I have received so much grace from the Lord. Truly, He has delivered me from a prison of abuse, secrets and addiction that I’d never have gotten out of on my own.
I am so glad I told the truth, even though we’ve lost so very much.
You might be thinking what I do on a regular basis. Those are just the consequences.
But how do I accept the consequences and grace?
God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I didn’t set out to not love my neighbors. I set out to find healing and relief through my pastor’s love and affection. The man who was supposed to help me gave me poison instead of what I needed. As a result, I became very selfish and spent years justifying my bad behavior in denial.
When I see my husband so angry over the betrayal, it grieves my heart. It will take years, perhaps even the rest of his life for him to overcome what was done. I wonder at times will he ever trust again? Though he’s stood by me and said he’s forgiven, I wouldn’t blame him if he never trusted me again.
My family was uprooted and forced to leave their home and friends all so we could find a safe environment. My daughter, who’s suffered so much already, had to come home yesterday from school because she’s having a hard time feeling like she fits in. She misses her friends.
My closest relationships, especially those family and friends of the former pastor are strained. Even though I know some of them care about me, the deception hurt them as well. Some of them will try to forgive both of us. The thing that has hurt me most in my life isn’t a safe thing to talk about with them anymore, because they still have to see the former pastor and his family and are trying to mend the relationship with him.
The biggest obstacle is starting all over with new people and not being able to forget the train wreck I’ve left behind.
The church we’ve been visiting is very small, just like our last one. It will be impossible to sit on the back row on Sunday and slip out. If I really get to know these people, I have to be honest about who I am, what my struggles are. There will always be the big question, If they knew would they accept me?
These are just a few of the most painful consequences that I’m reminded of daily that remind me what happens when we don’t love our neighbors as ourselves.
God has given me an abundance of grace, but I’d be foolish to think that I can just focus on His grace and not recognize those I’ve hurt will need time to heal.
So I’m doing the best I can to accept responsibility for my part in the consequences and at the same time remind myself that Jesus does not condemn me nor should I condemn myself.
He freed me from my life of sin, so that I could live. He tells me to go and sin no more. His desire is for me to find my new life in Him and Him alone.
But it’s hard. So very hard seeing the damage I’ve done to others.
God’s commandments are given not so we can keep them and earn His approval. We’ve already got that.
They are not given so we can keep them and be proud. We can do nothing without Him.
Nor are they given because God is a prude and He doesn’t want us to have any fun. He came that we’d have life more abundantly.
God’s commands are to protect us from the pain He doesn’t want us to suffer.
God’s commands are grace.
But thank God He rescues us despite the fact that we break His commandments over and over again.
He knew we all would and that’s why He died.
If you don’t hear anything else I’m saying, if you are battling with a secret sin, don’t give up until you find someone who will show you God’s grace and help you get out.
If that person isn’t in your church, keep looking. The link for my counselor is on the side of this page. If no one is near you, check out her books which are excellent resources or contact her.
Getting out of the sin is worth the consequences.
No consequence is greater than God’s ability to bring good out of evil.
What the enemy meant for evil God will work it for our good.
The darkness is not where God intended for us to live.
Ephesians 5:11-14 ESV
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
The fear of consequences I’d suffer if I told the truth that kept me hiding in the dark, finally came out into the light. The false comfort of my denial is gone, and the consequences are painfully clear.
But in the light of this reality I can see Him. And I know I’m not alone.
For Jesus, the Friend of Sinners, has taken my sin and given me grace, and my load is so much lighter.