Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

The link between my father and me was like a glitchy phone line—important information was lost in static. Over time, that faulty line saw less and less use. His death left me feeling frustrated and angry.

On retreat more than a year after his death, I sat in a rustic chapel. I burrowed into the silence of my own prayers. I received a clear sense that God was telling me to forgive my father. How could God ask such a thing of me? I had grief and grievances that had never been addressed. Anything but that, I prayed.

And yet, I started asking God to help me find forgiveness within myself, to learn to understand my father as a person, and to think hard and with intention about how I parent. My wounds and scars are real, but God showed me that forgiveness could be a balm to my wounds and scars—and I found a path to supplant my pain with grace.

MOVING FORWARD: Who do you need to forgive? And remember: sometimes, that person might be you. Ask God for the strength and courage to begin the process.