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Forgiveness – Starting Over, 10/21/04

by LauraBelle

Forgiving isn’t something any of us like doing, but to move forward with our lives, we must do it. Otherwise we spend every day in hatred and sadness, and that’s not a fun place to spend any time, let alone every day of our lives.

When Kim was searching for a place inside her from which to pull forgiveness, Iyanla gave her Psalm 139 to read while she journaled at night. She’s simply writing and reading, but this night changes Kim’s life.

Kim wakes up the next morning a new person. She says that while she was writing she listened for the first time in her life. The voice she heard back was God’s. The Psalm basically says, “Show me what I need to see,” and God showed her that night.

Jennifer wakes up angry and not close to forgiving. Iyanla has given her a new routine to follow every day, and it requires her to wake up at 6:15. The first thing she is to do on her new schedule is to work out. After this she is to shower, but she is only given a total of fifteen minutes to shower, get dressed, and finish getting ready. Next, Jennifer is to read and write in her journal. The allotted time for this is much more than she is given to get ready, and this just doesn’t make sense to her.

While Jennifer is journaling, Josie is feeding Chloe, and Sinae is roasting a marshmallow over the stovetop, of all bizarre things. Kim begins redoing her Mission Boards representing what she would like out of her relationships with her sister, her stepmom, and her stepdaughters. She says now she has listened, understood, and really got it. Maybe it’s just me, but Kim looks absolutely stunning today. No matter how much makeup she had before, she was never so beautiful as she is right now.

Sinae shows Rhonda her homework which was to draw a posterboard-sized map of her school. Rhonda tells Sinae it’s time now to test her independence at school. She will bring the map, and show Rhonda around the school.

Iyanla and Jennifer meet after Jennifer is done journaling. When she complains about her new routine, Iyanla tells her a daily routine is good for discipline and safety, and that you keep your mind, body and spirit healthy with a routine. Asked if she has written her intention for the day, Jennifer says yes, and her intention is to practice being herself, and forget about what she is “supposed” to do.” She finally got it this morning. Jennifer says she wants to be happy, and not feel like she’s dragging around five hundred pounds of burden. Iyanla tells her her daddy is her biggest burden. Very slowly and deliberately, she tells Jennifer, “Your daddy isn’t coming back … ever.”

In the kitchen, Kim tells Towanda, “That prayer wasn’t a prayer for wimps,” referring to the psalm Iyanla had her read the night before. She tells her she asked God to show her who she is, and what she needs to to. She feels that at one point in her life a disconnection happened with her brain and her heart.

Iyanla is still with Jennifer, and tells her when her dad left for prison, she was a twelve-year-old girl, and how she’s a twenty-two-year-old woman, acting like she’s still ten. She needs to introduce the twenty-two-year-old to Dad, that he would want to know her. Jennifer asks what if she does not want to believe that, and Iyanla tells her that is the ten-year-old talking, and asks what the twenty-two-year-old wants. Jennifer’s immediate reply is that she wants to be happy. “I need to take responsibility for my actions, feelings and self,” she says. Iyanla tells Jennifer that instead of feeling angry about Mom and Dad not being there for her, to think about who was there … herself. Iyanla also asks if she has celebrated the fact that she is still there. Her last powerful words are, “Shut your mouth, get in line, and let’s move.”

Sinae and Rhonda arrive at La Sierra University, and Rhonda asks Sinae to show her all of her favorite spots by using the map. Sinae says, “I don’t need the map,” and directs Rhonda into the History Majors building where she spends most of her her time. Since the School of Business is close to the boys dorm, Sinae calls it the place to find dates. She also says there’s a park there where the boys take girls to make out. She admits to being in the park with two boys before. In the Housing office they pick up forms for Sinae to fill out to apply for off-campus housing, furthering her independence.

Jennifer and Iyanla are still talking, and this time Iyanla pushes further. Earlier Jennifer had sent her dad an audio tape of herself, but it was returned because the inmates aren’t allowed to receive them. Iyanla suggests transcribing the tape to a written letter. She plans to write as a twenty-two-year-old and tell him she’s sorry it has taken so long for her to forgive him. There is another person Jennifer wants to forgive, and that’s her friend, Jessica. Jennifer stopped talking to her because Jessica’s boyfriend treats her like crap.

Rhonda tells Sinae to catch the bus at 12:30 at a certain corner, and meet her at the address she is giving her on a note. Sinae says she could walk there; it’s close enough, and she knows the way. Rhonda insists on the bus. Sinae waits at the bus stop, and admits to some fear, because the people at school don’t know her sight is poor enough to use a cane, and she doesn’t even know if this bus will take her to the address given to her by Rhonda. She will need to ask the bus driver.

Iyanla and Kim finally meet. Kim says, “I asked, and I am humbled.” She tells Iyanla she was answered by journaling and prayer. She did no thinking, only listening for three hours. She learned the way she acted was not pleasing to God, and that she can’t have a relationship based in anger. God told her he would take her as she is. He told her he needs her to do his work through her. Iyanla tells her he answered her questions because they were appropriate. Kim’s old refrain of, “Why me?” was not an appropriate question.

Kim tells Iyanla that she was stuck on emotional safety before, but now she is ready to completely give up control. She shows Iyanla her new inspired Mission Boards for her sister, stepmom and stepdaughters, and Iyanla says she is speechless. She says the boards are open, honest and heartfelt, and says, “See what a difference a day makes when you let God in?” She ends the session giving Kim an assignment in unconditional love and giving. She wants her to give or do something for every woman in the house, and explain to them why she wanted to do or give that one thing to them.

Sinae catches her bus as planned, and arrives at an ice cream shop to meet Rhonda, who has been joined by Rusty and his guide dog, Rowdie. Despite being sight-challenged, Rusty is a student and teacher, and received his Master’s Degree at Sinae’s school. Sinae, Rusty and Rowdie go inside to have a little ice cream and swap stories. Sinae admits to him that she was afraid to admit her blindness and use her cane at school, but not anymore. She says Rusty makes her feel so at ease, and she is happy to be building a support network.

Kim sees Towanda in serious pain with André gone, and wants to find a way to help her, to give to her, for her assignment. Towanda is so down, she can’t think of any way for Kim to help. Kim moves on to Josie and Chloe and tells Josie she wants to set up a college fund for Chloe to be sure that she has the same chance at college that Josie received from her grandma.

Kim finds Jennifer stressing over making the call to Jessica to ask for forgiveness. Kim sits with her and encourages her every step of the way. Jennifer makes the call and tells Jessica, “I never really blamed you.” She apologizes and says she doesn’t want a guy to come between them. Jennifer makes note after the call of how extra kind Kim is today.

In her final act of giving this day, Kim gives her Tiffany necklace to Towanda. Towanda keeps saying, “No, not your necklace,” but Kim insists, saying that Towanda has the matching bracelet, and if Towanda wears it onstage, she’ll know Kim’s heart is with her.

Watching Oprah years ago, she said forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting your pain, it means acknowledging the other person’s pain. Jennifer did just that, calling Jessica. When Kim does this as well with her sister, it will be an amazing moment.

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