Where Forgiveness Happens Healing Begins
Where does forgiveness happen?
We were riding in the car as tears were streaming down my face. Our marriage was in sticky spot. We’ve been in sticky spots before, but it seems like the challenge to work through it doesn’t necessarily get easier.
We had both been busy and were starting to feel like two ships passing in the night. Our conversations seemed to consist only of what needed to get done, how tired we were and wondering when we might get relief from some of our burdens. There was really no romance and each other’s presence seemed to only represent more stress added to our days.
We had planned an overnight get away hoping to reconnect, but sometimes when we are in those sticky spots, reconnecting feels so far out of reach that you feel pretty sure it will be impossible. There was just too much “stuff” to wade through.
A few days before we left, I began to pray that God would go ahead and prepare the way for us…that the trip would truly be refreshing and somehow, by some miracle, my husband and I could actually reconnect in a very real and powerful way.
I prayed over my own heart because I KNEW I had a critical spirit toward my husband. It was wrong, but I didn’t know how to change my attitude toward him. My only hope was for God to step in and work.
Over our 28 years of marriage, we have had many, many uncomfortable discussions. The worst ones were the ones I didn’t pray over first and then unloaded a ton of emotional baggage on my husband. Eventually, we came to a resolve, but the process was sometimes unnecessarily hurtful. I’ve learned it’s better to bathe those conversations in prayer and work through some of my emotions with God first.
So as we rode in the car, I chose my words carefully and used as few words as possible. I wan’t afraid of long pauses in the conversation and I didn’t feel the need to make sure my point was heard. You know what? God did exactly what I asked Him to do. My husband verbalized the very things I would have brought up and his plan to deal with them. The tears flowed as I absorbed my husband’s loving words toward me AND the fact that God had worked on my behalf and I didn’t need to fret over it…not for one minute.
As I had prayed over this sticky spot, God had cultivated in me a heart of forgiveness toward my husband BEFORE our conversation even began. Because I had waited on the Lord and was unhurried in my journey toward resolve, there was time and space for the Holy Spirit to do the work he needed to do in my husband. The walls between us toppled and we spent that time away truly enjoying each other.
Marriage is probably the relationship that most requires a spirit of forgiveness. The Enemy wants to destroy godly marriages and we must be courageous enough to stand firm, wrestling with our own desire to do things our way.
I haven’t always done the right thing in our marriage, but forgiveness made a way. That kind of forgiveness only comes from the One it originates with. Jesus was our greatest example. Because of Him we have the power to truly forgive…and where forgiveness happens, healing begins.