Bestselling author, Dr. Norma McLauchlin is no stranger to the need for forgiveness. Long before she became a pastor’s wife, she was the first female Black student to attend a formerly all-white school during the early days of desegregation. The only way she found to endure each day without retaliating against the students and teachers who ridiculed, scorned, and spit at her was to forgive them for their ignorance and to focus on her mission of paving a way for future Black students to be able to sit alongside their white counterparts as equals.
That early practice, however, did not prepare her when her need for forgiveness hit closer to home after her brother-in-law beat her sister to the point where he put her in the hospital. Although she knew Christ’s call to forgive others, forgiveness was not on her mind that day. Her husband had to wrestle the gun out of her hands to prevent her from shooting her brother-in-law.
Decades would pass before she confronted her hypocrisy in preaching a gospel message. She wasn’t living during a Bible study. She was teaching on the subject of forgiveness. After days of prayer and fasting, she developed a three-step process for forgiveness.
She calls it her “BAA” process:
B. Breathe in God’s love, His spirit, and gratitude for the life He’s given you.
A. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become aware of anyone or anything you need to forgive others for doing or for having done that you need His forgiveness.
A. Accept the forgiveness that is offered to you.
While confronting her need to offer and ask for forgiveness, her eyes were opened to the damage she’d caused her family, especially her niece and nephew, by her refusal to forgive her brother-in-law. Forgiving herself was the hardest part of that process and something she still finds herself working on regularly.
Although she isn’t proud of her past, she now uses that experience to help others avoid the same mistakes through her bestselling books, workshops, retreats, and seminars. Her latest book, The Forgiveness Game, is a work of fiction based on her experiences with her sister and brother-in-law, who passed away a few years ago.
That book is set to be released on July 29th, in time for her Forgiveness Freedom Gala being held from 6–9 pm at the Family Life Center in Fayetteville, NC. In addition to a red carpet photo shoot, mocktails, and a 5-course meal, attendees will get to view the premiere of her new documentary, Forgiveness Is Freedom. Tickets are $50 and can be secured by visiting bit.ly/FreedomGala22.