Forgiving Matilda

“Wolverines are known to be aggressive and bad-tempered animals. If you encounter a wolverine in the wild, it is important to stay calm and avoid any sudden movements. If the wolverine does become aggressive, try to back away slowly. Do not turn your back on the wolverine or run away, as this may trigger its hunting instincts” (Team, 2022).

Do you have a wolverine in your life? I do. I named her Matilda. Like most wolverines, Matilda is vicious. I will admit, I have not always heeded the warnings. When Matilda showed her teeth and claws, I didn’t always stay calm or avoid sudden movements. When she released aggression, instead of backing away slowly, I charged forward. I didn’t want Matilda to get away with anything, and to say her hunting instincts were triggered by that is an understatement.

Matilda is a constant reminder of the weak points in my life. Namely, forgiveness and anger. I thought I could find peace with Matilda if all the wrongs were righted, and believe me, I was on a rampage to make that happen. I started my forgiveness journey a few years ago when I realized my anger toward Matilda was poisoning me.

This journey, kayaking through the Gobi Desert without any oars, has not been going well.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” I discovered quickly my will was in cahoots with my heart. Determined that I couldn’t defeat them both, I tried to shrug it off. Ignore it. Freeze it out. Another warning unheeded. Turning my back and running away heightened the battle.

I picked up Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget.

It’s so good. Everything she says in that book is spot on. She has experienced such adversity; certainly, I can get to a place of forgiveness if she can. I was so excited to get to the end of the book and find forgiveness abounding in my heart. I closed the book and waited for the magic. I was no different. I even printed off the worksheets that accompany the book but to no avail.

How in the world was I going to get where I wanted to go? It has always baffled me how people like Corrie Ten Boom find forgiveness. Can an act of the will just miraculously pardon someone? It didn’t matter how many times I said the words, how many Bible verses I memorized, or how many books I read on the topic. There was an ugly truth I needed to face.

Deep down inside I didn’t want to forgive.

I don’t like the idea of wrongs not being made right, and I relish the thought of accountability. I have a right to be mad. I used to think being mad felt good, but it doesn’t. It hurts every aspect of life. I am here to say that I want to forgive.  I see now that my journey couldn’t start until I believed that to be true in my heart. And it is. I am going to tackle this head-on and document my very slow, but sure to come, victories. No doubt, this is going to be difficult and dehydrating.

But at least I have oars now.



Team, K. H. (2022). Are Wolverines Dangerous? Everything You Need to Know About These Controversial Animals. KonnectHQ.