Tis late before
The brave despair.

Samuel Daviess was an early settler at a place called Gilmer’s Lick, in Lincoln county, Kentucky. In the month of August, 1782, while a few rods from his house, he was attacked early one morning by an Indian; and attempting to get within doors, he found that his house was already occupied by other Indians. Pursued by his foe, he ran into a cornfield and lay concealed till the savage gave up the chase and returned to the house. He then ran to his brother’s station, five miles off, gave the alarm, and was soon returning with five stout, well armed men.

Meanwhile the Indians -four in number -who had entered the house while the fifth was in pursuit of Mr. Daviess, routed Mrs. Daviess and the children from their beds, and they soon understood that they must take up a line of march – they knew not whither. As soon as she was dressed, Mrs. Daviess “commenced showing the Indians one article of clothing and then another, which pleased them very much; and in that way delayed them at the house nearly two hours. In the mean time, the Indian who had been in pursuit of her husband returned, with his hands stained with poke berries, which he held up, and with some violent gestures and waving of his tomahawk, attempted to induce the belief, that the stain on his hands was the blood of her husband, and that he had killed him. She was enabled at once to discover the deception, and instead of producing any alarm on her part, she was satisfied that her husband had escaped uninjured.

“After the savages had plundered the house of every thing that they could conveniently carry off with them, they started, taking Mrs. Daviess and her children -seven in number- as prisoners, along with them. Some of the children were too young to travel as fast as the Indians wished, and discovering, as she believed, their intention to kill such of them as could not conveniently travel, she made the two oldest boys carry them on their backs. The Indians, in starting from the house, were very careful to leave no signs of the direction they had taken, not even permitting the children to break a twig or weed as they passed along. They had not gone far before an Indian drew his knife and cut off a few inches of Mrs. Daviess’ dress, so that she would not be interrupted in traveling.

“Mrs. Daviess was a woman of cool, deliberate courage, and accustomed to handle the gun, so that she could shoot well, as many of the women were in the habit of doing in those days. She had contemplated, as a last resort, that if not rescued in the course of the day, when night came on and the Indians had fallen asleep, she would deliver herself and children by killing as many of the Indians as she could – thinking that in a night attack as many of them as remained would most probably run off.” *

Mr. Daviess and his comrades reaching the house and finding it empty, hastened on in pursuit of the Indians. They had gone but a few miles before they overtook the retreating party. Two Indian spies in the rear, first discovered the pursuers, and running on, overtook the three others, with the prisoners, and knocked down and scalped, though they did not kill, the oldest boy. At that moment the pursuers fired at the Indians, but missed. The latter were now alarmed and confused, and Mrs. Daviess, taking advantage of this circumstance, jumped into a sink hole with her infant in her arms; and the Indians fleeing, every child was saved.

“Kentucky, in its early days, like most new countries, was occasionally troubled by men of abandoned character, who lived by stealing the property of others, and, after committing their depredations, retired to their hiding places, thereby eluding the operation of the law. One of these marauders, a man of desperate character, who had committed extensive thefts from Mr. Daviess, as well as from his neighbors, was pursued by Daviess and a party whose property he had taken, in order to bring him to justice. While the party were in pursuit, the suspected individual, not knowing any one was pursuing him, came to the house of Daviess, armed with his gun and tomahawk-no person being at home but Mrs. Daviess and her children. After he had stepped into the house, Mrs. Daviess asked him if he would drink something and having set a bottle of whiskey upon the table, requested him to help himself. The fellow, not suspecting any danger, set his gun up by the door, and while drinking, Mrs. Daviess picked up his gun, and placing herself in the door, had the gun cocked and leveled upon him by the time he turned around, and in a peremptory manner ordered him to take a seat, or she would shoot him. Struck with terror and alarm, he asked what he had done. She told him he had stolen her husband’s property and that she intended to take care of him herself. In that condition she held him a prisoner, until the party of men returned and took him into their possession. *

• Collins’s Historical Sketches of Kentucky

” Collins.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York


                        Experience teaches us
That resolution’s a sole help at need ;
And this, my lord, our honor teacheth us,
That we be bold in every enterprise.

On the fifteenth of March, 1697, a band of Indian prowlers broke into the house of Mr. Dustin, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and captured his wife, her nurse,* and a babe about one week old. The last was killed before leaving the town. The other two were marched through the wilderness for several days till they came to a halt on an island in the Merrimac river about six miles above Concord, New Hampshire. There they were placed in a wigwam occupied by two men, three women, seven children of theirs, and an English boy who had been captured about a year previous at Worcester, Massachusetts. The captives remained there till the thirtieth of that month before they planned escape. On that day the boy was requested by Mrs. Dustin to ask his master where to strike “to kill instantly;” and the savage was simple enough to tell, and also instructed him in the art of scalping. “At night,” to use the concise language of Mr. Bancroft, “while the household slumbers, the captives, each with a tomahawk, strike vigorously, and fleetly, and with division of labor, -and of the twelve sleepers, ten lie dead; of one squaw the wound was not mortal; one child was spared from design. The love of glory next asserted its power; and the gun and tomahawk of the murderer of her infant, and a bag heaped full of scalps were choicely kept as trophies of the heroine. -The streams are the guides which God has set for the stranger in the wilderness: in a bark canoe, the three descend the Merrimac to the English settlements, astonishing their friends by their escape, and filling the land with wonder at their successful daring.”

Mrs. Dustin had the happiness of meeting her husband and seven children, who had escaped from the house before the savages entered, and the honor of a very handsome present from Colonel Nicholson, governor of Maryland, as a reward for her heroism.*

* Eleven years after the capture of Mrs. Dustin, a party of French and Indians from Canada made an attack upon the inhabitants of Haverhill, and killed and captured about forty persons. Several women exhibited on the occasion a remarkable degree of sagacity, courage and presence of mind. We condense from Mirick’s History of Haverhill.

   Ann Whittaker escaped the tomahawk by hiding in an apple chest under the stairs, – A negro servant, named Hagar, covered a couple of children with tubs in the cellar and then concealed herself behind some meat barrels. The Indians trod on a foot of one of the children and took meat from the barrel behind which Hagar had hidden, without discovering any of them.-The wife of Thomas Hartshorn, took all her children except the babe – which she was afraid would cry -through a trap-door into the cellar. The enemy entered and plundered the house, but did not find the way into the cellar. They took the infant from its bed in the garret and threw it out of the window. Strange to say, though stunned, it lived and grew to rugged manhood. – The wife of Captain Simon Wainwright, after the enemy had killed her husband, let them into the house and treated them kindly. They at length demanded money, when she went out, as she pretended, to get it. They soon ascertained – though too late to find. her – that she had fled with all her children but one, who was taken captive.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Forgiveness Isn’t an Option

Yes, you can forgive, and you must!

You’ve heard it preached over and over. I’ll even list a couple of scriptures at the end of this post.

You’ve probably even seen articles online that show the benefits of forgiveness. I’ll include some of those at the bottom of this post as well.


Are you one of those who sit there convinced that it’s not possible? Your situation is too hard. The wounds go too deep. The betrayal affected too many people. That person has never asked for forgiveness, so you feel no need to give it.

Still…not optional. Yes, I said it. Forgiveness is not an option. For the Christian, it is a command. For everyone, it is a physical and psychological necessity. If you read the Bible, you can’t avoid it.

Remember what Jesus said on the cross? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” There is a part of me that wants to correct Jesus. “Oh yes, they did! They knew exactly what they were doing!” Doesn’t matter. Even before His death, burial, and resurrection, He was asking forgiveness for the collective “us.” Jesus forgave. We received. (Well, I hope you’ve received!)

Consider the Apostle Paul when he was still Saul. He was hell-bent on destroying the new movement that became Christianity. Those followers of Christ, starting with Ananias, could have refused to forgive him after he met Jesus. If they had, if they had denied his right to minister on the Lord’s behalf, he may never have written what we know today as about 2/3 of the New Testament. But they did forgive, and he did write, and we received.

I could keep on with accounts from the Bible, but let’s bring it forward to today. Bear with me, if you will, as I share two examples from my own life.

I have a friend. I love her dearly, and I hurt for her often. She is a loving and generous person who used to serve God openly, freely, joyously, but something has changed her, caused her to withdraw in many ways.

There is one person, another Christian, against whom she holds implacable unforgiveness. Did the person genuinely do her wrong back in the day? Quite possibly; I don’t know their story. But that really doesn’t matter.

What matters is that the roots of unforgiveness and bitterness have grown so deep and strong that now pretty much every aspect of her life seems to have become choked by those weeds. Yes, she has a hard life, but so do a lot of others who haven’t chosen her path.

Others like me.

Let me pause here and say that I’m well aware I am far from perfect. I know this. What I am, however, is living proof that you can walk through hell and come out the other side victorious.

My story starts over forty years ago when I unknowingly married a narcissist. During those years, he abused me in pretty much every way but physically. I lived under his thumb without even realizing it for a very long time – without understanding that my life wasn’t normal. He had multiple affairs. He ignored everything that was important to me unless paying attention to it played into his plan and made him look good to others. He squandered his really good income so that I ended up having to earn money for the “unimportant” things like homeschool curriculum for the boys and clothes for myself.

Then, when it became hard for him to find a “position,” he stopped working; a regular job was beneath him. This left me doing all I could to pay the bills he easily ignored.

Eventually, we ended up living in a house that was literally falling down over our heads because he couldn’t be bothered to maintain much of anything, ever. Lest you think I exaggerate, first we lost gas because the line started leaking and he “couldn’t afford” to fix it. Then the water pipes started bursting and when his quick patches didn’t hold he gave up. We were left with only electricity for years, and I paid that bill. The walls had so many holes in them that I couldn’t stuff them all well enough to keep anything out. I once ended up in the ER with a bug in my ear as a result of that. And the roof? One room was off limits because half the roof was completely gone, and when it rained it rained inside our only bathroom. Years… Today, looking back, that blows my mind; I felt so trapped in that…place. (NOT just talking the house here.)

And then there were the women. The first affair I know about happened in the early 90s and either he thought I was a complete idiot or he was flaunting it in my face. (Him having the affair was my fault of course. He was an expert at gaslighting.) The last affair he tried to have was in 2014. Strange as it seems, it wasn’t until then that I actually stopped loving him. It was the point at which that tiny flame was at last doused completely.

My primary focus through most of the past forty years has been on staying right with God and growing closer to Him. As a result, I learned to forgive. See, if you’re actively watching your spiritual walk, when things stop feeling right, when you can tell that you’re “off,” you stop. You pause, take a good look at yourself, and ask God, “Where have I gone wrong?” In those early years, it was almost always unforgiveness towards Jack or someone else that nailed me. God had to school me over and over, but I eventually learned how to genuinely forgive and do it quickly. (Note to Self: As soon as you hit “publish” on this post the devil is going to see to it that you’re tested.)

So, my regular readers know that Jack passed away in October. I can honestly say that, regardless of all he had done, all he did until just a few weeks before his death, I forgave him. I chose not to walk in unforgiveness, but in forgiveness, which meant that when unforgiveness popped up I actively stomped it out.

I prayed for him often. I very much wanted to know he was right with God even if he were never right with me. He asked me to pray the sinners prayer with him days before he went into the hospital for the last time, and I rejoice that he did, that now, in Heaven, he is finally the man God always meant him to be.

Decades of abuse could have destroyed me. It did not. I did more than survive those years. In spite of dealing with anxiety and occasional bouts of depression, I thrived. I had to battle each and every day, but just as daily workouts strengthen muscles, those daily battles strengthened me. I came out stronger, and one of the reasons is my determination to deny the devil the option of using one of his greatest weapons – unforgiveness – to bring me down.

Forgiveness isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Forgiveness Verses (There are many more.)
Matthew 18:21
Mark 11:25
Luke 6:37
Ephesians 4:32

Benefits of Forgiveness (There are many more.)
Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness
The Many Benefits of Forgiveness
The Power of Forgiveness
The Physical Benefits of Forgiveness