Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your Christmas day was as enjoyable and rewarding as mine. My day began at 5:30 in the morning, tip-toeing around the house as I put on layers of thick hunting gear, preparing for the bitterness of 4 degree weather. Mom is already up, dancing around in the kitchen and working her magic with food. Dad comes into the living room with just as many layers on as myself. It seems like the perfect Christmas morning.
With as many hours I spent in the woods yesterday, it gave me some time to think. My family had gone to the midnight church service for Christmas mass and the words from the Lord’s prayer resounded through my mind; “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” As I was sitting in the midst of God’s creation, the peacefulness of the woods, this is all I could think about.
Every Sunday I say these words but not until this moment did I think about the depth of them. How can we ask for forgiveness if we ourselves cannot forgive those who have wronged us? Every night I ask God to make me more Christ-like, to make me a better Christian, and to forgive me for my transgressions. And yet, I can’t forgive someone who has hurt me? How hypocritical is that?
As the hours in the woods passed (and as the numbness in my toes grew increasing worse), I dwelt on that thought. I had held onto the pain and hurt that someone had caused me for nearly a year now. This led me to think about the meaning of Christmas. Christ was born so that he could die for the forgiveness of our sins.
And so, in the spirit of Christmas, I let go of my hurt—and I forgave. It was like a heavy weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I could breathe again. Now, make no mistake. Forgiving is not forgetting. Forgiving makes you strong, forgetting makes you weak. Ignorance is not bliss, people.
In this Christmas season, take the time to forgive people who have hurt you. And, ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt. You would be surprised by how weightless you feel afterward.
It was as though God recognized the strength it took for me to forgive this person, because just moments later I was blessed to have 3 bucks walk out in front of me! They were all small, maybe a year old, so I didn’t shoot. It was such a gift to see these beautiful creatures in front of me. This is the one place where the world seems perfect. In today’s world, where shootings are occurring on a weekly basis, it’s nice to escape to the woods where none of that exists.
Thank God for everything you have been fortunate enough to have. Friends, family, everything. I wish you all a Merry Christmas season! Stay safe and keep checking back for new posts!
-Your Miss Outdoor Girl…