Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Forgiveness Process Part 2

Personally, the hardest part about the forgiveness process was forgiving myself. I had to bestow forgiveness and accept it all at the same time. I cannot express to you the emotional shame and guilt I felt. I viewed myself as a "bad person." Even with forgiveness from God and my husband..I still felt like trash. I felt ugly. I felt unlovable. I felt raw on the inside. Years after the affair had ended I ended up crying in a counselor office. She had pointed out that I had forgiven everyone involved except myself. She challenged me to write myself a letter.

It took me several weeks to complete the letter. I would start to write and become so overwhelmed by emotion that I had so stop. I didn't want to face all the sin and disgrace that was caused by my affair. I was so disappointed in my self. After several attempts, I had to push my self through the pain and memories and complete the letter. I thought writing the letter was the hardest part...until my Counselor asked me to bring the letter to our next session. I figured she wanted to read and analyze what I had wrote, but nope. She asked me to read it-OUT LOUD! Can you believe it? It was pure torture. It was so hard, but she encouraged me and pushed me until I finished. I folded the letter and put in down on the table as I grabbed another tissue..and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Something amazing happened. I had an amazing epiphany. It felt amazing when I had finished reading the letter out loud. It was like a switch went on. I needed to verbalize by sin. I needed to vocally express my sorrow and dishonor. I felt that way when I had finally verbalized my sin to Christ. It was freeing. It was liberating. I was forgiven. I leaned the importance of communication.  I needed to hear the words aloud. Just like Jesus needs/wants us to speak out sin and ask for forgiveness. He doesn't call us to "think" about forgiveness, but to ask. It is so true for all relationships, including the relationship we have with our self.

I am human and so I occasionally struggle with past failings and errors. I believe it is part of our sinful nature.  But it is such a relief to find respect and grace for myself again. I am not a "bad person." I simply made extremely poor choices. I am a new creation in Christ. I am free.

No comments:

Post a Comment