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March 1st marks the First Day of Women's History Month and I am thrilled to experience the depth of insight and wisdom from my spiritual sisters throughout this month. Drawing from the rich well of faith that lives within the women of our congregation encourages me to set my focus FORWARD! Peggy Beaman is a treasured mentor and someone I deeply respect. Her honesty about navigating past-perceptions of forgiveness is relatable and her heart to "forgive forward" like Christ is so admirable.
Marilisa Sachinger
Forgiving Forward 
By Peggy Beaman
Over the years God has carried me through some difficult times of pain
and hurt in my relationships. Forgiveness has not always come easily
and at times, has felt impossible. I know I need to forgive but often
don’t know how.

I grew up with the concept that forgiveness was achieved through
penance; as if I could pay off the debt of my sin. Have I transferred this
concept to my relational wounds? When I am wronged, rather than
forgiving, do I feel the offender owes me a debt?

This is the whole point of the cross. Jesus paid the debt for my sins AND
for those who sin against me. The debt is already forgiven and paid in
full. When I don’t forgive I am saying that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.
“But the one who had his debt forgiven stubbornly refused to forgive
what was owed him. He had his fellow servant thrown into prison and
demanded he remain there until he repaid the debt in full.”
Matthew 18:30 TPT

The most amazing part is that Jesus paid off the debt BEFORE we even
sinned. Is it possible that we can learn to “pre-forgive” others as well?
What if instead of being offended we are prepared to forgive
beforehand? Think of all the anger and bitterness we could avoid.
Forgiveness is essential in any relationship. Practicing forgiving
forward is a new thought for me but I am looking forward to the
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along
with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
-Ephesians 4:31-32
As we practice forgiving forward I know God will be glorified. How brightly will our light shine in this dark world when as women we approach each day's troubles prepared to forgive, equipped with the mercy already lavished on us. I feel honored and excited to live out this calling alongside such faithful and commendable women like my sisters here at North River!