I remember thinking, after I wrote out Chris & I's story a couple of years ago, that it didn't have a proper ending. Of course, part of that feeling came from the fact that- you know- we were still going and whatnot, but I remember thinking, "I wish this story had more closure to it."
I had poured out the past and the pain and the heartache, and then when it came to the end, it felt like our story said something along the lines of: don't have sex before you're married because it's not worth it and THE END.
I knew there was another chapter yet to be written, yet to be lived. And it wasn't until I wrote it all out that I realized there was something lacking.
So, for a couple of years I have been processing and asking God to write a new chapter in our lives. A chapter full of hope and healing and RESTORATION and closure. And just recently, I felt like God began to reveal that the new chapter was on it's way.
But there was another chapter that had to come before it.
One that might be called 'Unforgiveness'.
I have been holding on to unforgiveness over our past. Of course I couldn't let my husband into the deepest places of my heart! I was still on some deep down level MAD at him! Even though he has apologized sincerely to me hundreds of times for the years before we were married.
Unforgiveness is a sin. I have been sinning against the Lord and my husband. Even if Chris had never ever apologized, it would still be my responsibility to forgive him. God commands us to forgive one another. To drop it and let it go. To forgive because we've been forgiven. To move forward knowing that God is sufficient to heal our pain and turn it into GOOD without us squeezing restitution out of the people we think have wronged us.
Satan loves unforgiveness. I imagine, for him, it is not unlike watching a person pine away inside a prison cell even though the key is clutched tightly in their hand.
I still can't talk about the early years of Chris and I's relationship without feeling burning anger and sharp pain. And that's a HUGE RED FLAG that I have unforgiveness in my heart. Because when we allow God to come and truly heal our broken places, He takes the pain out of them, and fills them with His peace and comfort and love. He takes away the sting.
The past, for me, still stings.
I've been standing here- waiting Chris to repair the past. I have been playing the part of a victim... expecting him to somehow repay me for harm that we both mutually entered into. I could have and should have said NO. But I didn't. And I've been asking Chris to settle the debt... withholding huge parts of my heart from him until I felt justified.
I feel like such a hypocrite! Such a goob! But there is now no condemnation in God, and it is good for me to know where to go from here. It's like I've finally looked down and seen the shiny key clutched in my fist and all I need to do now is let myself out the front door.
Forgiving someone is an act of trust. I trust that God knows the deep places of my heart and sees the pain that has nestled down in there. I trust that He will use that pain and turn it into good things...a deeper understanding of Him and His character or a comfort that I can extend to others in similar places. I trust that I can let the defensive weapons of pain and anger go and become vulnerable and soft again.
I trust that He is good.
And so, in view of His mercy, I'm choosing to finally