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“If you knew how God could use your suffering—if you understood the heavenly “cash” you possess in your suffering—you would lose your fear and would actually embrace it, for even your very offering has been redeemed.”

-from When You Suffer

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From Blaming to Forgiving by Henri Nouwen

Our most painful suffering often comes from those who love us and those we love. The relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, teachers and students, pastors and parishioners – these are where our deepest wounds occur. Even late in life, yes, even after those who wounded us have long since died, we might still need help to sort out what happened in these relationships.

The great temptation is to keep blaming those who were closest to us for our present, condition saying: “You made me who I am now, and I hate who I am.” The great challenge is to acknowledge our hurts and claim our true selves as being more than the result of what other people do to us. Only when we can claim our God-made selves as the true source of our being will we be free to forgive those who have wounded us.

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