IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! There is a new addition to GraceFull Women and her name is Heather Freeman. Heather will be guest posting every Wednesday but I’m giving you a taste of her laid back, honest writing today. She is my co-teacher in our lifegroup class on Sunday mornings and has captured my heart as we have become kindred friends. She is a single mother that has learned many life lessons through some tough times. I’m not gonna give too much away about my sweet sister in Christ because she will share insight into her life through her posts. But just know this I love this woman and you will too! I hope you will welcome Heather with open arms and enjoy soaking up her wisdom, humor, love and truth… and give her some comment love.
I have no idea how God’s timing works. I don’t know why things happen at certain moments or times in our lives to work together for His glory. I just know His timing is sovereign and He DOES work all things for good. Always. Even amidst painful things like divorce. God showed that to me in a real and tangible way almost 3 years ago.
Forgiveness is a direct reflection of where your heart is at any given moment. A wise and godly woman once told me, when you truly forgive, you give up the right to ever bring it back up again. In 2009 I found myself in an unimaginable place. I discovered infidelity in my marriage and was completely broken and shattered. My marriage fell apart. I “knew” what to do. I “knew” to cling to God. To run to Jesus. To be still and He was God. I “knew” that – I had heard it all my life. I even believed it. So I did. Cause I was supposed to. I was in a discipleship relationship with a friend and mentor who held me accountable and who prayed for me and with me. We were doing a 40 day fasting bible study; digging for what God was trying to show me and to understand how He was working on me in this horrible time. I was bitter. I was angry. I was sad. I was hurt. I was everything that would be “normal” in this situation.
It was a Thursday night. I sat in my living room doing my devotion – it was close to the end of the 40 days. The previous day’s study was on forgiveness and how we are called to forgive. This particular night the study was on how if you knew you needed to do something, act immediately and do not delay. The message wrapped together with the previous one on forgiveness somehow – I don’t even remember exactly how. Immediately my heart went to something I had done that my husband did not know about before we got married. It was something stupid – inconsequential – minor! Why was my heart going there?! I immediately got prideful and literally said to God out loud “if you think I am apologizing to him for THAT after what he did to me you are crazy!” It was the most real and honest thing I had said to anyone much less my savior in a really long time. The conversation between my Jesus and me that followed was a tough one. I wrestled with Him. I begged Him not to call me to do this. I fought but the stirring only got stronger. I lost the battle. I said okay. I surrendered.
I picked up the phone and called my husband and explained to him that I needed to apologize to him for something. I apologized. His response was “you called to apologize for THAT after what I did to you?” You would think I would feel vindicated but I didn’t. In that very moment I GOT grace. I GOT what it meant to be forgiven and to forgive. I forgave my husband in that very moment because it was never about what he did TO me. It was about where my heart was. I was holding on to how I was wronged. I was holding on to bitterness. I wanted to give up the right to ever bring it up again. To gain freedom. God held me through that conversation and whispered to me “you are holy, blameless and loved. Forgiveness is done.” I said to my husband “it doesn’t matter who did what, it’s about what Jesus did for us.”
That is the first night in a long time that I slept at peace. I knew who I was in Christ. I understood grace and that the only way I can extend it to others is to accept it for myself. It’s never about the other person. It’s about Jesus. Forgiveness is done. Whether you forgive others or not, it was finished at the cross. No one needs your forgiveness – they need Jesus. You forgive to point them to Jesus. What a great and mighty God we serve.
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