Day 3 – Valleys of Death

My mom said a strange thing to me once.

She said that when I was growing up I never held grudges, didn’t carry resentment.

I’d get in trouble for something, get punished, and then I’d move on.

Every morning was a new day for me, and I just didn’t remember any of the problems or pains of the past.

That was super helpful to learn and I realized that it’s still 90% true of me.

I don’t know why.

But compared to others in my life (my beautiful bride, for one) it’s almost a superpower. I don’t really think of it like that, it just is the way I am.

[Edit: Well, I said I’d make mistakes and that this was going to be edited lightly! In retrospect, this post sounded like I said my beautiful bride holds grudges. NOT what I meant to say. What I meant is that generally the stress of yesterday doesn’t carry over for me, while for her it tends to. Sorry honey!]


There have been a few phases in life where crushing grief, shame, guilt, or anxiety would never leave me. My own travels through “valleys of death.”

But pain has a way of increasing motivation: I learned from those times!

  1. I learned what it’s like to walk a mile in someone’s shoes with more frequent bouts of these pains. That was really good, and Terry will tell you that it helped our marriage actually. When I truly began to understand what she had gone through.
  2. I didn’t like it and so another in-born character trait came out. I studied like crazy. I would order books off of Amazon like they were in a closing out sale! I’d read widely about how to solve these problems:
      • Brain health,
      • Exercise,
      • Nutrition,
      • Medicine,
      • Religion,
      • Theology,
      • Negotiation,
      • Management,
      • All of it….
      • Anything that attracted my attention I’d read and try.
  3. So, I’ve tried lots of things. Some weird, some ineffective, some mildly effective, and… the gold: stuff that worked much better than I thought it would.

And the entire time, I’d integrate what I learned with what the Bible said. You see, I’m a theologian first. I don’t know what that means to you, but to me it means that that’s the lens that everything is filtered through.

Today I wanted to contextualize some of what’s coming up… hope you understand better where I’m coming from.  And how I learned so much about forgiveness.

Pain is powerful teacher, if you let it.

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  1. I agree, if we do not know what others are going through we can not understand why they may do the things that they do. We should not judge them or hold a grudge. We should pray for more understanding and love.

  2. Very insightful. I was also like that. I still am. I attracted a , narcissistic abuser. I’m still healing. Yes, hurt people, hurt people. You can forgive, but Only God can heal them. But.. they have to own their issues and want to change. I realize the sinner I am. No grudges, but sometimes, letting go is the answer. Thank you, such a beautiful article!!!!

  3. I so related to this! Sounds like my life & I learn more good about it each day . I look forward to your post tomorrow.
    To share & walk life together with Jesus is a gift that should be treasured 😊🙏🏼
    Blessings & love 💕

  4. Growing up, beatings were a daily ritual at 3 I was introduced to being sexually abused by array of many people throughout many years. During my early 30s I finally realized sex wasn’t love. I gave my life to Jesus in my 30s, now 56 I truly know what love, sacrifice, patience and joy really are.
    Many books read self help how to better myself, but only the Holy Spirit speaking to me as I read the Word did I grow and heal. My past has taught me so much about myself and I see the same pain I had, in others that Jesus brings into my life. An orthopedic surgeon gets better by practicing what he has learned. We as children of God who have been called, have experience from our past and have practiced what Jesus done for us because of LOVE. Iron sharpens iron. Be the person God called you to be and be the answer to someone’s prayers.

  5. I too was married to a abuser
    Emotional physical verbal
    He was a drug addict alcoholic
    Not quite sure why I was even with him but he ruined me !

  6. This really helped me. I had a terrible thing happen to me when I was 11yrs old. I didn’t tell my mom until I was 21. She believed me and said I should forgive the person. I never told the person I I forgive, but I have said to myself I I forgive him. Yet when I think about him, I get very angry. I feel like that helpless little girl again. Just a few days ago I thought of what happened to me and I couldn’t stop crying. I found myself wondering if I truly forgave him. I need prayer.

  7. I liked what you wrote I learned from my Mom about forgiveness, to move on. She would say unforgivingness is like a sickness she would always say don’t hold onto things just let it go,move on it’s for your best interest