Contributing Writer: Mari Hernandez-Tuten
I wanted to share random tidbits throughout this series in between the stories of our 6 wonderful contributors:
My husband and I sat across from each other on the cold leather couches having an intense conversation while I watched my toddler through the window. He played outside oblivious and carefree, oh, how I wished to be him at that moment.
I felt betrayed by a decision he had made unbeknownst to me.
I wanted an explanation.
I wanted an apology.
I wanted to SCREAM.
I wanted to….. He sat there staring at me, looking like he just lost his puppy dog. I sat there staring at him with tears flowing down.
He apologized. My tears soon turned to sobbing. I didn’t hear his apology, all I could hear was myself, my anger, my disappointment and frustration.
Then God came in, ugh, sometimes you wish He didn’t because you want to stay mad. Out of nowhere I had this picture come to my mind, a very clear picture of my husband at the feet of Jesus asking for forgiveness. And I heard Jesus reply “You’re forgiven, my child.”
Tears are rolling down my face now, as I write and recall this beautiful picture the Lord showed me years ago. God was reminding me in the midst of my pain what He had done for me, for my husband: We are FORGIVEN children of God. Who was I to withhold that from the man I love?
It is an excruciating hard process for me to view those who hurt me through God’s eyes and even harder to show them grace in the midst of my pain. You have no idea how many times I have sat alone for hours, wrestling with God and arguing my point on why I am right, why they are wrong……
Moving toward forgiveness is work but when I do it I am 50 pounds lighter, and who doesn’t like feeling lighter. There is nothing like leaving behind that burden I have carried and played over and over again in my mind. I am not telling you it is easy, but I am saying it’s going to be worth it. Only and only through the strength of my Lord am I ever able to move toward love and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is necessary in order for you to move on with your life. In it there is freedom. Where there is unforgiveness, bitterness is around the corner waiting to take residence in your heart. It paralyzes you, keeping you from living and enjoying life.
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
What are ways that you keep bitterness at bay?