For the vast majority of my 53 years on this earth I have lived a very faithful life. Especially after accepting Christ as my Savior and later answering His call to ministry. Over the span of 30 years God blessed me and gave me opportunities to serve others by serving Him. I preached and lived an honest life valuing my integrity and believing with almost a blind faith in the words I spoke. I never changed the message from the truth found in the bible not even on my toughest days. And then I broke. . .
I broke under the strain of leading a great church and not taking care of myself spiritually, physically and even emotionally. I didn’t take time off. I didn’t deal with the inner pain caused by unresolved conflicts in my life and relationships that should have been better than they were. I internalized. I hurt beyond what one can imagine. I thought I could do it on my own but I couldn’t. Now I live daily with the knowledge that I let others down. I am a disappointment to my family and to others that I loved and cared about. To my knowledge prior to the last few months of my life I have never been hated. Now on a regular basis I am confronted by hatred and unforgiveness that never seems to go away. Sometimes it is in the form of words spoken and sometimes it is in the words that are not spoken.We all fail. Some failures are worse than others I suppose but I am truly sorry. God has forgiven me. I have asked others or at least said I was sorry but I’m not sure they heard or wanted to hear. And so I am left to move through each day and try to navigate the emotions that can be overwhelming. I am thankful for friendships that have endured. I am grateful to know that I am loved even though it escapes me daily as to how that can be.
Today I am determined to try to walk with Christ. I will not be deterred although there may be some who will never forgive my failures. I am amazed at His love and forgiveness. I will persevere for the sake of those that love me and for the sake of my family that, as far as I know, even on their worst days, don’t want to see me die or continue to suffer.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
3 So many enemies against one man—all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall or a tottering fence. . . . .
5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62 1-3,5-8 NLT
Did I fail and sin, yes I’ve acknowledged that before on this blog. As I move forward I seek God’s forgiveness daily and try to find a way to live that will honor Him. It can be a lonely journey some days. It’s sometimes a dark and challenging road but I don’t believe that God will forsake me nor has He. There are great things about my life for which I am so grateful.
Forgiveness is hard but here is what we are taught about it in the Bible:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” — John 13:35 NLT
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” –Ephesians 4:32 NLT
“But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” Matthew 6:15 NLT
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 NLT
““Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 NLT
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . . Lord hear my prayer. Help me to forgive no matter how hard it may be and Lord let me be forgiven by the hurting and angry.