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Mary Johnson is a 59 year old woman whose 20 year old son was shot to death in 1993 during an argument at a party. When the person who murdered her son, O’Shay Israel, was released from jail he decided to move back into his old neighborhood.
Two years prior to being released from jail, Mary met O’Shay for the first time. To O’Shay’s disbelief, Mary forgave him for what he had done, started a clean slate with him, and they met regularly after that.
When O’Shay got out of jail Mary introduced him to her landlord and he ended up moving in next door. When asked about why Mary decided to forgive O’Shay, she said that “Unforgiveness is like cancer, it will eat you from the inside out. Me forgiving him does not diminish what he has done. The forgiveness is for me”.
If you’re struggling to forgive someone in your life, remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that what the other person did was acceptable. Forgiving is for you to heal your heart and it can have a profound affect on your life. Although Mary’s example is extreme, there is still a valuable lesson to be learned that you can apply in your life.