I don’t usually linger in the shower, but that Friday evening I did. Tears gushed out from my innermost places, as I let the hot water wash over every part of me. It felt like a cleansing of sorts. Just a few hours before, I admitted to myself and God that I had been an adulterous wife. Now, I couldn’t stop weeping as the filth of my sin came off with each rinsing.
Two days later, I walked into church filled with shame and regret. I longed to hear God’s voice tell me, all is well. That he forgives me. And He still loves me.
As we stood to sing, God addressed my shame.
“Are you hurting and broken within? Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin? Jesus is calling. Have you come to the end of yourself? Jesus is calling. Come to the altar. The Father’s arms are open wide. Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Leave behind your regrets and mistakes. Come today there’s no reason to wait. Jesus is calling.”
I walked to the altar, fell on my knees and wept. It felt as though God was stooping down to put his loving arms around me and whispering, “Leave your regrets and mistakes with me. Forgiveness is yours.”
The next song echoed more of His love for me.
“But, I heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night. And You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone. You’re a good, good Father. It’s who You are. And I’m loved by You.”
I wept again, humbled by God’s mercy.
To be sure I got his message of love and forgiveness, God gave me one more encouragement. The husband of a couple who sits across the aisle from us every Sunday morning stopped over after the service to say, “It’s so good to see you two together. All is right in the world when I see you both each week.”
This couple greets us often, but neither one was aware of our marital struggles. I knew then, that those words came directly from God, to me. Because I needed to hear them.
I went home later that afternoon with a glimmer of hope. Knowing God was rooting for me made all the difference. It gave me the courage and motivation to begin the hard work of repairing my marriage. I didn’t know what to do or where to start, but I trusted God would show me. And he did.
About a month later, on Valentine’s Day 2016, our marriage hit a turning point in the healing direction when Scott and I attended a marriage event at our church. The counsel and encouragement we received was exactly what we needed in the time we needed it. Only our God could have arranged it so perfectly. For He knew the kind of help his children, Scott and Phuong, were seeking.
February 14, 2016 became another anniversary date for Scott and me, as we renewed our marriage vows before God and his church. I recommitted to my husband with my whole heart for my whole life. Hard work lies ahead of us, but I knew our God would not let us fail. The first and hardest thing I had to do was, to come clean with my husband. For he had no clue about where and how my heart had wandered.
By now you’re either on the edge of your seat, wanting to know how my reveal went down with my husband, or you think I’m vain for dragging out this story. I assure you, the reveal will come in the next writing and I promise you, this writing isn’t about me.
I’m intentionally sharing this story in bite size chunks to help you, who are in the midst of your own heart wandering or whatever sin you may be struggling with. God wants you to see the process by which sin can be overcome. He wants you to know there are benefits and rewards for not continuing in your sin. You can make the decision to stop polluting yourself and the people close to you, with sin’s poison.
It’s never too late to turn away from doing wrong and to start doing right. You can leave your regrets and mistakes in the open arms of the Heavenly Father. God is not down on you because of your mistakes. He offers you forgiveness if you will accept it. He is a good Father who will not leave you alone, but will be with you as you turn to him and away from sin.
“Come today there’s no reason to wait. Jesus is calling. Forgiveness is waiting for you. Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy. From the ashes a new life is born.”