hannon is a joy of a friend. She is honest & bold, genuine & encouraging. She understands brokenness, because she’s been in the trenches. And you know what? She came out on top because of Jesus in her heart. It’s an honor to share her story on the blog today. She’s writing about 6 powerfultruths you need to know aboutforgiveness. Welcome, Shannon!
After he left, I went to our bed and curled up into a fetal position. He didn’t tell me, but I knew where he had gone. I spent the next several hours wondering how I had gotten here. After 15 years of marriage, how did we get to the point of divorce?It’s something I never envisioned happening to us. Yet just like a F5 tornado, here we were, in the throes of loss and devastation. We were both covered in dirt and debris and the only hope for restoration was fully surrendering to our Savior. Just 24 hours earlier I told him about the affair I was having with another man. I was deep in sin and I was sinking fast. I had every intention of leaving my husband and had God not intervened who knows where we would be today. He was gone for several hours. He had been discussing the next steps and his probable future with an attorney. He had no idea what was going to happen but he wanted to be prepared for the worst. My head was spinning and I was so messed up. I had lost 30 pounds in the course of 3 months. I had fallen into the trenches of deep sin where the re does not go out and the worms never die. And I was circling the drain. When I saw his car pull in the driveway I quickly ran to the door, waiting. I didn’t know how he would react or what he would say, I just wanted to be in his arms. When he walked in I moved toward him and he pulled me close. Just as we’d done our entire marriage, I burrowed my head into his chest and he enveloped his strong arms around me. “I love you John.” “I love you too, honey.” And in that moment John made the choice to forgive. He had every reason to leave me. Every reason in the world. Yet, he didn’t.
Eventually God restored our marriage, but it took several years. Several very hard and painful years. Anytime you restore a piece of furniture it takes several steps. If you skip a step it won’t be restored correctly. The same is true in marriage. Each step much be taken very carefully and cannot be rushed. God saved my marriage, and He can do the same for you. No matter what is going on in your marriage, God CAN intervene if you let Him. I don’t care what anyone tells you. Your marriage CAN be saved. Because God is no respecter of persons. What He did for me He can do for you
Can I be real with you for a minute? We can talk all day long about how Christ forgave and how we should forgive too. And WE CAN, because all things are possible with God! But it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Forgiveness is HARD. And sometimes it doesn’t matter how much we know about Jesus or the Bible, sometimes we just don’t want to, do we? But we must. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 Let me encourage you. If you choose to do the hard things, you will reap tremendously. “Be strong, take heart for payday is coming!” 2 Chronicles 15:7 I will tell you that it might be easier to just give up. You will be tempted to do so. But if you can learn to genuinely forgive your spouse, you will experience a freedom you’ve never had and your marriage can be better than it was to begin with.
Here are 6 powerful truths you need to know about forgiveness:
Forgiveness is a choice.
It’s a decision. When you choose to forgive, restoration begins. This doesn’t mean that all will be xed. It just means that you’re willing to forgive and start working through the pain and hurt. John made the decision to forgive that day when he came home and it was the most important decision that he made.
Forgiveness takes time.
Don’t rush the process of forgiveness. It is not a single act. Forgiveness is a process. It takes time for the heart to fully process the decision to forgive and we must give ourselves the grace that healing requires. The old cliché rings so true here: take one day at a time.
Just because you forgive, it doesn’t mean you are a doormat.
Strong people forgive. Weak people don’t. John forgave me, but it didn’t mean he wasn’t angry. Oh, he was angry alright. And I had to build that trust back. This was grueling at times and there were hard consequences.
betrayer would probably rather not answer or even talk about. I am in no way a professional, I am just speaking from experience. In order for John to receive closure, he had questions that needed to be answered. Questions about my relationship with the other man. QuestionsI didn’t want to answer. This may have been one of the hardest aspects of restoration. I wanted to erase things from my mind. Those same things John needed answers for. Honesty and grace was the key here, and openness was vital for survival.
Create safety in your marriage. You should be able to go to your spouse with ANYTHING. This creates a chance for your spouse to know who you really are and feel the privilege of seeing the wholeness that you are strong andweak. This breeds trust. Genuine trust like this in marriage is everything.
Release the hurt.
Release the pain and hurt into the hands of God. Authentic forgiveness takes place when this happens. When we anchor our hearts in the hands of almighty God, it’s like a switch gets ipped. We can release the pain. Grace takes place and it shatters all bitterness. Friend, I don’t know where you’re at in this process. Maybe you are on the verge of divorce due to betrayal. Can I just tell you to hang on? Will you hang on? Fully surrender yourself to God. Cry out to him. He’s there. Even if you do not feel Him. Will you agree in prayer with me right now? “Father, I ask you to please touch my friend. I ask that you wrap your arms around them. Let them feel your presence. Let them feel your touch. I ask that peace that surpasses all understanding sweep over them. Intervene in this situation. Let healing be done. We agree together in your name and know that your will WILL be done. Amen.”