Forgiveness_image_credit_Robin_Dance

The anguish in her voice broke my heart.

She had just confirmed her father’s affair with another woman after months of speculation, separation and conversation.  Hers is a version of the same story I’ve heard before from others I love, and it stings my heart to listen again.

She asked me hard questions, the kind that don’t really call for answers, the words that help you wrestle through Things That Ought Not Be.  Questions incensed with fiery righteous indignation and understandably so.

How could he do that to her?  How could he do that to us?  How could he…?  

I was angry for her, once again a witness to the fallout and consequence of someone else’s selfish, self-serving choices.

It comes packaged in so many ways–

  • You learn your teenage daughter – a leader in her youth group and a missions trip veteran – has been sexually active at the same time you discover she’s pregnant.
  • You find your spouse has been making risky financial decisions for years without your knowledge or input, destroying your credit and bringing you to bankruptcy’s cliff.
  • Randomly deciding to use the car your son’s been driving, you find cigarettes and a lighter tucked away in the side of the door…and you can’t decide whether or not to be relieved that “at least” it’s not what your neighbor found in her son’s room–illegal drug paraphernalia.
  • The friend you considered your best, your secret keeper, your kindred, curiously drops out of your life, becomes close to others, never explains why.
  • Your parents’ marriage crumbles when your dad confesses his involvement with another woman, and his profession of love for her poisons your relationship.

No man is an island, no woman lives in a vacuum, and as much as we’d like to compartmentalize, our actions and decisions affect those around us…even if that’s not our intention.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. ~ Colossians 3:12-15 (NASB)

There’s a reason God commands us to love and forgive; if it were optional, I’m convinced we wouldn’t.

But people make it so hard, don’t they?  And in response, aren’t we inclined to make our love and forgiveness conditional?

When your life is rattled or upside-downed by the decisions and actions of others, how are you supposed to move beyond the immediate offense, pain and betrayal?  Is that even possible?

I believe love and forgiveness are possible and even in every circumstance.

I’m not talking about Christian cliche or pat answer;  this is no easy response or simple act of the will.  In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Love and forgiveness are possible when we surrender our right to have rights, when we relinquish any sense of entitlement–

  • to expect others to behave how we want them to
  • to withhold a loving/forgiving response until they’re truly repentant or compliant
  • when we’re the wronged party, or in any obvious sense, are “right”

The ability to love and forgive without condition demands that we practice what we profess.

Supernaturally – because I don’t see how I can do this in my own strength – I have to take God at his word and believe that his ways are better than mine.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

In every situation, there are as many different stories being written as there are people being touched by the circumstance.

Does it help you to know that God is accomplishing his purposes in each of them?

There’s redemption in awful circumstances to trust that God is accomplishing his purposes in you, in me.  It gives us hope to cling to, even when our feelings are screaming the opposite.  My perspective has evolved over a number of years during hardships I’d rather forget; I’ve said it before and it bears repeating here:

God is good, only good, and I fully believe out of this goodness, he has shaped my thinking to trust whatever circumstances occur in my life – the good and the difficult – are intended for my good, his glory, and in some way, the advance of the gospel.

The battle my friend is fighting finds her trudging through the mud and muck to claw for a way to honor, love and forgive her father when his behavior gives her reason to sever their relationship.  Hers is one battle in a sea of countless…like the battles you’re facing…and I offer you what I’m praying and speaking over her–

  • Consider what you can learn about yourself and others in the midst of the circumstance…
  • Trust that God can redeem this for good in your life, especially as you enter into greater intimacy with him…
  • Realize your testimony is being told through your response to the situation.

Be mad.  Get angry.  Scream and cry and punch all the pillows in your house.

And then love and forgive.

Because you are loved and forgiven.

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  1. 1

    It surely is a universal story isn’t it. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We have to keep in mind–but for the GRACE of God go I. And for those who have sinned, and caused the suffering and shame, for those two always go along with sin, there is the forgiveness of God, repentance and redemption–great good can come when the sinner turns to God and His love poured out upon to cleanse and set right…run to the FATHER for His mercy. Only He can show us the way to live, forgive, love to bring Glory to His Name.

  2. 2

    Rose,

    I think your first sentence is why I felt led to write it; in some capacity, we’ve ALL experienced the hand of betrayal, rejection, offense…and perhaps the harder side of that equation is we’ve extended it in some capacity, too.

    While all might be level at the Cross, it certainly isn’t from humanity’s viewpoint! There ARE degrees of offense and consequence. Yes, there is demand for love and forgiveness, but sometimes time and space allows those two things to be present, real, honest.

    Apart from a mighty work of the Holy Spirit within us, I don’t see how any of it’s possible….

    (thank you for sharing your thoughts.)

  3. 3

    this hits home…my sons wife of 24 years left him and it nearly broke him…I have had to go to God for forgiveness and to ask for help forgiving her…

    • 4

      {{Dee}}

      There’s nothing easy about forgiving your daughter-in-law; I’m so sorry all of you are in this position and I’m praying for you to be released from the bondage of bitterness. Holy Spirit, please guide and direct Dee’s heart. xo

    • 5
      Beth Williams says:

      Praying for peace in this situation!

      May God surround you and your son at this time and give you the healing you need!

  4. 6
    Robin in New Jersey says:

    Right this moment, my children and I are in the midst of hardship due to my husband’s very poor choices. We will probably lose our home and because he isn’t here, and I make peanuts for a paycheck, I don’t know where we will live or how I will take care of my girls. It has been very difficult to forgive and continue to love, but we are commanded to do so, so I carry on, trusting the one who gave HIS life for me.

    Great post, Robin!

    • 7

      Oh, Robin…I’m so, so sorry friend. Your circumstances must be frightening but I’m thankful you’re seeking Christ for security. Sometimes those words don’t seem enough, but at the end of the day, they’re more than enough…they’re everything.

      Even when feelings would tell you otherwise :( .

      ((hugs))

      • 8
        Robin in New Jersey says:

        Ahhh, feelings, they can really mess things up sometimes, can’t they?!

        thank you, Robin.

      • 9
        Camille says:

        I have nothing left in me – after 13 years of marriage, working hard to make things work & encourage my husband with every new job that he had (and there were MANY) and here we sit, in our 60′s, no home, and, me – the always optimistic, prayerful, press-on kind of gal, has none left. I have been chewed up, spit out, and feel no control over my own life. I have tried starting my own business but don’t have the $$ (because of hubbys choices) or support (even tho I’ve always been there for him) and I have lost all faith & hope and I don’t know how to change my attitude cuz I know I can’t change my circumstances

    • 10

      Hang in there Robin you can do it God will see you through I know because I have been there for many years now with my husband and his poor choices and my inability to do what I knew was right. Believe in yourself and keeping moving forward the best you can and God will be there picking you up…even on those days or weeks when you can’t even pray or think anyone is there for you he is there and he will give you a nudge to let you know that he is. I have three girls who have been through this hard jouney and really besides God they are the ones that keep me moving forward. I just keep hoping and praying they will learn something from this journey and see that no matter what happened I was always trying to make things better and hold us up as best I could. I will pray for you and your girls so that your days will get better and that God will bring you through this. (now for the anger part at my husband I am still working on that read below). God bless you and your girls.

      • 11
        Robin in New Jersey says:

        Thank you for your kind words, Dawn. they have helped me this morning.

      • 12
        Anonymous says:

        Robin, you have touched my heart with every word you write. Touched is perhaps too soft a word…you grab it, squeeze, dribble, dissect, with the very word of God. I can feel Him thru you. Me, who has been stumbling and crawling thru a wasteland of life for 13 years now, can feel God saying yes yes yes with every word I read. Thank you Robin. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! for another post that brings me closer to my God. Xoxoxoxo. YOU are an Angel among us :)

    • 13
      Beth Williams says:

      RObin,

      Precious Lord,

      Please come in and wrap your loving arms around Robin. Help her to feel your presence and peace at this time! Give her the strength she will need to carry on through this trial!

      AMEN!

  5. 15

    I so-o-o agree with what you said, “The ability to love and forgive without condition demands that we practice what we profess…Supernaturally – because I don’t see how I can do this in my own strength – I have to take God at his word and believe that his ways are better than mine.” I heard a pastor say recently, if we don’t forgive the person we love who has made the choice we hate, we are very likely to make the same choice they made…because we are still tied to them…we have not released them from our unforgiving grip…an alcoholic’s son who doesn’t forgive his father is very likely to have problems with alcohol…an adulterer’s daughter who doesn’t forgive her mother is very likely to have problems with adultery…Thank you, Lord Jesus, for opening my eyes to Your Truth.

    • 16

      Hmmm, Beth, what your pastor said is interesting. I know there are generational sins but I’d have to really study the word and seek counsel to believe that sin necessarily follows the thread of love. Regardless, we have to love, we have to forgive.

      The consequences to ourselves aren’t worth it if we don’t!!

  6. 17

    I know women who live in shame because of decisions a family member has made. Thank you so much for talking about this out loud. I love the advice to scream and punch the pillow at home -and then forgive. PERFECT.

    • 18

      Christy,

      I probably should have included a sentence or two about timing; sometimes love and forgiveness comes after a season of anger and bitterness. And that’s okay…it’s honest…and it’s part of the healing process.

      • 19

        I definitely think you can be angry, the person making the bad choices needs to know how they have hurt you. But, sometimes the hard thing is not to sin yourself while you are angry. I think God can cope with angry and any other emotion we have.

  7. 20

    Amen. Amen. Amen. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 22

    I love your heart Robin.

    xo,
    Stacey

  9. 24

    I find this so difficult and am bought to my knees when I look back on my relationships with certain people which have been hurtful and unjust…in my eyes. It’s the everyday out living of this truth that demands me to love….as I am loved. It’s not a suggestion as much as I wish it was….thank you for prompting me again in this truth. xxxxx

    • 25

      Sandra,

      NOTHING about this is easy; it’s even contrary to our nature apart from the Divine. I hope I’ve cast NO SHAME for those of us who struggle!! It’s understandable! I’m proud of you for seeing areas for which you desire change, and for sharing your heart.

  10. 26

    Yes. This was something on my heart this week. Had I forgiven? And I realized I had. And all the while sharing Christ with this lady in my life professionally, she was working against me. My hurt just dissolved and I see a life that is nearing her end. And I think. Ashes. She’s lived for ashes and deception and has been okay with that for it gave more money. I forgive and I am learning. Do I want to strive for ashes? Or for gold that is not burned in trials and has heavenly worth. I pray Dear Lord. Help me not to judge nor be self righteous. But keep me wise to stand up to the wiles of the devil as well that come clothed in smiles and gifts while evil is plotted behind my back. So I focus on that I did witness lots. Shared Jesus’ help when I was sick. I pray I was a witness.

    • 27

      Gwen,

      If your desire is to honor the Lord, well I’m sure your heart would/will be tendered toward that. Sounds like you battled through a trial with humilty and grace, and your prayer for wisdom and resolve.

  11. 28

    Robin, thank you for writing this. That need to practice what we profess is so great. But, I have to say, that having Grace poured out on me when others are practicing what they profess and forgiving me is such a mighty example and picture of God’s love to this sinner.

  12. 30
    anita roth says:

    This article really hit home for me. My husband and I for a few years now have struggle
    with a relationship with a couple who were our close friends and now have chosen to have a close relationship with a couple we know. Now we are not close to them at all.
    We shared so many wonderful memories together. Its hard to forget all of tnat. We
    thought that we would grow old together!!!!!!!
    I will say that this has helped alot but it will be a work in progress!

    • 31

      Anita,

      We’ve had those experiences, too, and they’re painful, raising so many questions, with the potential to cause resentment. But that isn’t love, is it? It’s honest to admit this is a work in progress…and I think God is gracious to allow us time to heal. Blessings to you.

  13. 32

    I know my tendency is to try to manipulate and control the choices that my loved ones make. While I realize that God protects the right for people to choose, it breaks my heart when loved ones make wrong choices. Thank you for the reminder that while I cannot and should not make my love contingent on making the right choice, I can believe God to turn even bad choices around for His glory.

  14. 36

    I just heard a video sermon by Andy Stanley on this, and having it in my face again today is encouragement as I head into a celebratory weekend with extended family. I have a lot of wounds that are fresh, and I feel like God is reminding and reinforcing this on purpose. Thank you!

  15. 37

    This hit home for me as I am divorcing my husband of 28 years. I am so angry with him on so many levels and for so many reasons. He has ignored issues that have been going on for years and will take no responsibility for anything that has transpired. I am tired, angry and every other emotion you can think of but most of all I just want to move on from feeling this way…so badly in fact I asked a very good friend of mine to pray for me this morning about this exact thing. I want to move on, I want to let go but I am having a very hard time doing it but will keep on trying. Thank you Robin for your insight!

  16. 39
    Sandy Renaud says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! These words are oh so ‘true’! I have received forgiveness in my life and I’ve given forgiveness, but it is only in and through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. This is something we cannot do on our own, it takes supernatural power which only God can give us. Thank you Jesus for your unconditional love!!! “If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed”!

  17. 40

    Thank you for this, the Holy Spirit knows I needed it! I’ll just confess my need to start this day over, as I was working my way into a super bad mood with IMAGINED offenses & unmet/unforgiven EXPECTATIONS. Now I’m going to pray for the peace that passes all understanding for all of us.

  18. 41

    This resonates with me in a very personal way. I heartily agree with what you say about surrendering our rights to see certain responses or changes before we forgive and love. In the wake of my husband’s recent confession to having an affair, I have struggled with this very thing because of all the years of verbal abuse I’ve put up with. Have I forgiven? Yes – supernaturally, because of the Holy Spirit in me and in obedience to His Word. However, do I have a right to see changes before I recommit to the relationship? Yes, I do. It’s a fine line that isn’t always addressed in the church.

  19. 42

    Thank you Robin – I needed to hear this! “The friend you considered your best, your secret keeper, your kindred, curiously drops out of your life, becomes close to others, never explains why. …Love and forgiveness are possible when we surrender our right to have rights, when we relinquish any sense of entitlement –
    to expect others to behave how we want them to
    to withhold a loving/forgiving response until they’re truly repentant or compliant
    when we’re the wronged party, or in any obvious sense, are “right”

    I’ve been working through JUST THIS ISSUE recently and loved this post. Really helpful. My issue is never that I don’t learn from the situation – I am great at holding myself accountable even for stuff I didn’t do! It is forgiveness I struggle with.

    So I liked “Be mad. Get angry. Scream and cry and punch all the pillows in your house.
    And then love and forgive.
    Because you are loved and forgiven.”

    Amen.

  20. 43

    OH MY GOSH, ROBYN! This is my story! Being a grown-up child of divorced parents is painful and very strange. My dad was looked up to as a church leader. Forgiveness has not come easily. I have something I have written, but have not been brave enough to post on my blog. I would love to share it with your friend. Can I email it to you?

  21. 44

    Robin,
    Thank you for your words. I have been having a hard time with my teenage daughter. She is basically a good girl that’s involved in Bible Study groups, sports & does fairly well in school. But, I am having such a problem with her disrespect for my husband & me & her lack of gratitude. I feel like I have failed her. I am almost constantly in prayer & am seeking God’s word on how to resolve this. I am keeping faith that he will reveal a solution, because I am very dejected. My sons are so grateful & respectful. I can’t figure this out in my own strength.
    Seeking him,
    Susan

    • 45
      Heather says:

      Mine are little, so I have now words of advice, but I pray that He who is able to do more than we ask or imagine would grant you favor in your daughters eyes, and that He will work out His perfect will in your hearts and lives. In Jesus name! Xoxo!

      • 46

        Heather,
        Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate them! Blessings to you & your little ones. When going through tough times, I love to remember 2 Timothy 1:7. Love, Susan

  22. 47

    This was so clearly stated and true, and I needed to hear this today! I’m facing a situation where it’s very difficult to forgive, and I feel like placing conditions on it, and what a sweet reminder from God in you writing this. Thank you so much, Robin.

  23. 48

    Okay, so someone make a beautiful printable with the phrase: “your testimony is being told through your response” because I want to hang it in my house and tattoo it on my children’s hearts.

    This was so, so well written.

  24. 49

    I read Philippians 3:10 this morning…. this post is like a big AMEN to that verse. I want to know Christ, and that is going to require that I do as He did. On my own, this is pretty impossible because I just want to grab a big hammer and retaliate. I hate to suffer. I hate swallowing my pride. I am not inclined to forgive unless “me and the Holy Spirit” do some business first.

    Thanks for this post. I need to read it about once a day… :)

  25. 50
    Beth Williams says:

    Robin,

    I am struggling with a boss who ignores me. It is soo very very hard to come to work knowing she will be here. God put it on my heart a while back to “pray for your enemies” and I have and try to figure out what I’m learning in this situation.

    I had a situation at home–where the natural me wanted to scream and say unChristian things. Instead I just cried, & punched a pillow. This situation will work itself out quickly. Praying about it dailY!

    Thanks for your wonderful writing! Blessings :)

  26. 51

    You are in my heart and my hard circumstances with our younger adult son and his decisions. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but I have also reached out with the love I could muster–even with prayer–and now after all of that, he is shutting me out. Maybe my love wasn’t real enough for him and his fiance. She was a girlfriend a year and a half ago~and for all that time I have been held in the grip of fear and stress, yet trying to turn that around to love.
    When I try to show love, it feels artificial in me. But I keep trying and praying.
    There is nothing harder than trying to reconcile relationships.
    But thank you for the verse from Colossians. It was part of our wedding–37 years ago. I will meditate on it until the Holy Spirit works it in me.
    Feel free to send any suggestions you have.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  27. 52

    Robin,
    Your post hit so close to home. I have been wronged by infidelity on more than one occasion. My first response, of course, was how could he?? Having gone through all the stages of grief…and it is grieving when someone does something we hate, supernaturally God brought me to a stage of forgiveness which is the only thing that truly sets us free. Thanks for such an honest and real post!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  28. 53

    I don’t like this. You keep speaking too much truth. I’m tired of getting hurt by “friends” (at what age do women stop making fun of you?), and I’m tired of struggling financially because my husband can’t provide. I’m tired of being told to forgive. Every time I do, it seems like it gives someone permission to continue the hurt (or whatever).

    • 54

      To everything there is a season Elaine. As one writer put it Jesus said to turn the other cheek, but you only have 2 cheeks. Forgiveness doesn’t mean not taking action for your self and for your own well being.
      I think as Christian woman we can get too wrapped up in showing the forgiving side of love that we neglect the “hard love” side.
      I could be totally off the beam here so I’d be curious to hear what others think of this. I’m just concerned that we don’t forget to use our God given heads as well as our hearts.

  29. 55
    Jessica says:

    This has really…really been God-sent! Blessing and correction, and I thank you. May God richly bless you!

  30. 56

    The day my daughter looked me in the eye and said, “David had an affair; I can too. Even if God doesn’t like it.” shook me to my core. It took her 3 years to rededicate her life to Christ, and everyone in her circle was hurt by her choices. Loving her through it all was difficult, but oh, so worth it. And it was a true gift to see her walking faithfully with God again before she passed away only 11 months later.

    That experience has helped me be more kind, compassionate, and grace-giving to more people more often.

    Praise God He is ALWAYS true to His character in loving and forgiving me.

  31. 57

    This was a timely word as I found out my sister had texted to my other sister that I was “greedy and selfish” in my desire to sell some pictures my late brother had. I planned to have any proceeds go to my mother’s account since she inherits all my brother’s possessions. I felt betrayed and judged when she called me “greedy and selfish” since my motives have been to take care of the the items my brother told me to sell in the event of his death. I wanted to lash out at her for her condescending remarks but then I heard the voice of the Lord as He told me to forgive her. She needs to experience the joy of the Lord and prayer more than my wrath. It makes me realize that to hold on to the anger can embitter me and give Satan the victory over this relationship problem. Thanks for this wonderful edifying word that releases me from Satan’s snare.

  32. 58

    My question is, is it possible to forgive but not trust? Do we have to trust again in order to fully forgive? I feel like I’ve moved on from a betrayal, that I am not bitter and twisted or holding a grudge. But I don’t feel like I can trust these people again or let them back into my personal life. I am pretty sure that’s okay but would welcome other people’s feedback/stories.

    • 59

      Susan -
      It is absolutely okay to forgive without trusting again. Tossing bitterness out the door doesn’t mean tossing wisdom out the window too. When someone we love is an addict or in the throes of other unhealthy, unsafe and unrepentant behavior, we still have a responsibility to steward ourselves and what we have been given well – which may mean that we don’t entrust any piece of it to them. Whether your “it” is your safety, your children, or anything else, the Bible teaches that there are consequences for behavior – even when you’re loved. We can love someone without allowing them further opportunity to hurt us.
      God Bless.

  33. 60

    Wow…just…wow. Thank you. I’m sure this wasn’t easy to write as it is a universal problem we all have to deal with – MULTIPLE times – in our lives. It is a gorgeous reminder of how much He loves us and is willing to forgive us, and, if we’re to try and be made in His image, we must do the same. Toughest lesson around. But worth learning. (I’m still trying, by the way.)

    Best line: “There’s a reason God commands us to love and forgive; if it were optional, I’m convinced we wouldn’t.” Yes.

  34. 61
    prasantha mcfarlane says:

    My husband and i are going through the hardship, lost our home and business because of wrong choices made, but i hope in the Lord to bring us through by believing He has plans for us beyond we can ask or think. I am standing be my husband and supportinf him. Please pray for me to have strength in the Lord

  35. 62

    Ive had to forgive people who stole from me, i believe im not married today bc of the destructive choices of others but hey Romans 8 28 it took me a while but i think ive learned to forgive. I dont necessarily trust people so quickly and i have to let God show me whos a friend and whose not. But hey

  36. 63

    One thing that has helped me get God’s perspective on forgiveness and loving others is that yes, I am to forgive, love, and be at peace with others as much as is possible with me. HOWEVER, forgiving someone does not necessarily mean that there will be RECONCILIATION with the other person (or them with me) or RESTORATION of the relationship. NOR, that I am totally responsible for that. Because…

    Relationships are TWO WAY, and the other person must be willing to reconcile for there to be 2 way peace and real relationship. I can forgive by God’s grace, and MUST forgive from the heart. But the real rub comes when the other person involved does not or will not do their part to make peace and make things right on their end. (Hence another “opportunity” to forgive again and again as that hurt is repeated over and over.)

    LOVE is, and can be unconditional. BUT relationship is NOT unconditional. When we consider Jesus, and our Father God, He will LOVE us UNconditionally. But right RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP with us and us with Him is NOT UNconditional.

  37. 64
    Danielle says:

    Wow!! God definitely placed this in my path today!! It was like you were sitting in the kitchen listening to my conversation with my husband last night. And I struggled, oh did I struggle, all through the night! Satan had a hold of my thoughts and I was buying into every lie. I needed this healing that came with the morning…just as He promised!

  38. 65
    jennifer says:

    Hello
    I also wanted to add that you can also love someone from a distance and still have a truly humble, God-seeking heart. Forgiving someone does not always necessarily mean being in relationship with them. This is often the case when someone has been in an abusive relationship – emotional, spiritual, mental and/or physical. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and that other person is to let them go or develop new boundaries.

    • 66

      Thank you Jennifer, this is what I wanted to say as well.
      I agree wholeheartedly with the thought of leaving someone for their sake as well as your own. Many times people with serious problems need something drastic to happen before they’ll even be willing to recognize that they need help. So sometimes loving them from a distance while you work on the healing needed in your own life is the best way you can help them. There’s a saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  39. 67

    One thing that can help after the hurt in not dwelling on the offense. What we think of daily, hourly, every minute can effect our attitude. Phil 4:8 comes to mind. Finally, brothers, (or sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Our thought life is super important it can even effect our health.

  40. 68

    I can’t tell you what this means to me. My husband and I have been married a year and a half. Back in February, he decided he wasn’t happy and needed time to sort things out. We’ve been working things out, so far as I knew. Then a few weeks ago I found out he’s been cheating these past few months. I love and adore my husband, and I can’t explain the anguish, hurt, and betrayal. And yet I know this isn’t beyond God. He loves my husband even more than I ever could, and wants to see him healed and whole. And if God can forgive and love him, I can too, with God’s help, love and grace. We’re both going to do individual counseling for healing, and also marriage counseling. Just please keep us in your prayers-God’s got this!

    • 69

      {{Tanya}}

      Oh, hon. Yours is an almost impossible situation, emphasis on almost (thank God!). My heart goes out to you and my prayers to both of you. Even as I read your words and reply to them, I’m praying.

      May this experience not be in vain, may it be to mature you in the faith, bind you together and help you to know God more intimately.

  41. 70

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    my “gonna school” budget to paying down my student loan balance.

  42. 71

    My ex made decisions that hurt himself and those around him. But when one is filled with anxiety and panicked, they most times don’t make the beSt judgment calls. My ex made the decision to end our relationship one day out of the blue because in his mind it was easier than being honest about his past with his family. We both made an impulsive decision to be together But it seemed as tho he didn’t want to face the hard work it would take to have a healthy relationship. All the fear, guilt, and shame plagued his mind about what others would think of HIM. And all those negative feelings became more important than our relationship. It was a low blow to me and took about a year to finally realize that my ex was not the same man I fell in love with. He changed. His negative and self absorbed attitude made it clear that he lived by sight and not by faith.

    We struggled being friends for a year after breaking up. But each day he unraveled more and more. It made me sad to see him make rash decisions that pacified his fears and shame But really didn’t reconcile or resolve. The cycle of his negative thinking and living continued to worsen and I would unfortunately get the blame for his mishaps in life due to his anger and frustration. I would try to forgive But he kept having a bitter attitude towards me and then the next he’d shower me with care. It was a sickening roller coaster But I remained kind and prayed every day for his healing.

    One day he was in a bad mood and basically hated everything in life. He made accusations about me and tore me down. Instead of talking like an adult, he acted like a child. It took a lot for me to tell him I cannot take his emotional abuse as I have been supportive and forgiving of him But was at my last ends this time when he said I was harassing HIM. He sat there and projected all these negative things onto me that HE himself was actually doing to me. He is troubled and I immediately prayed for God to forgive him. It was So hurtful because just the day before he was saying how kind and gentle and great a person I am to him. So I knew that somewhere in his heart he is not right. He snapped and said to leave him alone.

    I avoided him and was strong in prayer for two months. Just a few days after he said to leave him alone he was back to his “normal” self and carried on in conversation with me like nothing ever happened. I didn’t expect an apology because he has a lot of pride and So I fervently find myself asking God to humble him….to draw him closer to God. After a few weeks I began to talk to him here and there. My ex was showing signs of the caring side I’ve known him to have. But yet his attitude and thinking were still evidently self absorbed and focused on money, what people would think of him, and revenge of his ex wife. It’s like no matter what….he’s still so focused on what others think of him. This shatters me because although he claimed to love me….how could he say that if he can’t stand up and have courage to defend or nourish our love? He lives in shame….he gets paranoid when people see us talking…..he pretends I’m jot there if there are others around. It’s not right and it hurts. And this reveals that his heart requires softening by God. Idk if he realizes the hurt he caused or is causing…. But I find myself praying he has a godly intervention.

    I have been there for him to vent to about his promotion and ex wife problems. But I don’t give advice. I just listened and observe. And from what I hear….he’s still struggling with making the right decisions. His thought process is still revolved around hurt, hate, bitterness, anger, selfishness, etc. I just listen and then tell him I hope all works out and then I go home and pray for him. He is still anxiety and panicked filled. I really wish I knew what happened to him. He used to be confident, loving, kind, compassionate, and strong. Now I see a broken man who’s desperate to fit in with the crowd…. a man who denies his part in his self destruction….a man who is ashamed for have been with me for three years…..a man who will do anything to get ahead…..a man who has no forgiveness….. a man who claims to want the best for his kids But yet makes choices that threaten their time together.

    Part of the reason he broke it off with me was because he said he feared his kids wouldn’t accept me and would hate him. But yet then and even now he talks about how much we’d get along and they’d love me. So I find myself down about the mixed signals. But I realized it’s not about me….it’s about himself and his lack of faith in himself, his kids, me, and us.

    The other day he got offered a position But it’s not guaranteed to have days off that he is court ordered to spend with his kids. He said his ex wouldn’t help him out if he asked her. So I asked what would happen if she didn’t cooperate. He said he would get the promotion he’s been wanting But would not get to see his kids. So I asked shockingly if he was willing to take that chance?? He got upset and said he’s the one making a sacrifice for the kids future and it would mean more money for his ex. But honestly…. I was taken back at the fact that he didn’t see how NOT seeing the kids is not the best choice. But in His mind….he thinks he’s doing something for their benefit. Well, I think he’s brainwashed himself to believing that. I could tell he was mad I didn’t jump on the wagon. So I just said again that I hope it all works out and then I left and prayed for him.

    THIS is thee biggest red flag that my ex is in need of healing and a heart transplant. I know God gives us free will to make our own choices. But it saddens me to hear my ex actually say he would give up seeing the kids So that he can get promoted and then have the clouded thinking that he’s doing it for them. To me….it sounded like he was doing it for himself and for the wrong reasons. His heart and mind is not right with God and the things that SHOULD matter.

    He then went on to saying how he was gonna sue his lawyer….and then he had a grandiose attitude of how it only makes sense that HE be promoted instead of anyone else….and then he bashed his ex wife for being selfish. At this point I had nothing to say and wanted to leave to begin praying for him and his desperate state of mind.

    One thing about his ex wife….
    Yes she isn’t the most gentle, caring, or cooperative person. But the foundation of communication and caring they had for 20 years wasn’t exactly the best. So I know that my ex has made wrong choices in the forgiveness arena with his ex wife. And I firmly believe until he reaches out and forgives and asked for for forgiveness…. he will struggle with the bitterness and anger and paranoia of his ex controlling his life.

    But I release all these things to the Lord. I know that only God can bring about change of hearts in others. I ask and pray for God to change and transform me. I love my ex But I know that things between us will not be reconciled by me But only by God. I know that my ex will come to a place where God will intervene and show his presence to him. And until then, I ask God to strengthen me as my relationship with our Lord goes stronger thru this hardship and heartbreak I’m dealing with. It’s difficult. But I try to remember to hate the sin and not the sinner.

    Please pray for me and my ex.

    • 72

      Danica,

      I hear your pain after years of hurting, and yes…I’m praying for you and your ex. May you draw closer and closer to the Lord, may he heal the broken places, may your faith be magnified to the glory of God.

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