Trisha Davis loves people. She loves seeing people thrive. She loves seeing others win. It is that love that compels her to speak with honesty and transparency and call others to an extraordinary life.
Trish is an author, speaker and co-founder of RefineUs Ministries. She and her husband Justin blog at refineus.org. Sharing her own story of ministry, marriage, loss and redemption she longs to ignite a movement to build healthy marriages, families and churches.
She and Justin just released their first book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough.
Trisha and Justin make their home in Nashville, TN with their three boys, Micah, Elijah and Isaiah.
As Justin and I share our story, the affair gets all the attention, but what I have come to realize is that I had a forgiveness issue long before the affair. I had mastered the art of unforgiveness, and felt clueless about what true forgiveness looked like.
One of the questions I always get is, “How did you ever forgive Justin? How in the world could you forgive him after what he did?” It is one of the most important questions you can ask, and one of the most amazing questions we have the honor of answering. After all, ordinary lives in resentment, but extraordinary lives in forgiveness.
Resentment can have such a grip on our hearts that we need to forgive often for our own healing. That is exactly what we realized as we walked through the cycle of forgiveness. Forgiveness is hard.
Grace is unmerited favor, a gift offered with no strings attached. Forgiveness is a gift that flows from grace. In forgiveness, we give up our right to throw our stones in retaliation for the hurt the other has caused us. Forgiveness is only true forgiveness when you forgive regardless of the person’s response.
Spouses in extraordinary marriages live in the awareness of the grace and forgiveness given them by the Father. They embrace grief, anger, brokenness, and forgiveness rather than ignore them. They live in the knowledge that forgiveness is a process, not a one-time choice, and that it may take seventy times seven to finally feel reconciled. And they live in the grace to keep that forgiveness flowing.
Maybe you have fought your whole marriage to be right. You don’t think your spouse respects you. You don’t feel like your husband believes in you. So this resentment you hold on to is your way of proving yourself or of having the upper hand. This anger you keep just under the surface of your heart is a part of you. You wouldn’t know who you were without it. Your anger allows you to be in control.
Living in the hurt of the past allows you to brace yourself to deal with the disappointments and hurt in the future. You find your identity in your resentment.
If that’s the case, the truth is that there is a part of your heart you are not just withholding from the person you can’t forgive. You are withholding that part of your heart from God. And God longs to heal you, to free you, to form you and shape you into the person you were created to be.
Maybe this resentment you’ve learned to accept has nothing to do with your spouse. You take it out on your spouse, but it isn’t really about him or her. Your past hurts have made a home in your marriage and in the process have made your marriage ordinary. You were abused. You were overlooked. You were raped. You were taken advantage of. He broke up with you. He lied to you. Your dad never came back. Your mom never told you she loved you. Your friend abandoned you when you needed her the most.
In reality, you are terrified that if you forgive, you will be admitting defeat. If you forgive, they win. But forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart. Forgiveness prevents forfeiting your future by not living in your past. Forgiveness prepares you to move from ordinary to extraordinary.
When you forgive, the person who hurt you doesn’t win—Christ wins. He wins another part of your heart. When you forgive, you allow Christ to have not only more of your heart but more of your marriage. Where forgiveness lives, intimacy can be restored.
Who do you need to forgive?
Forgiveness leads to healing, healing leads to intimacy, and intimacy leads to extraordinary.
We’d love to share Beyond Ordinary with you.
You can download the Introduction and first two chapters here thanks to Tyndale House Publishers.
You can watch the book trailer here.
You can read some of the endorsements of the book by visiting the Beyond Ordinary site.
You can purchase a copy here.
And for the book trailer, please click here, or watch below.
We are going to be giving away five copies of the book today! Just share below about a time you’ve extended grace to someone in your life and offered forgiveness.
Taken from Beyond Ordinary by Justin and Trisha Davis. Copyright © 2012 by Justin & Trisha Davis. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.