Find God in Forgiveness

By K.O.:

Is forgiveness possible? Even for the new wife of a spouse who betrayed you?

 

Image courtesy of nirot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nirot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I thought about her.

I dreamed about her.

I saw something about her in every woman I met.

Some had her name. Others her deep-set blue eyes or her curly hair. Even the slightest resemblance turned my stomach into a knot. But all of this hurt would eventually lead me to find God in forgiveness.

Was I never to be free of this woman who had gone after my husband and ultimately married him?

The grief and anger drained the life out of me.  I tried counseling.  I attended recovery workshops. I read books. I screamed into my pillow at night. I was desperate for an end to the pain.

Then one Saturday I was drawn to a daylong seminar on the healing power of forgiveness held at a church in my neighborhood. The leader asked us to focus on someone in our lives we had not yet forgiven.

My first thought was of my husband’s new wife, Marnie (name has been changed). My stomach churned. My head throbbed. How could I forgive such a person?  She not only had betrayed me but my children too.

Then a voice within gently prodded. Are you ready to release her? I began to shake all over.  “YES, I’m willing,” I whispered.

Then something amazing occurred.  I simply let go! I can’t describe it.  All I know is that for the first time in four years I completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit. I released my grip on Marnie, on my ex-husband, on myself.  I stopped being angry–and forgave–just like that. I could hardly believe what had happened:

The following Monday I wrote Marnie a letter.  The words spilled onto the page without effort. “Dear Marnie,” I began. Then I proceeded to tell her what had occurred on Saturday, and how prior to that day, I had held her hostage in my mind–and how my grief and anger had denied both of us the healing power of forgiveness.

On Wednesday afternoon of the same week, the phone rang. There was no mistaking the voice.  “It’s Marnie,” she said softly.

She thanked me for the letter, and acknowledged my courage in writing it. Then she talked briefly of her regret.  “If someone had done to me what I did to you,” she said,  “I don’t know if I… ever…could forgive…” All that I had wanted to hear from her, she said that day.

As I replaced the receiver, however, I realized that as much as I had welcomed Marnie’s words, they paled in comparison to what God was teaching me.

I was finding God in forgiveness.

He had transformed my human grief into divine gratitude–gratitude for the healing power of forgiveness, which had changed my life—from that moment forward. I began to see then that no one can truly hurt me as long as I am in God’s hands. Every experience–even the most gut wrenching–has a divine purpose when I am walking with my Lord and trusting Him to bring good out of all situations.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 in the Bible).

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 in the Bible).

See this video with Joyce Meyer: Do Yourself a Favor and Forgive:

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