I had always wanted a godly husband and was content with not dating until God said, “He is the one.” I refused to date like the world and told any guy who asked me on a date, “God doesn’t want me to date right now.” That ran most men off until one day “he” came along and said, “I’m going to talk to this God of yours.” I told him “no” three times, but he would not leave me alone. He said he wanted to pursue a relationship with Christ as our Center. I decided I could do that. That’s what I was doing anyway, loving Jesus and making Him known. Surely it would be easier to do that with someone by my side.
So I married the love of my life. I was a Christian and so was he. We had waited for each other in purity until our wedding day. We bought our first house, continued our educations, traveled, and had two beautiful children! I had obeyed God and all my dreams came true. Isn’t that what the Bible says? You reap what you sow. Do everything just right and only good things will happen to you?
When kids came along, my husband and I wanted me to be able to stay at home with them while they were little. Somehow that turned into us living parallel lives where he was always at work and I was raising babies all by myself. Work had become my husband’s god. I screamed and cried so many nights for him just to come home and be a family. He told me this was MY dream, that I wanted to stay at home. I was so alone. My dream had become my worst nightmare when I found out that my husband was having an affair.
Heart shattered pieces lay all over the floor as he shut the door leaving our two babies and me for the emptiness the world offered him. He said he was never coming back and I needed to move on. This is the day I decided it was time to begin the process of forgiveness and move forward.
How could you let this happen God? Why? I thought he was the one? My children! What about my babies? I did everything right, God! Why are you letting this happen to me? The questions would plague me for months and some days they still do, but I knew that I didn’t want to stay where I was. I wanted whatever God wanted in this. I knew God wasn’t the author of this sin. I knew He could use it for good. I prayed, “Somehow, God, give me the grace to forgive? I can’t do this on my own. I choose you, Jesus. In this hardest place of my life, I want you.”
Three Ways to Walk in Forgiveness:
1. Pray and ask God for the grace to forgive. It’s a choice.
The first step of me walking in forgiveness was realizing that I couldn’t do any of this on my own. I made a choice to forgive and I continue to ask God for the grace to forgive each day in this process called forgiveness. I can’t do this life a single day without Him. I knew what I was supposed to do in order to walk with Jesus, but this time it was going to be really difficult and would require courage.
“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13
2. Escape your resentment at the foot of the cross. Forgiveness is a process.
Healing comes in the process of letting go and walking in today. Forgiveness is a process. It is not a one time event. When I don’t know what to do with all those haunting memories, I have a Savior who does. I literally put a cross up on my dresser. Every time a thought came to stab me, I wrote it down and put it at the foot of the cross. “Jesus I don’t know what to do with these hurtful feelings, but I know you do. I choose to forgive and give them to you. Thank you for your forgiveness and what you did on the cross for me.”
This is what Philippians 4:13 really means! “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
3. Realize that forgiveness is our gift. It blesses US the most.
The third step came to me at my lowest point. My husband and I would be divorced in a matter of days and I asked “Why God?” There was so much silence from Him. I lay on the floor crying out to my God who I knew loved me. I would not be defined by this mess. “God, show me what you want me to learn. Please use this for your glory.” God spoke to me so clearly that day. “This is your Gift.” I didn’t really understand it that day, but it gave me the hope that God had this all in His hands. He was still on the throne working all this for His beautiful good. I have learned that forgiveness is a gift I can open each day. It’s a gift to me and by opening it and letting it touch every area of my life with God’s love, it’s a gift to others. Forgiving my husband and the woman he had an affair with freed me to move on with my life and be a better person for myself and my children. I have learned that in this life when the storms come, God is always my safe place and my True Love who will never leave. God does not promise us a world without trouble even when we do everything right. He promises to be our peace in the middle of life’s nightmares.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In the final days before a divorce would be granted, my husband was convicted of his sin, repented, and turned to Jesus. We have reconciled as husband and wife and are on the road to healing. He realized he had addictions and sought help through counseling and small group accountability. He has transformed into a dad that spends time with our children and a husband I call my best friend. There are rough days, but now we are two people putting Christ first together. Because of forgiveness and God’s redeeming love, we vow to never take family and the power of Jesus for granted.