Before my retirement in 2012; I worked in Victim Services. At a Restorative Justice Symposium, I had the privilege to personally hear Wilma Derksen speak. When I came across her book, the titled intrigued me, as did the caption on the back cover: Your Guide Through The Complicated Journey To Forgiveness.
The book was released 22 years after the murder of her daughter. The 15 principles of letting go didn’t happen overnight.
Forgiveness is a choice and Wilma Derksen is living proof that letting go is not easy but possible. Readers will come to understand that freedom comes through forgiveness. I love how she acknowledges Jesus as the One who preached forgiveness, taught forgiveness, lived forgiveness, and ultimately died for the cause. Great nuggets of wisdom are found in the 15 letting go principles shared in this book.
God helped her let of what was holding her back from moving on after the death of Candice. As I read through this book, I was filled with awe in how God works in the lives of willing individuals. Also how comforting to find Jesus throughout the pages of this book, a very present help in times of trouble.
A quote was provided for each principle, with words aptly spoken! Each letting go principle enabled me to examine my own life. I need to ask myself, Is there something in this principle that applies to me? Some I would never have considered until reading this book. Forgiveness is the common thread woven throughout each chapter. This book touched me in ways I least expected. I have a greater appreciation for what families like the Derksen’s and others go through after the murder of a loved one.
The Never-Ending Process, Stage One will help those whom struggle to forgive, and sometimes want to get it over quickly. Letting go may not be easy. Nor a one-time decision, rather a long process. Wilma had years to learn how to forgive. Now she’s a sought-after speaker on the subject. Another opportunity to share Candice’s story, and help others move forward in their lives.
The Never-Ending Progress, Stage Two takes readers further along into the court proceedings. Years after the crime, the Derksen’s hear the heart-wrenching details of what Candice endured after being taken to the abandoned shed. Forgiveness is heavy work, that it is a never-ending process. Our own lives attest to these statements. We choose, whether or not to forgive, and the length of time it takes to do so.
The Unexpected Grove of Trees speaks of times when people are angry at God for not getting an answer to prayer. To have the thought that God actually tricked them. Readers are taken back to the Bible for a look at the Tree of Good and Evil. Great insight is given on why God placed a majestic tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden. A reminder, too, that Satan is the ultimate trickster in our lives.
Wilma Derksen ends her book with, What Is Forgiveness? She believes we need to define forgiveness for ourselves, and provides several personal definitions. And that forgiving others should be part of our character. Forgiveness is included in all major religions, which speaks for itself.
For further reading on forgiveness; the reader is given an extensive list of book titles to choose from.
I recommend this book to anyone needing to know the way to let go, and how to walk towards forgiveness themselves.