Two Balloons – Forgive and be Forgiven

15 04 2013

I’d known this time was coming, and yet had refused to face the reality that my mother was going to die. There were so many things left unsaid because I was in denial and believed that she would be home again soon; but her memorial came and went. Now what was I going to do about unresolved issues?

There would be no do-over, no “next time” in which to seek – or extend – forgiveness. These matters definitely fell into the category of “things I cannot change.” It felt so hopeless.

I knew too many people whose lives were a shambles for just such a reason. I’d seen the consequences of their bitterness or guilt. I was unwilling to live the rest of my life with the baggage I still carried, but had no idea how to settle the matter.

Through one of the books I read on grief, I got a great idea. It worked so well that I want to share it with you.

Here’s what I did:

My husband graciously sent me away for a weekend to work through the stuff that was still bothering me. On my way to the hotel, I purchased two helium balloons – one for me and one for her.

Once I was settled into my room, I began to ask God to show me all the issues that were going to weigh me down. I made two lists; one was of the things for which I needed to be forgiven, the other was of the things for which I needed to forgive her. Once my lists were made, I got a Sharpie and transfered the lists to the balloons.

Having done that, I asked Jesus to forgive me for the wrongs I had committed against my mom, and spoke forgiveness for the things that I was harboring. There were a lot of tears – I won’t lie about that.

The last thing I did was go out to an isolated place where I could be alone. I didn’t want any interruptions or distractions. Holding both balloons by their strings, I said, “Well, Lord. I can’t do anything about these anymore. You’re the only One I know who can; so I release them into Your care. I thank You for the healing You will bring me concerning these matters.”

I let them go, and stood to watch until they couldn’t be seen anymore. In the months that followed, whenever one of those issues came to mind, I would recall watching those balloons lifting out of my hands – and into the hands of Jesus, who had paid the price for every wrong listed on each one. Healing came quickly and completely.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

He sure did!

Thank You, Jesus, for bearing these burdens for me. May others likewise find healing and wholeness.




8 responses

29 07 2013

I appreciate you referring me to this post as a result of the struggles reflected in, “Word to My Mother”. I really feel I need to perform this exercise, as I have been so busy focusing on her wrongs that I have lost sight of the fact that I, too, have committed them against her. Justification so easily sneaks in and obscures our own wrongdoing as we are so caught up in shedding light on violation against us. Thanks for another wonderful lesson to me!

29 07 2013

That’s what we’re all here for – helping one another find the greenest grass in the pasture, and the calmest water by which to be restored!


24 06 2013
Lori Lara

What a beautiful way of releasing to the Lord. Thank you for sharing this powerful idea.

24 06 2013

It’s my privilege to do so. Just one hungry woman showing another one where the Lord placed the bread!

Someday it will be your turn. Pass it on. 🙂


15 04 2013

Very moving 🙂

15 04 2013

Thanks. 🙂

15 04 2013

I’m so glad you found this post, then! I’ve recommended the balloon idea to several people. Those who’ve tried it, love it!

15 04 2013

My father recently passed away. There wasn’t anything left unsaid and our relationship was great. However, my mother, who is still alive, our relationship is not. I harbor a lot of unforgiveness towards her for a lot of things she done and allowed to be done to me. Conversations have came to blowouts and she doesn’t like to listen to what I have to say. So, I’ve struggled with forgiving her because she won’t even allow me to express my feelings, much less apologize. Long story short, I think this is a wonderful idea and I just may have to do this also. Thank you for sharing your story,


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