By Allison Gingras
So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. ~Matthew 7:12
Oh How I’ll Miss You
My friend Laure loved WINE: Women In the New Evangelization. She followed the ministry closely and felt blessed to attend a WINE Conference with me in 2018, one of her favorite experiences; she would often tell me. Laure not only participated in all the “Wicked Awesome WINE” WINE Book Clubs but was instrumental in reaching out and inviting others to join and be blessed. Her compassion unmatched, her heart for others immense, and her struggles, equally unmatched and immense, yet she loved the Lord and wanted others to enjoy that experience as well.
Sadly, Laure died on April 14th, only six months after losing the love of her life. Whatever the diagnosis, all of those who knew her well, feel certain she died of a broken heart. Laure taught me so much, including how to love big and forgive as Jesus taught us. Here’s the story of the most unusual and unlikely beginning of a beautiful friendship.
How We Met – Forgiveness Lessons
Entering late for Vacation Bible School, with three cranky kids, mounting heat, along with the anxiety of navigating a new parish, triggered a major panic attack. Reaching the registration desk, the woman handed me a yellow shirt. I was expecting the blue one, indicating my daughter Faith, who we had newly adopted, would be in the Kindergarten group versus the Preschool group. I purposely selected the older group feeling it was a better fit to interpret to her in American Sign Language. Uncharacteristic rage swelled and tumbled out at this unexpected switch. I yanked the shirt from the VBS Director and said, “It’s fine,” and I stormed off, leaving her startled with tears welling. Furious, I dragged my daughter to circle time, barked orders at my sons to stop sulking, and angrily signed the words to the opening song about “love and joy.” Oh, the irony!
Opening activities complete, we were dismissed to our group rooms. My daughter, Faith and I, walked into the “yellow shirt” room, saw the other campers—including two other little girls with special needs, and met her group leader (a Special Education teacher by trade). I instantly knew I had made a colossal mistake! The Holy Spirit had guided us to the perfect camp for Faith. I realized I could either pretend my morning tantrum never happened or swallow my pride and beg for forgiveness.
I decided to apologize. However, when I finished apologizing, the director’s eyes teared again! She took a breath and explained how I was not the first to treat her that way during registration, but I was the first to apologize. Laure Lynch, that sweet director, graciously accepted my apology and showed me great mercy. Laure became my first friend at our new parish, and she remains (if only now in my heart) one of my dearest friends to this day.
Sometimes I need to forgive, and other times I need to ask for forgiveness. Give me the words and the courage for each.
Call to Action
Is there someone you need to ask forgiveness from? Pray and discern, if today is the day to do that?
*How We Met – Forgiveness Lessons (with some slight edits), along with the Prayer, and Call to Action from WINE’s new Called By Name Devotional (Ave Maria Press, 2021) To purchase the book and amazing book bundle, which includes a journal, bookmark, and stickers, visit the WINE Shop.
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