Here is the heart-song of one of my dearest, sweetest friends. Like she says, I had no idea when I asked her to write her story, that it would be such a testimony of forgiveness and love- but I definitely would have insisted that she write it! It is a precious, powerful story of God’s healing power, and grace in making ALL things new. This gives me such encouragement and hope for my marriage. We worship a God who delights in rolling back the curse of sin, and redeeming a fallen people. He restores us and makes us new- day by day. I hope her story blesses you (and your marriage) as much as it did me!
Callie asked me to write my love story for her “very edifying, very helpful, very non-cheesy marriage challenge” , though I don’t know if she would have asked me if she had known my whole story.
Very few people do.
It hurts to tell.
But it does point to a beautiful God. A gracious, forgiving, merciful God who makes beauty out of ashes.
It took a little persuasion to get me out on that first date but by the time we left, I thought, “I’ve never had so much fun with a guy before.” He just made me laugh. All the time. We both fell quick and hard. We were married within a year.
The first year of marriage was wonderful but then, well, you know how it goes – the disillusionment, the disappointment, the despair, the growing seed of doubt.
“What if I made a mistake? What if God had made a mistake?” This lie kept festering in my heart. In my desperation to find happiness, I turned my back on God (ironically the only One who could bring me true, lasting happiness) and my husband.
I had an affair.
The Lord relentlessly pursued me and brought me to a breaking point.
I knew I had to confess the affair to my husband. How would he react? Would he leave me??
I will never forget the look on his face when I told him.
It haunts me. So much pain.
I saw his whole world crumbling before him in a moment. And yet in that very moment, he said he loved me…he forgave me…he stayed!
Who but a great God could have caused a broken, betrayed man to forgive his wife?
Who but a great God could have held our marriage together?
I know the pain my husband lives with by choosing to stay. It would have been so much easier to leave. I see those moments when he is hurting and is struggling to forgive me. I know he is making an active choice day by day, moment by moment, to forgive the past and to instead love me. He is my living, breathing example of how Christ loves His church and gave His life for it. He has shown me in human form a small fraction of the love and forgiveness of my Father. The love He has for you too!
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Rom 5:6-11
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Ps. 103:10-12