Freedom in Forgiveness

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It was 2am and my phone vibrated letting me know that I received a text message. I had an idea of what I was going to read but had to muster up the courage to look at my phone and see the painful message that was sent to me. My wife, at that time, sent me a message informing me that she wanted a divorce. This message absolutely broke me and brought me to my knees. My tears lasted the entire night. How could this happen? What could I do to change her mind to stay in this marriage? Does she even know how much pain I am feeling right now because of this news?

 

Over the next couple of months, we went to counseling, talked on and off on the phone, and met up a couple of times, but her mind was made up and she divorced me. This covenant made before God had been broken and there was nothing I could do about it. I thank God because during that time I grew so much closer to Him. He surrounded me with incredible people who loved me so well but I still had moments of revenge in my heart towards my ex-wife. I would pray and say, “Jesus I forgive her for all the things that she did to me and for breaking our covenant made before you” but would still have times of wanting her to suffer for what she did. This never gave me any type of peace or full freedom because I was only partially forgiving her. I was saying it with my words but in my heart I wasn’t fully forgiving her for her decision or for the pain that she caused me.

 

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Through this season, I only began to fully forgive her when I finally grasped how continually God loves and forgives me, One night I vividly remember seeing a picture of Jesus crying over the decision that she made. Upon seeing that, it broke me. It changed my thought process from, “How could she do this?” to seeing how this sin was ultimately hurting God. This completely changed my whole perspective and changed my heart towards her. It’s crazy to even think about but it allowed me to have a different type of love towards her. A love that comes from God, who is a God who loves us more than we could ever love anybody. That image changed the way I prayed and thought about the situation. I started to pray more often and say, “God, I just pray that she comes to know your love and heart, to see your beauty and glory.”

 

It wasn’t until I had this perspective that I felt a sense of peace and freedom. This happened about a year and half ago and to this day I still have moments when I hear God asking me to pray for her. With the help of amazing friends, a supportive and loving family, and God who loves me unconditionally, I have a full heart of forgiveness. With this help I was able to overcome not being able to forgive, but it started first with making the choice. You have a choice to turn to God for help. You have a choice to turn to friends and family who love you. You have the choice to proclaim life over someone and continually believe that you can forgive them. I pray this blog helps if you are struggling to forgive someone.

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1 John 1:9:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Ephesians 1:7: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Lucy HowardComment