|broken, but not beyond repair|
It took a long time to understand what forgiveness really was. When my husband and I became a couple, it was not under the most holy of circumstances. Nowadays we firmly believe that we were meant to be together and that our human ways of handling life created more than one obstacle to claiming each other. We’re going 10 years strong as husband and wife, and the months keep adding up as we go along. However, for the longest time I agonized over what we had done early one Christmas morning, the sin we had committed and the brokenness we created. In the start of our marriage, I began to believe that I was doomed to loose him, and created many maladaptive thoughts when it came to his Army deployments. I was terrified that he was destined to die because that was our punishment for sinning. If there was a negative thought to be had, I had them. See, that’s the terrible thing about sin, it makes one believe irrationally, it tears people apart inside and drags people down to the point that we are barely able to see the light. During this time I began to move away from the Lord, I wasn’t becoming a holy terror. I wasn’t drinking or doing anything in excess, but what I was doing may have been far worse. I simply did not turn to the Lord. I asked for forgiveness, I begged on the floor while on my knees to be forgiven for what I had done, but each time I did, I did not believe that I was actually forgiven. This was mistake number one. Understanding what it took to gain forgiveness meant that I would have to share the blame. For the longest time, I did not take into account that my husband had also sinned, which was mistake number two. It was not until years later after my husband was discharged from the Army and on his 18 month educational endeavor in Arizona that I began attending school again. My journey through obtaining my psychology degree at a Christian university began to open my eyes to the Bible, to reading and understanding scripture and this inspired me to get into church. This may sound like I am going to preach the importance of attending church (yes, it is important to fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ), but what I want to share is the message that has permeated my very existence and catapulted me into my relationship with God. In a small town, tiny church one Sunday I sat in a church pew, stunned and rendered motionless. From the pulpit I heard the pastor say (and pardon me if these are not his exact words) “who do you think you are that God cannot forgive your sin?” Please take a moment to think about this. Sin is sin is sin, sounds silly for me to say right?
“But this sin is worse than that sin-“
That is when I knew that forgiveness was no longer a myth. Who on earth was I to believe that I could not be forgiven by God? Who was I to believe that my sin was greater than God, greater than the forgiveness of God? Some reading this (I would appreciate greatly) may not be Christians, but that does not mean that forgiveness is out of your reach either. Some folks may struggle as I had done in the past, twist their self-talk and function through life on maladaptive thoughts. True forgiveness is not a myth, and you should not have to continually ask to be forgiven. We are human, we do harm as part of our nature. God understands this. He wants us to turn to him when we are weak; He even wants us to turn to him when we feel strong. That was mistake number three for me, not making the most out of my relationship with God. Once I understood that God’s forgiveness is not contingent on how terrible my sin is/was, but contingent on believing and knowing the He forgives, I forgave myself. Now, I am more than willing to share my testimony, to share my shame, to share my anguish. Don’t allow maladaptive thoughts to consume your daily life. It is painful to make the change, to repent, but the forgiveness on the other side is liberating. I would endure ridicule and human damnation because I have been forgiven by God, and that forgiveness is just as real as technology I am using to type these words.
A great compliment for this post is "Nobody is Too Broken for the Grace of Jesus" by Jarrid Wilson and can be found at