Today, my husband and I went to pick up our groceries. It was a 30-minute drive from where we are staying to the grocery store.

When we arrived, I called to let them know we were there. A minute later, a man came out to tell us he didn’t have any groceries under our name.

I immediately realized my mistake.

We were using the same grocery service we had been using, but I forgot to change the location of the store.

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My husband was frustrated. I was frustrated.

It was a simple mistake. We both snapped a little at each other and then drove for a few minutes in silence. I was frustrated with the way he had spoken to me. And he was frustrated with the way I had spoken to him.

And now we were driving 30 minutes back toward the other store to pick up our groceries.

On our way to the other store, as we were sitting in silence, I was reminded of the power of two simple words. I’m sorry.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“I’m sorry, too,” he replied.

Those words opened the door for forgiveness. After we returned and put the groceries away, he and I went on a walk in the woods and talked about how we have been feeling lately about all that is going on in our lives. It was a wonderful conversation. At the end, we hugged and prayed on the driveway.

And again, I was reminded of the power of those simple words.

I’m sorry.

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We both could still be sitting in silence. Angry about a simple mistake. Frustrated because of how we spoke to each other in the heat of the moment. We could be stewing and turning things over in our heads. Having imaginary arguments in our minds, preparing for our defense and our quick-witted comebacks.

But instead, we both acknowledged our wrongs and said I’m sorry. We moved forward.

I’m sorry.

These are powerful words. I was reminded tonight of the importance of humbling myself and saying I’m sorry when I have wronged someone. My husband, children, friends, family members, neighbors.

It’s so easy to sit in our wrongs and come up with excuses. Reasons why we behaved the way we did and reasons why we said the things we said. Reasons why we lost our temper and reasons why the person deserved the way we treated them.

Relationships are a two-way street, and when arguments happen, it’s rarely just one person’s fault.

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I want to be someone who is quick to say I’m sorry. Someone who is able to recognize and acknowledge my wrongs. Someone who seeks forgiveness. And forgives quickly.

I want to strive for peace in my relationships. And to be humble enough to be the first to admit when I am wrong.

Tonight could have gone a couple of ways, and it ended up being a wonderful eveningthanks to those two simple, yet powerful words, I’m sorry.

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Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.