And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)

Release any negative, limiting, or self-defeating beliefs buried in your subconscious too. These beliefs may be about life, love, or yourself. Beliefs create reality. (Melody Beattie)

We had some time today between saying good-bye to our son and daughter-in-law, and heading to say hello to my sister and her kids in Burbank for the rest of the week. 

We did some more research and found my step-father’s gravesite. So we took the time to find him before heading to the airport.

This pilgrimage was an unexpected, unplanned passage of release. 

A whole lifetime of beliefs about myself were wrapped up in this one person. A man who loved and raged. A person, who was a beloved husband and father, and a marine. A human being who was broken and broke hearts.

He died eleven years ago, and I had forgiven him seven times seventy times, but I never released him.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I remembered him this week. And that we were staying close enough to the cemetery to make this trek of closure. 

When I walked up to the etched, marble slab under the stark iron tree, which cast shadows over his name, a great release of sobs poured out. Layers of grief and unbelief shed, like the tears coursing down my cheeks.

I ran my finger across the outline of the cross. That cross engraved above his name somehow erased years of debt. 

I didn’t need to blame myself or him anymore for the heartache that brokenness forced upon us. 

The potential for redemption was outside of us, not within us, as I had believed for too many years.

I release….

I believe….

Rest in peace.

10 thoughts on “Release

  1. Thank you for making this journey. For documenting it and for sharing it.

    Release… thank you.

    I remember iron trees from the woods we played in. Fitting for this unyielding man, now softened by the shadow of a life giving tree form juxtaposed against evergreen varieties that bend and yield with their own strength.

    Such power in the symbols of this stretch of your journey: mountains, snow, white roses, tire chains, second chances. I am thankful for your faithful husband who journeyed with you and honored your need and stuck with you until the mission was accomplished.

    And the wisdom that redemption comes from without not within: freedom.

    Thanks for paying attention and for being you!



    PS “Dad” is putting the hitch on my van. I hope he doesn’t use bubble gum alone!

  2. This is one of you most eloquent and insightful posts. Thank you for sharing this life lesson and the picture capturing the tree’s shadow is amazing!

    1. Thank you Rhonda…as always I’m amazed at the timing and the prompting of God’s work in my heart and then how he uses it to encourage others. Yes, I was captured by that tree and shadow…God used that moment to heal me, too.

  3. Kel, what a sweet gift from Jesus in the ‘just so happened’ circumstances of this trip. My birth father left my mother and my siblings when I was 5 years old and I found out over 20 years ago he’s buried in South Dakota. Some day I’m going to make that trip…..

  4. Beautiful, poignant, and important post. I do so “get this.” The lifetime of beliefs about oneself being so tied up in an emotionally powerful person. The difference between the repeated forgiving and the release. And that “the potential for redemption was outside of us, not within us, as I had believed for too many years.”
    No, it was not mere coincidence. What a blessed gift from God. Thanks for passing sharing it.

I love a dialogue. Be the first to start a discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: