Forgiveness is Everything

Emily - Merrimack, New Hampshire
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness

I believe in forgiveness. All the people I know make mistakes. If I am not willing to forgive my friends and family, even if they truly hurt me, I will not have a good relationship with anyone. However, I believe truly forgiving someone takes time. I need to know the person to whom I am extending forgiveness is really sorry.

In the little experience I have had in my seventeen years, I have found that relationships are based on trust. If I cannot trust someone with a second chance, then he or she is not a person worth forgiving anyway.

It all started in the Elliot hospital cafeteria while volunteering. I had just finished telling my best friend a big secret. She was the first I told.

“Please don’t tell anyone this,” I reminded her. She promised not to and I trusted her. For a month, I was safe, until…

“Fonnie, guess what I heard about you today!”

My stomach dropped when one of my teammates said this as I arrived at soccer practice. She proceeded to confirm that she knew exactly what I didn’t want her to know. Questioning her further, I discovered that my friend had divulged my secret. Anger welled up inside of me at the thought of this betrayal. When practice ended, I texted my friend. She admitted to her mistake. She apologized, but I couldn’t forgive her. I was still furious that she had betrayed my trust. I accepted her apology because I did not want our friendship to end over this, but this was just a face I put on. I could not bring myself to forgive her, however much I wanted to, because I did not think she felt any true remorse.

A month ago I opened my phone to a text from my friend. Teary eyed, I read the message saying how she wanted to write an essay about the terrible mistakes she had made. She couldn’t let it go that she had hurt me. Now I knew I could give her a second chance. Because it meant so much to her and she still felt badly, I forgave her. I did not just say “I forgive you,” but I believed it in my heart. My friend had made a mistake, and I was willing to give her a second chance. I felt like our friendship was back to where it was, and I could truly put the issue behind me.

Forgiveness is an important element in my life because everyone I know makes mistakes. I need to forgive the people I love and move on. If I didn’t forgive people I love for mistakes they have made, I could not have a close relationship with them. I need to have faith in them and everyone I know. Forgiveness is how I keep that faith and trust.

I believe in forgiveness because without it I would not have anyone to laugh with, to have fun with, or, most importantly, to love.