The ending of my marriage left me alone for the first time in my life. Here I was, middle-aged, no spouse or children to distract me from my pain. It was just me, so I thought. This was the beginning of getting to know God in a way I could have never imagined.
I became a Christian at age 16 and was happy to devote my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. At this point, I was 33 years into my journey of faith. I was a licensed and ordained Minister, Bible Teacher & Preacher, Biblical Counselor and lover of God. However, I had no idea that God could take something so terrible and use it to bring about good.
Romans 8:28 (CEV) says, “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” You mean God can work even THIS for good?
Again, I sensed in my heart and spirit that God was requiring me to FORGIVE before I could truly begin to heal. I earnestly told God, after an evening of emotional distress and turmoil, that I wanted to do what He required, but I just could not do it on my own. But, if He would HELP ME, I would cooperate with Him. Of course I knew that refusing to forgive was sin. My definition of sin is anything that is contrary to God’s standard of righteousness. But…I was a broken woman, broken in every way. Some days the “heaviness” was so intense, I felt as if I were dragging my own body around. There were times I felt as if I was functioning on auto-pilot. I was so numb that I couldn’t feel anything. One day while driving home from work, I passed my exit (unaware) and was heading to my former home. It didn’t dawn on me that I was going to the wrong place until I was almost there. Then a gentle voice said “You don’t live there anymore.” I wondered would I ever recover and be okay again. Was I losing my mind?
FORGIVENESS. I sat in my favorite chair having this conversation with God and I ALLOWED myself to feel the pain. I felt as if an Elephant were sitting on my chest. It would have been easier to dismiss it but it would not have been healthy to do so. Divorce is the death of a marriage. It is an indescribable loss and all losses must be grieved. I cried from a place within my being that I cannot describe with words. It was a different cry – a wailing – an unleashing of “something”. I’d never cried like that before and thankfully I never have again.
I struggled with the words. But, I said them. I – FOR- GIVE – HIM. I don’t think my heart & spirit were in agreement with my words. But, I felt I needed to make the confession OUT LOUD. Every time an angry thought would come to mind, I would repeat my confession.
In time, my heart and spirit aligned with my confession. I would still have to remind myself that he is forgiven. I would remind myself for years.
My testimony is that once I agreed with God and surrendered my will to His; He brought about the forgiveness within me that I was incapable of activating on my own.
I eventually lost my home, car, and was brought to financial ruin. The losses that weren’t so visible were my self-esteem, confidence, ability to trust, ability to sleep (for 6 months), peace, and dignity.
Where is the GOOD you ask? Stay with me…