I could just feel myself being tested, pulled in a thousand different directions, struggling to hold back the tears and the very literal vomit that I felt. In my heart, I pray that he truly is this man of God she described. I pray that the mistakes he made with me do not haunt him today, and I pray that he has a truly amazing relationship with his wife and his baby. But as we are sitting here talking about our children being raised together in our church, holding each other accountable as a church family, and the important role we all play in each other's lives I just wanted to run from the room, run from the church.
I'm not going to pretend that my feelings in this matter are godly. I'm not going to pretend that this is easy or that this makes sense. This is a very painful struggle. One that may very well be a test to see if I have truly forgiven, or one that is a test to see how much I can withstand. I don't know. All I know is that God knows. All I know is that I need to fall on my knees before the Lord for strength to make it through this. That, hopefully, this will be a success story to tell my children one day, and a warning that the things of our past do impact our future. But in that moment I couldn't see beyond the past, I couldn't see beyond the pain.
I can only pray that I will be able to share later an amazing victory that has come out of this. I pray that God will wrap His arms around my fragile heart and carry me through this time. If nothing else, this serves as a great reminder as to why it is God who is the leader of my family, a reminder as to why it is God who holds my children in His hands. Because I in my flesh am so very weak, and without His power I am an utter failure. If nothing else this is a reminder that life does happen, and that our mistakes have very real and very unforeseen consequences. If nothing else, this is a reminder of how to be truly godly, how to love those who have hurt us beyond what we can bear, how to show the love of Christ when we cannot love ourselves. If nothing else it is a reminder that life is never going to be perfect, that sometimes we just have to deal with the upside-downs and the inside-outs.
Aren't these moments of the drudged up past such a great reminder of forgiveness? I sit here struggling to hold his past actions against him, yet I pray that no one would ever hold my past actions against me. I truly have forgiven him, I truly have. I was told that one of the signs of true forgiveness is wishing the person who caused you harm the best. Being able to picture them and not wishing harm upon them. And I do, I do wish him happiness in his family, joy with his children, and I pray that he has grown up into a godly man. I do not want to still see him through my eyes of hurt. I need to see him through the filter of God's grace.
Our past does not determine our use in the future. We are all great reminders of this, and I am surely the greatest. If the actions of my past determined how well I would do in the future, I should give up now, but we do not give up because God does not give up on us. Our lives are a constant process of growing, changing, being molded into who He wants us to be. There are things in my past that would hold me back from even speaking in public if I let them. Why do we lavish grace upon ourselves for our past mistakes, but use these mistakes as shackles in the lives of others. We use them to hold these people back to keep them from growing. God forgive me for ever allowing past mistakes to cloud how I view a person today. God forgive me for praying that others forgive me of my mistakes, but not allowing myself to forgive them.
"I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." Psalm 116:1-2