Today’s post was written especially for Suzanne Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. I pray this story ministers to your heart.
When Mercy Is Unthinkable…
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
Mercy is no more mercy to the person who doesn’t understand their need for it.
But for the person who is desperate for mercy—the dear one who hangs in the balance between the blackness of sin and just penalty—mercy is exquisite.
Mercy is the loving pair of arms that shield such a one from earned consequences.
And mercy to a person in dire need is a jewel of great price. It is a lavish gift that can never be earned or repaid.
Like it was to me the time in my marriage when I was in need of mercy from my husband. I was so wrong and I needed forgiveness.
It was unthinkable in my mind.
CAUTION: Pardon My Mess While I Am Under Construction
The sin of my past had me pinned to the mat.
Years prior, I developed an inappropriate friendship with a male friend of ours. Thankfully, it was only a dance of words and didn’t result in a physical relationship. But that in no way released me from the weight of what I had done.
God spoke to me over and over again. He made it clear I had to tell my husband.
I argued with God.
I didn’t want to expose my deeds. It was over, and it was done in secret. I turned from it, confessed it to God and moved on. That was good enough for me.
But it wasn’t good enough for God.
He said, “You tell your husband.”
I knew what I had to do, and it wasn’t going to be easy. I was so ashamed and scared. I had messed up royally. And now, telling my husband was going to make it real all over again.
Moved By Mercy
It took months for me to get the courage to ‘fess up.
I thought my husband would hate me. I imagined him reacting in every terrible way that I could think of. Fear of the unknown was the excuse I gave myself to disobey one more day.
But the thought that I was walking in disobedience to God bore deep into my conscience.
Suddenly, the fear of the Lord hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in danger zone—I even thought maybe I didn’t truly belong to Christ if could allow myself to ignore God for so, so long.
I broke. I couldn’t continue in my disobedience to the Lord.
I decided I couldn’t say the words, but the writer in me could put together everything I needed to say on paper.
So that’s what I did. I confessed to my husband in a letter.
The moment came. I told my husband I had something I needed to tell him, but I had written it down. I warned him that it was a “bad” letter that contained a confession.
As I handed it to him, my heart was about to explode.
I squirmed uncomfortably as I watched him read it. My heart broke when I saw his face turn red as water collected in the corners of his eyes. He had seen the words that detailed what I had done.
Looking down, I waited while he sat quietly collecting his thoughts.
He raised his head to look at me, and said in response to my closing question, “Well, of course I forgive you.”
That was it. No questions. No rebuke.
Mercy poured out all over me in the time when I deserved so much worse.
In that moment, though my sins were as scarlet, and my husband’s heart had been shredded up by my sin, the cross covered us both. My husband became a living, breathing picture of Jesus Christ when he had every reason to react in hurt and storm off in an angry tirade.
The glory of all Christ came to accomplish was reflected right there in that room before my eyes. I was/am thankful for the forgiveness my husband offered me.
I was once again thankful for the forgiveness Christ offered me.
And I am grateful that despite our brokenness—NO—through our brokenness, “he show[s] the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us…”
…even when mercy is unthinkable in our own minds.
You may also see me linking up with these lovelies:
Testimony Tuesday with Holly
#RaRaLinkup with Kelly http://purposefulfaith.com/
Woman 2 Woman with Meredith
Three Word Wednesday with Kristin http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/
#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee http://jenniferdukeslee.com/
#LiveFreeThurdsay with Suzanne Eller, http://tsuzanneeller.com/
Coffee for Your Heart with Holly
http://arabahjoy.com/ — Grace and Truth
Fellowship Fridays, http://equippinggodlywomen.com/
Just beautiful. Thank you for your courage to share the deep hurts. Your words brought tears to the corners of my eyes. Thank you for encouraging other women through your own pain and struggles. This is the meaningful thing we do as writers.
Thanks for your encouraging words. Sharing the hurts are what reveal Jesus as the glorious hero He is! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Wow, what a simple, yet amazing, response your husband gave – so Christlike. You are blessed, and so is your marriage. It’s amazing how God can bring himself to life and display his mercy through the people in our lives. God is so good!
Yes, I have been blessed with a man who truly desires to serve the Lord with everything that he has. I have been witness to God’s work in his heart (and mine) time and time again! Yes, God is so GOOD!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Just beautiful. Thank you for your courage to share the deep hurts. Your words brought tears to the corners of my eyes. Thank you for encouraging other women through your own pain and struggles. This is the meaningful thing we do as writers
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Having been on the other side of this conversation, I know what that cost your husband. But I can also tell you that the rewards from Heaven for the mercy granted in those moments is priceless. I pray that your marriage grows ever stronger, and that God continues to unite you to your husband. Much love!
I am sorry that you had to endure this hurt at the hands of your husband, but yes-God is so merciful to us! And when we submit to Him the result is nothing short of beautiful. No matter what the circumstances. Thank you for your prayer and for stopping by! 🙂
Beautiful Christy! Visiting from Coffee for your Heart!
Thanks for stopping by Lynne! 🙂
You were so brave. Following God is always the right thing to do. Thanks for sharing this difficult time.
Thanks for your encouragement, Mary. I’m so glad you stopped by! 🙂
What a beautiful, brave testimony of mercy. So glad you confessed and then shared with us. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
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When grace and mercy sparkles in the tough times, it is too beautiful not to share! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Oh, wow! This brought me to tears today! Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful and real account of mercy!
Hi Liz, I am glad this ministered to your heart! Thanks for stopping in. 😊
Visiting from #fellowshipFriday. Thanks for sharing yet another fantastic post 🙂
Thanks Sharon! You are too kind! God makes beautiful things out of the dust-out of US!
I love how he forgave you right away. I would probably forgive too, but I probably would have been asking for more details first… his response was much better
Thanks for stopping by, Brittany! I am thankful that God gives us grace to do the impossible! 😊
Thank you for sharing your heart with us in this beautiful post. Praise God that He forgives and loves unconditionally, and that His love fuels our marriages to reflect His qualities. Linked up with you at Kristin Hill Taylor’s — hope you’ll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
Yes, Amen Laurie! Thanks for dropping by, and I stop over at your place! 😊
You write with grace and truth. To leave out on the table this moment of grace and mercy is like giving another woman an opportunity to obey, come clean and accept the consequences. It may not come out the way of forgiveness, right away, like your husband, but it His grace, mercy and tender kindness He will walk with that hurting woman through her journey to the heart of God. Thank you for sharing. Coming to you from Grace & Truth. ~Chris~
Thank you Chris, I hope it strengthens and encourages all who read it. That is why we share our hearts as writers, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for visiting!
This was just beautiful. My heart pounded at the thought of passing over a paper with my every sin listed to the Lord and waiting for His response…waiting for the lashing and receiving mercy. It’s overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your story in such a beautiful way!
Meg, thanks so much for sharing how you connected with the story. Yes, I would concur-lots of heart pounding that day-in more ways than one! But God shined so gloriously through it all! 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!
Christy, Thank you so much for sharing this story. I think it’s a beautiful illustration of mercy and it’s inspiring and brave for you to share. Great encouragement for this #RaRaLinkup Tuesday!
Thanks Angela for you your encouragement! It’s great to linkup with you, too!
Wow, thank you for being so transparent with us to share that. The post is truly beautiful, and also humbling. You are so blessed to have such a godly husband!
Thank you for linking up with Grace & Truth!
Thanks Jenn for stopping in and for your encouragement! 🙂