Have you ever heard the term "forgive and forget" and thought, that doesn’t apply to me? Forgiveness is one of those things that can be hard to give, and even harder to receive. Getting stuck in a shame spiral and finding it hard to accept forgiveness is not an uncommon feeling. In fact, if you are feeling that it’s difficult to move past things—either as the forgiver or the receiver—you’re not alone. On this episode of the Magnify Podcast, our team asked Corrine Stokoe of Mint Arrow Messages to share her personal story.
She shared a very vulnerable story about how her family was able to get through her husband’s addiction, her own co-dependent tendencies, and how the atonement of Jesus Christ played a major role in their journey to forgiveness. Here are some questions she discussed on the podcast:
Corrine, you have a unique story about forgiving yourself and it started when you had to do some moral inventory. Can you explain what that is and how it led to internal healing?
"My husband has been very open about being a recovering pornography addict, and I discovered through this process that I am a recovering codependent. One of the most important things that I learned in recovery is that it’s okay to change your mind. So I started doing the 12 steps to addiction recovery.
Step four in the process is to do a fearless search of moral inventory, and you write down all your fears, resentments, and misconduct.
Step five is to bring that list to your bishop and your sponsor. It was really helpful for me to get honest about all the things that were weighing me down in this life, and I think Satan is so good at making us feel like we are our mistakes and we are all of our fears or our resentments.
When I did these steps, it allowed me to look at those things, acknowledge them, and move on. There is so much healing that comes from getting honest and dealing with your problems, and then giving yourself permission to move on. That’s what the atonement of Jesus Christ is, right?"
What about when someone isn’t ready to receive your forgiveness once you’ve done that moral inventory?
"In fact, steps eight and nine of the 12-step program are to make a list of people you’ve wronged and then go make amends. But it’s not about evening out the score. That’s not what this is about. It’s about humbling yourself and giving yourself fully to the Lord and being His. Part of being His is when you realize that you did something wrong, asking for forgiveness, and then letting it go. You can’t control the outcome of how the other person receives it."
Have you ever experienced that?
"Of course. But if I do my part and say, "I’m sorry," and ask for forgiveness, then I just need God’s validation that I did my part. It’s OK for the other person to not be okay the second that I’m OK. When we let go of the other person’s responsibility of making us feel better and we let God make us feel better, then we allow people the space to grow and heal and do whatever they need to do."
So what have you learned about the Savior in this process?
"I’ve watched the atonement of Jesus Christ transform people, including myself. Jesus can work in even the ugliest and dark, awful situations in our lives, and He can take anything that is broken and beyond repair and He can make it whole. He will make it OK for us."