Forgiveness is a Part of My Story

I don’t know where to start in the telling of the story churning in my heart.

It’s been eight years since my marriage fell into pieces. It’s been eight years since God put it back together. It’s different.

It’s better.

Eight years ago, my husband confessed his private battle to me. He lay his struggle at my feet in tears and pleaded my forgiveness.

Although most of our story will remain private, the core struggle was lust. And he is not alone in his temptation: a very large percentage of men, both Christian and non, battle the same demons.

The world considers his struggle not only normal, (as did a couple of the mentors he confided in who even downplayed it with, “Oh, all men do that. All men think that. All men lust.”) but our world even encourages men to lust after women.

With the barrage of immoral media, easily accessible lewd images on the Internet, even the magazines delivered to our front doors, temptation for men to lust, to sin, is everywhere.

My hubby is a good man. I can look back on that day and the heart-breaking, eye-opening months that followed and truly admit that I’ve never loved him more. Walls were shattered and we moved into an intimacy I’d never known before. Because watching your soul mate overcome is beautiful.

But this story isn’t about him. Freedom is a part of his story.

Forgiveness is a part of mine.

Even after eleven years of marriage and two children, I was very naive. From the first day of marriage counseling after we told our tale through tears, I was deemed by the therapist “beautifully innocent.”

I was embarrassed, even apologetic for not knowing all the terrible things of the world and for believing my hubby was above them. But after a lot of encouragement, I realized this is exactly how I hope my children grow up,“beautifully innocent.”

So, maybe you can imagine just how heartbroken I felt with my hubby’s confession. (I did learn from our counselor who specialized in these issues that my hubby was only scratching the surface of this deviated world. He didn’t downplay my sorrow, he praised my hubby’s restraint. After all, when you struggle, you are fighting against an opponent).

But I still felt betrayed and devastated. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t stop crying and I blamed myself. If only I was more….. I should have…..

There are a hundred details that don’t need to be told and a million tears shed in disappointment. But it all came down to one choice for me.  Would I forgive? Could I forgive? Could I stand beside my broken man?

On the day of my hubby’s confession, I forgave him. I didn’t do it because I’m some incredible saint. I didn’t forgive because I was trying to save my marriage, I forgave because I’ve been forgiven.

My struggles are impatience and pride. I have a temper and many other weaknesses. They just don’t bare the label of my hubby’s.

I don’t know what lies beneath the surface of your marriage. I certainly didn’t know the walls of mine were cracked. I thought I knew intimacy; I didn’t until our souls were laid bare and broken. I don’t know if you have a choice to make or if you think your marriage is beyond repair, I only know that forgiveness is a part of the healing.

Four years later, our third child was conceived through our sorrow and bears Grace in her name because that’s what saved us.

I get emails every week from women who admire my love for my hubby and comment on his kindness towards me. We are a miracle.

And it started with forgiveness.

 

Has forgiveness been a part of your story?  Does it need to be?   

Originally published on (in)courage.

Photo Credit: . Entrer dans le rêve via Compfight cc

5 Comments

  1. Rachel Pieh Jones May 22, 2014

    This is beautiful Kristen. Thank you for sharing it with such humility and tenderness and even more, for living it.

  2. Kim May 22, 2014

    Forgiveness is very much a part of our journey, again and again. I don’t think I knew about true grace until it was our broken lives layed out. I am so thankful that our God is big enough and that His grace is always enough!

  3. Ashley May 22, 2014

    Yep, we had a day in our marriage..actually, when we were training to come on the field the next week that a floodgate opened. It was a horrible day I’ll never forget. I didn’t want to talk to my hubby after what he just told me. But the end of the day was beautiful, that I never want to forget. Huddled together on a twin bed in a college dorm room (our abode for training), bawling our eyes out. That’s the hardest I’ve ever seen him cry, and to think it was because I forgave him. Satan likes to creep up on me sometimes and bring that day back to memory, but God is quick to bring back the sweet memories of the end of the day.

    Without forgiveness, we’d be a hot mess.

    1. Just a gurl July 22, 2014

      I am right where you are at. The pain goes deep. Betrayal. And it happened right before a trip overseas. And battling the memories of discovery! WHEW! It almost induced a panic attack. And that is when I have to go to the foot of the cross and say I can’t battle it anymore.

      Today my husband says it is a choice. We are in therapy. We are learning a new way to communicate. Thank you for your brutal honesty. I thought I was alone in dealing with the mess and God’s call to serve.

       

      1. Ashley July 22, 2014

        You are definitely not alone! I’m sure there are more than even just the two of us dealing with this. Saying a prayer for you and your husband today, that therapy will help lead you two to a breakthrough. God is definitely bigger than these what seem to be giant, in-your-face issues!

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