The F Word

WARNING: This post contains brutal honesty.  You may not like me very much after to learn of some of my inner thoughts and struggles!

I had a wonderful talk with a wonderful friend today.  He has been walking with Tim and I through this whole ordeal.  Tim even stayed at their house for a little while when he wasn’t at home yet while I was trying to decide if I was going to try to work this out or not.  He is part of the small group of men who are walking Tim through this process and holding him accountable.  I love those men.

He asked to meet with me so that he could get my perspective.  He hears from Tim regularly, but he wanted to take some time to hear from me…the other side of the story.  I really respect that.

We had a good talk today.  He really challenged me.  A lot.  I needed that and I have a lot to think and pray about.

One thing he told me was that I have to make a choice to trust and to forgive.  Until I make that choice I am going to live in this prison of pain and despair.

Do you have any idea how impossible that feels right now?  Do you have any idea how much fear I have in trusting him?  Do you know how ridiculous it sounds to forgive him right now?

But it’s necessary.  If I continue to live in the fear of what might happen I won’t be able to live in what is happening.

So after I was done meeting with him I listened to a message from Elevation Church about forgiveness.  It drove home all that Keith told me and really hit me hard.  And God broke in and helped me to start wrapping my head around this forgiveness concept.

He used Romans 12:17-21.  I have read this before!  You might have too.  But today I understood it differently.

Read this with me:

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.

I realized I have been trying to do God’s job.  In some ways I have been trying to take revenge, to make Tim pay for what he’s done.  And it’s not working.  I can’t make him hurt the way I hurt.  And that frustrates me.  And I continue to live in this dark pit of pain. I could never do enough to “pay him back” for what he’s done.  Nothing would ever feel like the debt was paid.

And honestly, I don’t want to do that.  The good parts of me don’t want to punish him.  But the human parts, the destroyed parts do.

But that is not from God.  And God can heal those destroyed parts.

I also have to accept that I have no control over how God “gets revenge”.  I’ll bet it looks a lot different from what I would do!  I don’t think God is going to hurt Tim.  I don’t think he is going to destroy him.  I can’t say that I know for sure what God would do, but I don’t think that’s what it’s going to be.  There are consequences, yes.  And God holds to those because He is just.  But I don’t think God is going to just try to harm him.

And can I be ok with that?  Can I trust that to God and leave it in His Hands?  Can I “let” (please note the sarcasm in that word) God “pay him back” with GRACE?  And LOVE?  And FORGIVENESS?  And RESTORATION after brokenness?  Because I think that’s what God might do.

Can I give up the “right” to get revenge?  Can I give up the “right” to guard myself and keep myself from him?  Can I give up the “right” to hold this over his head for the rest of our lives?

Those are hard questions to answer.  But I think, after all that God has showed me today, that I am getting there.

And Keith was saying, as did Steven Furtick, that it’s not a feeling.  I can’t wait until I feel like forgiving.

I have to choose it.

And I will have to choose it over, and over, and over, and over, and over……..

And that is a daunting task to look at.  Overwhelming.

Does that mean it won’t hurt anymore?  Unfortunately, no.  It will still hurt.  But I think it will not have so much power over me.  I will be obedient, so God will walk me through that.  And over time it will get better.

But as with most things, I can’t look at the whole task for the rest of our lives.  I have to look at today.  This moment.  Because who knows what tomorrow holds??

Romans 12:21 says: Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Keith kept reassuring me that I have the strength to do it.  I have the character to do it.  I doubt that oftentimes, but he believes it right now!  He said I can be “She-Ra: Princess of Power”!!  (Anybody remember her??? Anyone???  🙂

Forgiveness is not a passive thing.  It is not something that is done in weakness.  It is not a small thing.

I don’t think the word “conquer” connotes anything passive!  Them’s fightin’ words!

By not forgiving Tim I am letting evil conquer me.  I am letting satan pull me down and drag me to those places that hurt so bad and hold me there.  I am letting him tug at my heart and keep me from moving forward.  I am letting him keep me stuck.

I don’t want that.  So what do I have to do?  Conquer evil by doing good.

Can’t I just be neutral?  Isn’t that enough?

Nope.  I have to do good.

That means letting go.  That means loving on Tim despite what he’s done.  That means praying good things for him.  That means forgiving his little annoyances now and not letting them take me back to what he’s done.  That means letting myself be free.

Free to love him.  Free to forgive him.  Free to trust him.  Free to move on.  Free to seek God and find out what He has for us now.  Free to be good parents on the same team.  Free to be the Godly wife I can be.

Am I there yet?  No.

Have I made this choice as of this moment.  I’m sorry to say, but no.  I need to be ready for that.  God and I have to have some talks so I can do that.

But I finally have a better grip on what forgiveness looks like in this situation.  I have been frustrated up until now trying to figure out what in the world it would mean to forgive Tim.

I think I have a better understanding now.

Now I have to figure out my choice.  The ramifications for both are huge.  They each take me down a very different path.  Life looks very different when I look down each road.

I have to make a choice.  I know what I want to choose.  But I need to figure out how to pull the trigger.

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12 thoughts on “The F Word

  1. Shera!!! Yes!

    Sounds like you had a good talk! I liked reading your take on that particular passage – that maybe God will repay evil with grace. I need to chew on that a bit.

  2. I am so amazed by your gut wrenching honesty & vulnerability. It stretches me and encourages me to open up. Don’t beat yourself up too hard about not being ready to choose. You are definitely persevering. And that is an incredible testimony.

    • thanks angie!! one of my biggest fears is that good won’t come of this awful mess. so, if God can use my experience to speak to others, then that makes me happy. it’s all Him, i can’t do any of this without Him giving me what i need each moment. i just need to keep choosing Him instead of myself!

  3. That’s the hardest thing for me – even when it FEELS a certain way, it all really is a choice. Love, hate, peace, happiness, anger, frustration, sadness… I wish I was a much more disciplined person…

    xoxo.
    em

  4. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for spurring me on to pray for you and draw closer to Him.

    • awww, meesh, thank you. i’m glad God can use this to help others. that’s one thing i really want out of all of this! i love you girl! i miss our girl’s nights of chatting for hours!!! but i feel your love and prayers across the miles! 🙂

  5. I chose forgiveness and trust. I can’t say that it is always easy or that at times I don’t think I have lost my mind for doing it but it was the right choice. The one He wanted me to make. If you haven’t read Created To Be His Help Meet? I don’t agree with everything she says but she makes an excellent point that what I do for my husband I do for God. So even when I feel like my husband doesn’t deserve my kindness, love, trust, forgiveness, etc God does and I have to chose to do it for my Father.
    Anyway I hope these thoughts will help you and I wanted you to know you are not alone.

    • thank you stacy! your words help me keep perspective. i have learned this idea of forgiveness really is more about what’s going on between me and God than between me and Tim. interesting!

  6. Excellent. Brutal honesty, no words minced. I have found that there are some days the forgiveness is easy. Others – not so much. But yes – it’s something I must CHOOSE to do. 🙂 Same with loving him. I have to CHOOSE to love him. All of him which include the choices that have lead us to where we are today. When I look at the big picture of it all, it looks so bleak, dark and scary. Not much light. But – there is light. God’s light and that is what I hold on to. Just as you do with your conversations with God. I once had a good friend tell me that she argues with God. I thought WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding. 🙂 You’re words remind me of this when you talk about your conversations with God. You’re listening – somethings don’t feel right yet, but you know they are a good thing.

    Kinda like sensible shoes. A cute pair of blinged up sensible shoes…. yea, that’s it.

  7. one more note – is your email listed somewhere that I missed it? Or would you mind sharing it somehow with me? 🙂 you can even send it to me through a comment on my blog – I moderate them so not all get posted. like the one you sent me just a few days ago.

  8. Keep persevering, girl! I know you know the right choice, and you want to choose it, but you honestly aren’t there yet. I think admitting that speaks more strongly to those watching you than if you said you forgive him but then still struggled with living it out. But I’m pulling for you to make the right choice, because it will bring you more rewards in the long run. Sounds like you are moving in the right direction, and I will keep praying for you to move out of your own prison of hurt and distrust. Love you!

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