Why should we forgive

Dear Friends

My time on RB is going to be limited for awhile.
I wanted to thank each one of your for your support over the past year.
Your love, friendship, support and kindness has meant so much to me. I know very few of you actually know much about me. As I consider today to be a landslide victory for me, I would like to share with you why.

Five years ago I worked for a company called WesBank. I was their systems architect working as a contractor as I had been for 20 years to them. I was earning a top salary of R60000 a month. This afforded me my own luxury townhouse and a super mom life with Bianca. I was divorced when she was two. WesBank decided to rewrite their system that managed their entire debtors book in 1999. This system was almost WesBank’s entire business of a billion rand turnover a month. I designed the bulk of their system for a period of almost two years with a junior assistant.

The management they had put in charge of the system had no clue as to what was going on, but as they were the decision makers, often I found myself at loggerheads with their decisions. One of their decisions led to the destruction of a copy of the design I had worked night and day to put together. This led to a year of unproductive work and us almost losing the system.

They were replaced by a manager I had worked under for many years and trusted. The result was that I made a decision to go back to the original design I had worked on, complete it and implement it. This decision saved their entire project and I was supposed to get a huge bonus and gold medal award. This never happened and to cut a long story short, this road led to my persecution under the managers that had failed and ultimately to my resignation when I found I could no longer joyfully get up go to work.

The events that took place from hereon were rather dramatic. I became ill, symptoms similar to a stroke and as I knew I was unemployable I worked at home on developing a call centre system design. One should understand that in South Africa, there is no social security system and so one caters for ones own needs wholly. I lived off the bond of my by then almost paid for townhouse and watched in fear as each month my hard earned savings were being depleted. To say I was physically numbed by fear was not an exaggeration. I was numbed up to my cheeks and worked daily on telling myself I was healed. I would be able to get the numbness down to below my feet and then something would happen and I would have to start all over again. I was never able to improve the slurring.

I was to say the least quite bitter about what happened and knew forgiveness would be my only saviour. I eventually had to sell the townhouse and by then discovered that it had been the total collapse of my thyroid that had caused my severe malfunctioning. Bianca was sent to live with her dad and for me my whole life had collapsed. I found another IT job, paying a minimal wage and worked there for a year before being retrenched at the end of last year. In the interim a friend allowed me to board at his house.

This is when I joined RB and decided to give it my best shot. It afforded me a community of excellence and outstanding talent. It has been a privilege to belong to a group of such unique and extraordinary people.

Yesterday I finally came to the bottom of my savings and told myself that I laugh at adversity. Haha. I should add that I did develop a sense of humour over the years I was ill. There was nothing else to do, but laugh at the folly of it all.

Today I went with a friend for coffee and as we were walking out, I glanced at the table in front of me and saw some of the WesBank staff sitting there and in particular the person who had made my life a misery. I was astounded and just gawked at her. She had aged dramatically over the five years. I didn’t stop to speak as I was trying to ascertain how I felt about it all and they had not recognised me ( I have a very common face). After I got outside I was jumping for joy. I realised that I had no emotion about any of it, except that I had observed she had aged.

I knew then that I had forgiven her. I have spent today thanking God for all my blessings and for teaching me the greatest lesson of all in forgiveness. It had taken for me to hit rock bottom yesterday to know that I had gained the greatest gift of all. If I could forgive her, then there was no-one on this earth that I could not forgive.

I had succeeded. This is not a financial success and to all degrees to everyone else I look like a failure. This is a success of the spirit with in us.

I wanted to share this success with you as often we undergo hardship and we never see the end result or we reach the end result and are unaware that we have reached it.

I am blessed to know it and to have reached it in this life time. May this story encourage all of you to take a look at the relationships that are unresolved or where forgiveness (no matter how small is required) and work on it everyday until one find day you can look that person in the eye and know that all is forgiven.

It is worth it. It sets us and them free.

All my love to you and your families over this festive season.

Humbled and honoured to be on RB.
Until I see you again

Your friend
Laureen

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