Contributing Writer: Mari Hernandez-Tuten
We 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 my husband 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 trying to keep myself from erupting. I stared at him with fire in my eyes and puddles of lava flowing down.
His spirit was broken and I could see it in his demeanor. He apologized in the most sincere way that he knew how. But the moment he spoke the flood came rushing down. My tears turned into this loud and incontrollable sobbing. His apology fell on a broken heart and faded into the thick, tense air of anger, disappointment and frustration.
It took everything deep within me, not to scream.
Then God interrupted.
Ugh, how I wanted this moment.
But He didn’t care, he walked right into my melodrama and the pain that seeped from my deeply hurt heart.
Ugh, I didn’t want him there. How I wished He would of left me alone in my sorrow and anger.
I wanted to be mad. I wanted to stay mad.
I wanted to hurt my husband back like he had hurt me.
I wanted my him to feel the dagger of betrayal he placed on my back, for just a few minutes.
But God said–Not today.
As I sat there holding my anguish and sadness, out of nowhere, I had this vividly clear picture come to my mind. It was heaven. It was Jesus sitting at the throne. My husband was on his knees. At the feet of Jesus asking for forgiveness.
And out of the heavens came a resounding but grace filled voice speak and Jesus said: “You’re forgiven, my child.”
It was a mere 5 seconds but these seconds changed my life forever.
I was in awe.
I was speechless.
This time the tears that came rolling down were from a broken spirit. God was reminding me in the midst of my pain what He had done for me, for my husband, for all mankind: We are FORGIVEN children of God. Who was I to withhold that from the man I love? I didn’t want to forgive but He was showing me otherwise.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excruciating the process of forgiveness is for me. To view those who hurt me through God’s eyes is hard. But even more of a challenge is 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……
My husband and I embraced. We cried together.
Moving toward forgiveness doesn’t mean everything is better in seconds and all is forgotten. Its not! It’s work but it’s worth it. My husband and I had to work through the betrayal and he had to work to gain back my trust but that kind of healing wouldn’t have happened in the first place if I had not forgiven him.
When I do forgive I am 50 pounds lighter, and who doesn’t like living in peace, sleeping without the nightmares of our past haunting us. 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.
So dear friend, choose–life. Choose to move on and forgive.
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
What are ways that you keep bitterness at bay?