By Susan Sage
“Again? I can’t believe this.” Carolee struggled to put her key into the door. She jammed at the small space. Her hand shook. Her vision blurred, and she swiped at her eyes.
When she tried again, the door opened and a wide-eyed face peaked around. “I thought I’d open the door before you scratched the lock.” After her mom stepped back, Carolee moved through the entrance. Maggie grabbed a tissue, and handed it to her. “Rough day?”
“I’ll put on water for tea. Looks like we need a good long talk.” Maggie stepped into the kitchen.
The kettle clanged and the water turned on and off while Carolee walked down the hall to the bathroom. She leaned against the door after closing it, then washed her face and stood looking in the mirror for a moment. Carolee breathed in and released the air several times. Then she retraced her steps into the front room.
Maggie had just put the steaming cups on the table when Carolee joined her.
“She did it again. Rachel stabbed me in the back. Why does this always happen to me? All my life, I’ve had so called friends who turn on me.” Carolee grabbed another tissue and dabbed her eyes and nose.
Maggie sat watching, waiting for her daughter to continue.
“I told you about the big project for our boss, right?”
“The one about finding donations for the children’s club?”
“Yes. I found a large donation possibility. We’re always supposed to get approval before approaching anyone officially. Rachel and I had lunch together and in my excitement about my meeting with Mr. Jorger … I told her all about it.” Carolee drew in a ragged breath took and a sip of tea. “I know better. Why did I tell her? I know we’re partners but …”
“What did she do?”
“We had driven in separate cars. I don’t know how but, she got back to the office first. By the time I could return to my desk, retrieve my notebook, and go to the meeting, she’d beat me to it. When I walked in, she was telling him everything I had just told her. She made it sound like she found the contact herself. He gave her my promotion …” Carolee broke down sobbing.
“Oh, Carolee …”
“You know how hard I’ve worked for that. I arranged her job interview. I wish I hadn’t … oh how I wish I hadn’t.” Carolee lowered her chin to her chest, clutching the tissue at her eyes.
She felt pressure on her wrist and then felt her arm pulled down to the table. She looked up at her mom.
“Carolee, I know this is hard, but in this moment, you have to make a decision. You have options. You can go to your boss and tell him what she did. You can face her and tell her what you think. You can sit here and nurse feelings of anger. Or you can, before the disappointment and hurt dig their roots into your soul, take it to Christ and choose to forgive her.”
“You and your forgiveness. That’s always your answer, isn’t it?”
“Forgiveness isn’t easy. It costs us something because it cost Christ.”
“What does it cost us?
“The willingness to let go of offense, anger, and pride we think we have a right to hold on to. We like to nurture our hurts but all we’re doing is giving them fertilizer to take up more space inside.”
“You know a lot about being betrayal.”
“Oh Carolee, when your father walked out I thought life was over. Thankfully, over time, God helped me deal with the bitterness. Since then, He’s shown me not to even let those roots gain ground no matter the situation. Forgiveness disentangles the deepest stems and frees my heart for more of God’s perspective. I don’t always understand how but I know it works. I just know it’s better to do it early than to let it steep.” She picked up her tea, took a sip, and returned the cup to the table.
“What do you think God’s doing in this? How’s He going to work this out?”
“I don’t know, but if you respond in forgiveness, your heart opens to what He wants to teach you. Ask Him. He promises wisdom when we need.”
Maggie picked up her tea, patted her daughter’s hand, and left the room.
Carolee took what felt like a cleansing breath and bowed her head. “Okay God, show me how to do this thing called forgiveness.”
About the Author
New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.
She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.
You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can read Susan's flash fiction on the 2nd Thursday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.
Don't forget to save the date of Saturday, March 24th which is our online party here at the magazine. We'll be hosting a chat in the forum, sharing interviews with our monthly columnists, and giving away prizes in our drawing. We hope you stop by to join the party!