Life has been a roller coaster of intense emotions over the past 6 months. I've been walking a very difficult road and I've struggled with how to keep focusing on God amidst the hurt and anger. God has been so faithful to walk along side of me and many times carry me through some of the darkest hours of heartbreak. His Word has been a source of life and refreshment for my weary soul.
Each day I feel the cracks in my heart healing just a little more. Each day I get stronger in my trust in God. Each day I'm loosening my grip on controlling the outcome of the situation.
Only in God's strength am I able to say that I have forgiven my husband for the affair. I know that his actions were sins against God and were a result of giving in to temptation and ignoring boundaries. There were unmet expectations and disconnectedness in our relationship. He allowed the lies of the enemy to convince him that another woman was the solution and only cure for his unhappiness.
Seventeen years ago, I responded to betrayal and disconnectedness from my husband by starting an online friendship with another man. I crossed the boundaries and shared details of my marriage that were inappropriate. The friendship only lasted a short time but it caused further damage to our already fragile marriage. Even though I was a Christian at the time, I did not have a deep intimate relationship with Christ. I didn't know how to take my hurt and loneliness to the Father for comfort and healing. I sought a worldly solution to a heart problem. I am so grateful that I know better now. I know how deeply the Father cares for me and wants me to bring all my cares and concerns to Him. I know that He is the only answer for my heart issues. And that's what forgiveness is. It's a heart issue.
Forgiveness reflects your heart attitude toward God and the person who sinned. Before we can have a heart ready to forgive, we must approach God and battle through the hurt and ask him to give us a forgiving and merciful heart.
"Aiming for a forgiving attitude means working to forgive those who sin against us in our hearts, being prepared to offer mercy to the offender if and when asked, and being ready to forgive even if reconciliation may not happen at this time."
Once we are able to forgive, then the even harder work of rebuilding trust begins. I like how Rick Warren differentiates between Forgiveness and Trust.
"Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don't understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior. Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but your are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you."
Even though I have forgiven my husband for the affair, I admit that I am really struggling with the hateful words spoken and things that he has done or threatened to do in the last couple of months. I don't understand how you can proclaim to love Christ and behave in such hateful ways. I know that God sees it all and hears it all. And in His timing he will deal with it. I just have to remove myself from all contact, at least for this season. Maybe in time there will be restoration.
For now I must remember that forgiveness is a personal conversation between me and God. He knows my heart and he knows the offenses against me. I can lay those offenses at His feet and trust Him to deal with them. And when I'm tempted to pick them up again, He reminds me that those are not yours to carry anymore. That battle belongs to Him.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.