There’s a certain person in my life that I’ve needed to do a lot of forgiving of. He/she has not been to me what (s)he should have been. Neither was another person in the same type of role in my life. Both did the best they could, at least I’m assuming so, but a huge void (picture a blast zone) was still created and left in my heart.
I have let God do a lot of healing and redeeming regarding this void and the resulting feelings of rejection, disapproval, and my unmet needs.
But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s back up and get into the story…
Several times during the first decade or so of Dave’s and my marriage, I made mincemeat pies for this person as birthday [or “other special day”] gifts. I even made them extra-creative – like I’d make lattice-tops – by which I mean real, actually-woven crust tops, not just the punched ones.
Other times I’d form “the person’s” name out of pie crust on the top of the pie, or I’d make other embellishments for the pie tops, like leaves or pumpkins, even though it wasn’t a pumpkin pie – it was just autumn, the season of “this person’s” birthday.
It was no small feat to make these pies, especially with young children underfoot, and homeschooling, but I knew this person liked mincemeat pies, so I made them as part of gifts for those occasions.
One year we were at a big family reunion, and a group of us was sitting around talking about pies, including “this person.” Mincemeat pies came up at one point, and “this person” started recalling and raving about all the different people who had made memorable-to-him/her mincemeat pies over the years.
On and on and on (s)he went, raving about the many mincemeat pies (s)he’d eaten over the years. I just “knew” – in a “knowing” way, not an “expecting” way – that (s)he would eventually mention mine since, at that point, I had probably made at least five for him/her!
Do you think (s)he ever even eluded to mine? … Eeeeeeven once? … Nope!!! Not even once; not even a hint.
The group conversation veered on to other things without there being a word from him/her about the mincemeat pies I had made him/her.
I was crushed. Utterly shocked. And devastated. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not.
Dave and I have been married for 47 years now, and that was 35ish years ago. I in the three subsequent decades after that reunion, I did not made one mincemeat pie for “this person.” It was partly out of not wanting to be hurt again, but partly – a big part – out of unforgiveness.
Time went on, and “this person’s” spouse passed away. Many difficult, hurtful things happened through the time leading up to and after the spouse’s passing. There were some good things, but there were far more difficult things, and those created even more wedges between us.
Enter: our Thin Within small-group coaching phone chats.
We came to the chapter on forgiveness, and I thought “No, I don’t really have any unforgiveness issues.” I wasn’t being smug or in denial; I just honestly couldn’t think of anything. I’m not sure how, but the Lord (using Heidi and Christina, I’m sure!) peeled away some scales, and I realized with a sickening thud to my heart that I needed to do some – okay, a lot of – forgiving of “this person.” Uuuuuugh!!! It was a hard but needed revelation of my true state of heart and mind.
So the significance of the mincemeat pie that’s pictured below, is, well, pretty significant for me. For the first time in literally three decades, I had the grace to make “this person” a mincemeat pie.
Now you know… it’s one of my two dads – my father-in-law, to be exact. It was so wonderful and freeing to rise above – and not feel bound to – my anger and hurt, and do that for him! But that’s not all! The Lord gave me a sweet bonus! When I gave the pie to him, he started crying! And then he hugged me! Not just a quick one – extra long!!!
I really don’t think it had to do with the fact that I was giving him a mincemeat pie after having been on a long hiatus, because he never knew how that incident affected me. And, since my mincemeat pies of earlier years obviously hadn’t affected him enough to mention them in that conversation at the family reunion, surely he didn’t miss them during my hiatus…
I think it was just a blessing to him, especially since Mom was an awesome cook, and the last mincemeat pie he’d had was made for him, I’m sure, made by her. (Cuz it sure wasn’t made by ME, nor by his mom who was long-gone.)
The first pie (after the 3-decade hiatus) was a bit hard to do, but the Lord kept softening my heart and healing that wound. And it’s even gotten better! I now make him a pie for him every birthday, and there have been several! In fact, I even bought pie-slice-shaped plastic containers and I slice up his mincemeat pie and put them into the containers so he can put them in the freezer and pull them out one at a time! He has told me many times how much he appreciates these, and how delicious they are!
I am soooooo thankful that the Lord enabled me – “by the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work within me” – to start making these pies for him again by first helping me release and forgive him.
Here’s Dad, Dave, and me a couple months ago. See Dad’s hand on my back? He’s actually rubbing my shoulder the whole time the picture was being taken! I know this because it was set to “Live photo” and I can SEE it when I press down on the picture! What a SWEET gift!!!
Really and truly, “it is more blessed to (for)give than to receive”!
P.S. For anyone wanting to make one of these pies… I have been unable to find jarred mincemeat in stores for quite some time now. So, believe it or not, I get it on Amazon! I am an affiliate with them, so if you purchase it through the link that’s in the jar, I may receive a small commission (at no extra charge to you.) It’s basically just a sweet, spicy, apply/raisiny filling, soooooooyummy!!!!! I bet you’ve passed it up many times at Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, thinking you wouldn’t like it, but I have a hunch that you WOULD!!! (As for crusts, I just use the pre-made, uncooked rolled-up crusts that come in a long box.)
Thank you Barb. Thank you for sharing such a personal, intimate story about the unforgiveness you had with your father. I had not spoken to my father for nearly 30 years (November will be 30 years). God has been softening my heart and the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to reach out to him. The week you posted this blog I called my father and we spoke for the first time in 30 years. I thought I would feel some relief, but I haven’t. That’s okay…I know God is doing something.
I have been checking out this Thin Within group for several weeks now trying to figure out how there could be a connection with my relationship with the Lord and how this will help me release weight. I am open to learning how this can be possible, thank you so much again for sharing your story.