When we hear “Pray for your enemies.” We tend to think we need to pray for their well-being and blessings. I mean, you can if you want to. What I’m talking about is praying for them to find Jesus and repent for their evil ways. Forgiving your enemies and praying for them cleanses your soul. Praying for them isn’t asking God to bless them. They can pray for blessings themselves. Pray that they stop hurting others and themselves through their sin. Pray that they find Jesus and serve him.
It took many years to do this myself. I remember just four years ago a coworker preaching this to me about my mother, who at the time wasn’t speaking to me. I told my coworker what my mother had done to me that really hurt me. She told me to pray for her, and I remember saying “I can’t. Not right now, I just can’t.” I couldn’t bring myself to pray for her. I didn’t fully understand that I could have prayed for her to change her heart and turn to Jesus. I definitely needed to because she really needed Jesus and I dropped the ball there. At the time, I had hate for my mother and I guess I needed a prayer myself. I was not as close to God at that time as I am today. It was the beginning of learning about Jesus and me turning away from new-age beliefs. It wasn’t until her death 2 years later that began my journey toward Christ and it’s an amazing story.
The early morning of April 26th, 2020 I was laying in bed. I was sad because I was about to graduate college for the second time. Considering I wasn’t on good terms with my mother, I was still really hoping that she would come through for me and show up to my graduation. She never showed up for my first one, nor did she call to congratulate me. It really hurt that she would be so cold. I was feeling bad for myself and really going through a lot because of the pandemic and trying to get through my final semester. A big opportunity fell through because of everything and I was in a dark place. I felt alone and unsure of the future. As I was laying there, I felt God ask me a question. “Do you forgive your mother?” I felt an urgency to answer the question right away, but I didn’t. “I can’t answer that right now.” I was hurt, and just couldn’t. I turned over and tried to forget about it.
What happened after that was a series of events I won’t list in detail because it would make this entirely too long, despite it all happening within just a few moments. In a nutshell, I saw someone being judged by what looked like nuns standing in a circle. It was overwhelming. I opened my eyes. I closed them again I saw another set of nuns and felt another urgency to start chanting “Forgive us for our sins. Let us do right by you, Lord. Forgive us for our sins.” So I went with it and started to repeat those exact words. The next thing I know my phone started to play Sade’s “Kiss of Life.” I wasn’t listening to music, but the song started to play on its own. I listened to the words. Something was speaking to me through the lyrics. As I lay there, I felt this overwhelming feeling of intense love and acceptance. It was like nothing I ever felt before. It felt like all the love I never received in my childhood, was given to me at that moment. I remember knowing at that moment that it was exactly that. The lack of love was returning to me all at once. It was a feeling I can’t even put into words. It was an insane amount of love. Never before have I felt something so deep and comforting. I felt the physical embrace of a hug and it felt amazing. I cried and cried. I didn’t want this feeling to end, but eventually, it did. My husband came to bed a few minutes later and I told him what happened. He said, “That was Jesus.” I agreed.
About 10 days later my aunt called me and told me that my mom had passed away. I thought back to the day I had my encounter with Jesus, I wondered if it was the same day she passed and it was. She died on April 26th. She requested that I not be notified of her death or even attend her funeral.
That overwhelming feeling I felt when I was surrounded by the nuns could have very well been my mother having to answer for her sins. I remember being relieved that I was able to open my eyes and be able to leave that uncomfortable situation. I remember thinking that someone is still there and can’t leave. That someone was my mother. Looking back on it, I wish I answered God when he asked if I forgive her. It took me a while, but I’m at the point where I really do forgive my mother for all she has done to me throughout my life. They say when you forgive, you don’t mention it again and I won’t at this time.
Everything that happened that night was validation that Jesus is real. After that, I gave my life to Christ and accepted him as my lord and savior. I grew up Muslim and my mother and her family were Muslims. I never resonated with Islam, so as soon as I was on my own at 17, I renounced Islam. I always believed in God, but not Islam. I tried learning about different religions and took a lot of philosophy courses in college, but after that night it was clear that Jesus was who was with me my whole life and He is who I need to follow. He came to me at the exact moment I needed him but he was with me my whole life. He made that clear that night. There were many instances where I had flashbacks of times he protected me from certain situations. Times where I said to myself “How did I make it through that?” I had to go through what I needed to to get to this point. Jesus speaks to me all the time, especially when I need him the most.
So now that I know better, I do better. I am not perfect by any means, but I pray for my enemies. They get on my everlasting nerves but I have to pray for them. They need Jesus too. Just like I needed him my whole life. Just like my mother needed him, but never got a chance to know him. If they had him, they wouldn’t be hurting others. They don’t know they are hurting themselves with their self-destructive behavior.
I want to encourage you to pray for your enemies as well. Pray for anyone you may come across that you see needs Jesus. It will not only change their life but yours as well. God bless you.
let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:7
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God bless you 🙏🏽
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