Being Thankful

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Tonight our family went out together. My husband, me, and the four kids went in the van. Our first stop was to the ice cream shop where we enjoyed our sundaes in the car. Then we went to the store to get a few needed items. As we were all peacefully eating ice cream, I couldn’t help but feel thankful.

Our marriage and family has come so far. There was once I time when I wasn’t able to enjoy a peaceful evening. My heart was so filled with anger and toment. My marriage was completely broken. Everything seemed hopeless. I didn’t want to move on. I didn’t want to trust my husband and I certainly did not want to give him a second chance to make our family right!

That was a hard choice. Many times I questioned myself as to why he should be freely forgiven and loved. He caused me so much hurt and pain, shouldn’t he suffer some of it?

In the end I knew that way would never work. How could I ever make him feel my pain? I could not. When would the suffering for him be enough to satisfy my revenge? It would never be enough. And the most difficult of all- what about all the things I believe about God?

I knew that the way I wanted to treat my husband went directly against how God wanted me to act. Also, it never fulfilled me. All my anger and hurt only left me empty and dead. I could never heal my own heart alone. I could never make peace in my family on my own. I needed to accept God’s plan fully.

Once I made a commitment to do that, God changed it all. He showed me how to follow Him step by step and forgive my husband. Sometimes I have to keep doing this each day. During random moments the past can fill my thoughts and then I hurt all over again. But, only God can keep restoring me. I listen closely to the quiet voice of God that says,

“It’s in the past. Let it go! It’s in the past! Begin again!”

I know it’s true and I have to accept that. It’s the hardest thing to let go of our hurts. I am still letting go. I am relying on God each day to let it all go.

Nights like tonight I am so incredibly thankful. Seeing my children so happy that we’re all together just enjoying ice cream convinces me that I made the right choice. And seeing my husband, a new man, smile at me makes me know for sure. Not only is his smile filled with love, but with eternal gratitude that I gave him the unimaginable- forgiveness.

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