Thursday, January 12, 2017
So the reality is- the marriage is broken. Part II Forgiveness
God has been showing me something through the lives of some others and I have found myself writing a sort of 'plan' for a wife that has asked for help.
I have written this plan over and over and in different ways and I am believing God wants me to publish it and have it here for another to share with a friend and have some hope.
I am not a psychologist or a life coach. I am just a woman, who loves God, seeks the power of the Holy Spirit, and knows Jesus as her best friend. I have lived a little bit. Life's experiences have certainly been played out and I am pretty sure God is not finished with me yet, but I am going to attempt to share a couple of blogs that I pray God will use to help foster some hope and to encourage a wife who is hurting and broken that God is fighting for her and God will win!
If this is your first time here and you wish to read Part 1, here is the link:
Awareness Part I
And perhaps you are reading this for the first time and did not realize that my husband and I have lived through a rather difficult season in our marriage, so I want to say this with all transparency -- this is not a subject we laugh about or speak about lightly. It is with much prayer and faith, that we know -- God is using us as a glimmer of hope and light in a world that Satan wants to destroy. When a marriage is broken -- Satan believes he is winning. But when a marriage is restored and God gets the glory - God wins.
Part II - Forgiveness
1 Peter 4.8 says:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
I would have to say that the simple scripture of 1 Peter 4.8 was recited, memorized, and thought of over and over and over.
1 Peter has LOTS of interesting bits of advice and knowledge inspired by God. I recently read the entire book of 1 Peter and had a highlighting fest.
In 1 Peter 5 it speaks about humbling yourself, therefore under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares for you.
That sounds really good but after you become aware of broken vows, the first emotion may not be to cast your cares -- it maybe to CAST a fist into someone's face. The fine line between anger and forgiveness can be drawn and erased 4-5x a day. In the previous post, I caution you to make sure that you have a mentor and can vent the anger, the hurt, and whatever comes from your mouth in a safe way. And let me give you the best advice -- DO NOT place your feelings on Facebook. As I have reminded you before, if there are children involved - this man is still their father. Posted rantings or one night of anger being vented can't be replaced once it is posted. It is probably best to follow the old adage of "if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all".
Now in hindsight, I am so thankful my husband was not on FB. For one, I would not of been able to function if he would of unfriended me or posted something. And two, I have seen what happens between two people going back and forth on FB -- and it is not godly nor pretty. But I admit I did not post details on FB but I would post scripture and if you were paying attention and went back to my wall and read one after the other -- you could tell something was wrong or up. However, FB provided some outside sources and a glimmer of hope. Each person that liked my scripture and I knew that they 'knew' .....I knew they were praying and I took comfort in that. I wanted EVERY prayer I could get. I believe it sustained me. I have blogged before about a specific 'stranger' who messaged me on FB and God used her to save our marriage. She sent a message on the RIGHT night at the RIGHT time and God used it and I made a very real decision that night. I had made the decision but God used her to confirm it.
You can read specifically at this link:
God used FB to message me His confirmation.
And, I remember the day I got a frantic message from his aunt. It was private in messenger but she stated, "Chelly, what on earth is going on?". And I shared what had transpired and she stated she prayed, but I also asked her to just keep it to herself.
And even though I felt EVERYONE knew -- there were many who had not clue. Many that were not gossips and many that just did not know and all of a sudden they would catch a glimpse of my status and they would ask my husband, "hey what is going on in your house?". What happened next did not help in the reconciliation - but it only pushed him further away. So, again - be wise.
The anger needs to be dealt with. For me, punching into a punching bag helped. Long walks. Praise and Worship music was blasted and recited and sung. I took a few pieces of my husband's clothing and literally ripped them up in a few pieces. His favorite hat and his favorite golfing shirt. I was so angry one night I smashed a few pictures in their frames. At that point, I knew I needed to "up" my help. My mentor asked me to come in and meet with her and we would walk out some forgiveness exercises.
How can you forgive?
I knew I had to forgive. That verse, about how Love covers a multitude of sins -- I knew that once we all got to heaven, there would not be a 'grading' of sin. I knew that I would stand before God as a sinner -- just like my husband would or just like how 'she' would. And I knew I had to forgive. Forgiving is like an onion that has layers. You forgive on a daily basis and eventually after months and maybe years, there will be a clear knowledge in your head and confirmed by Holy Spirit that you hold no unforgiveness!
For me, I sat in a chair for a good hour and voiced a list to my mentor - out loud - each person that I needed to forgive and we made a list of WHAT I needed to forgive them for. After the list was made, we prayed and I said 2 little words, "I forgive ________ for __________" and then, "it is finished". My mentor made me a little card and laminated it. That day was 5-12-10. I can see the laminated card when ever the enemy wants to trigger a memory or hurt. She put a sunflower on the card as that is my favorite flower. But, when the enemy wanted to remind me of my past, I reminded him of his future!
My forgiveness was 'quick' but my feelings did not catch up until 9 months later. It took an encounter with God and some extended prayer and reflection and I confessed the hurt and forgave myself and I forgave God. That was a big deal. I wrote a blog about that - my Encounter with God and you can read that here if you wish:
My direct hug from my hero!
So often we forgive but do we forgive ourselves and do we forgive God. What a question!
So, in the last post I asked you to seek a mentor or prayer partner as you walk this new season out. I would suggest that you sit with her and make a list of WHAT needs to be forgiven. I would examine your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unforgiveness and bitterness.
There are many ways to do this. I have literally had a dear sister in Christ write everything on a sheet of paper and then we made a copy of it. We placed one copy in a helium balloon and the other we tied to a brick. Then we prayed and I had her HOLD the brick above her head. I asked her to hold it until her arm became to sore. At that point, we released the burden, dropped the brick and placed the list in a small fire. Then we released the balloon with the list to the heavens. It was symbolic but it was a moment in time that we marked forgiveness had been sought and all cares were cast on HIM. And I did not laminate a card for her, but I did snap a photo of the balloon as it traveled upwards and when there was a set back, I would text her the photo and remind her - God has it!
Ok, forgivess is very important. I have over stayed my welcome -- and typed maybe too much, this series may need to be read in smaller parts. To conclude, forgiveness is needed. Seek counsel in your pastor or fellow prayer warrior to help you pinpoint what exactly needs to be confessed and then forgiveness sought. I will add this -- it takes some time. And it is OK that your feelings are NOT right there RIGHT away. God knows.
With that - until Part III --
I am humbled to write for God and I pray that if this post is shared - that indeed God gets all the glory.