3 Inspirational True Stories of Forgiveness

When we’re wronged in one way or another, it’s easy to feel hatred or anger. True strength, however, comes from finding forgiveness within ourselves and letting go.

Of all the emotions and thoughts that run through our mind after a heartbreaking or harrowing event, forgiveness is usually the last. We often feel dismay and anger, and we ask “Why me?” All of these are perfectly natural but none of them allow us to move on from and forget whatever has scarred us. Sometimes it can feel near impossible to forgive those who have wronged us and move on with our lives, but in reality it is the only way to move forward. Forgiveness is the only thing that will truly release us from the past and allow us to re-build our lives.

To show you that forgiveness is possible, no matter how harrowing the situation, here are three incredible women and their personal stories of forgiveness…

#1 Rachelle Friedman Chapman



In 2010, and on the night of her bachelorette party, Rachelle Friedman Chapman felt like she had it all. She was filled with zest for life, she was to be married to her wonderful fiancé Chris Chapman in less than a month’s time, and she was headed out to celebrate her forthcoming marriage with all of her friends. While hanging out by the pool, one of Friedman’s friends playfully pushed her into the water but, in just seconds, the innocent prank went tragically wrong. Friedman fell into the shallow end of the pool head first and, upon impact, broke two of her vertebrate. The accident paralyzed instantly Friedman from the chest down.

Miraculously, to this day, Friedman remains as positive as ever. She was determined that the accident would not change her life and she pulled herself back from depression to live the life she always had. A year on and she fulfilled her dream of marrying Chris. Incredibly, Friedman and the friend who pushed her are still as close as ever. She explains, “I know this is hard to believe, but I never had to forgive her because I never really blamed her.”

#2 Christy Little Jones


Having been married to her husband for 10 years and being a mother to their four children, Christy Little Jones believed that she and her partner Adrian were happily married. All that came crashing down around her, however, when she received an email that read: You don’t know me, but I am no longer dating your husband…. I’m sorry for any pain I caused your family. In an instant, Jones’s world collapsed.

Jones confronted her husband immediately and, while at first he denied it, within minutes he admitted to the affair and was begging her to forgive him. Jones was devastated and says, “It was hard for me not to tell Adrian that we were over and make him hurt as badly as I did.”

Soon enough, however, Jones’s head cleared and she came to the realization that she had two options: Fight for their marriage or start a new life for herself. In the end, after Adrian came completely clean and told her everything, including how he’d recently ended the four month affair, Jones made a conscious decision to forgive her husband. Today, Jones admits, “Forgiving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” and “We continue to work on trust issues,” but maintains that her marriage is stronger than ever. The couple even recently renewed their wedding vows proving that Jones made the right choice for herself even if others may question it.

#3 Renee Napier and Mary Dickson


Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare but for Renee Napier and Mary Dickson it’s reality. In May 2002, their daughters Meagan Napier (20) and Lisa Jo Dickson(20) were struck by a drunk driver and killed instantly. While at first the mothers’ grief was near unbearable, they were determined to do right by their daughters and help others. They threw themselves into their local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization; Napier even funded The Meagan Napier Foundation to promote safe driving and ultimately save lives.

While it would have been easy for the mothers to hate drunk driver Eric Smallridge for the rest of their lives, they chose to take a different route. They forgave him for taking away the lives of their children. While serving his sentence, Smallridge was allowed to accompany Napier to some of her MADD speaking events and share his story pleading with others not to make his mistakes. Wanting to show how deep their forgiveness ran and to get their message out even further, Napier and Dickinson called for Smallridge’s early release for prison and, ultimately, won.

While these incredible acts of forgiveness may be difficult for some of us to imagine, they have helped the women involved to pick up the pieces of their broken lives and live peacefully against all odds. Forgiveness may not always be the easiest of routes, but in the end it’s often the most rewarding.

Cover photo: www.rachellefriedman.com

About the author


Writing is Nichola’s passion but she's also an avid reader and a massive film geek. Like most of us, Nichola spends way too much time surfing the web, mostly reading blogs on the weird and wonderful or rumours of who's got the lead role in next years hottest films.

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