceptance. In one scene, three men from the Amish community arrive at the wife’s house and give their condolences for her loss as well and tell her that they hold no anger against her and her family for what her husband, Charlie, had done. That scene blew my mind. Here are these people, who just lost a good piece of their community from this mans rampage, yet they forgave.

Yet Ida is not so forgiving. We watch her go through the stages of grief in this movie. Yet the movie makes such an incredible point. Where Ida remains in her grief is the anger stage. You watch her go from this loving mother and wife, to a bitter woman who cannot find it in her to forgive. Her husband constantly tells her that it is her duty as a woman of God to forgive the man who killed her child and the children of her friends.

This movie really hit home with me. I watched this woman face the struggles of being able to forgive this man, and I saw so much of myself in Ida. I do not know if I could forgive someone who took my child from me in such a way.

You know, in Christianity a huge part of our faith is the whole forgiveness thing. It’s something people try and run away from when it’s their turn to have to deal out the forgiveness. I’ve been there. People have hurt me in the past, to the extent of just me seeing them placed me in tears and anxiety overcame my body. Does that sound intense? yeah of course it does. But I let that hurt fester in me for too long without properly dealing with it. They were people I told myself I would never be able to forgive. That’s the truth. I’m not able to forgive those people. But when I remember God and what He wants of me, I am. It wasn’t on my own I that I forgave them either. God placed them in my heart, said it was time to let go of the hurt. I stood there for a good five minutes arguing with Him about it too. I told Him there was no way I could do it. But He’s persistent in those moments we need Him most. I remember clearly Him saying to me “you’re really going to argue this one with me Jess? You need to let it go. Trust Me on this”. So finally I surrendered, said the prayer that the Pastor was saying for us to repeat, and then I broke. I felt that chain of un-forgiveness coming off of me. It was overwhelming.

So what does this have to do with Amish Grace? everything. This whole entire community of Amish people were able to forgive this man’s family and the man himself for walking into that school house and shooting. Forgiveness is something we MUST do as Christians.

Let. It. Go


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