Even though the sin that has been comitted is not my sin, that’s not how it feels. The shame and guilt feels as if it were my own. In the beginning of this process I was totally crippled by it, but over recent weeks I have begun to see how Satan loves to keep me in bondage so that I lose my joy and hope in Christ. I am now aware how wrong this is. However, it’s still a weak spot and it doesn’t take much for guilt and shame to be triggered yet again and engulf me.
My heart was totally overwhelmed last night as my husband went back to our old home to sort something out. As my thoughts went to my former life and what had happened, guilt and shame descended like a huge black cloud, and the thought of my husband bumping into anyone we knew filled me with horror and shame.
It’ s very hard to keep a check on emotions and exercise self control when we are raw. I felt like I was on a slippery slope wearing shoes with no grip. The emotions of resentment and anger bubbled up, along with the shame, and I felt hurt and overwhelmed from all sides.The place that was once a refuge and a place of comfort was now a place I was hiding from. At that moment life seemed so unbelievably unfair. The place I was running from had been my safe haven for the last eighteen years.
I can’t always control my thoughts, but I am responsible for my actions and reactions. I felt that injustice and overwhelming pain, the unfairness of all that had been meted out to me, and I had the need to tell my husband yet again how hurt I was … Poor man! As if he doesn’t know already! It is so unbelievably hard to react well when we are hurt and reminded of our pain. Triggers will always be there, but we need to keep committing it to God. My prayer is that when I’m hurt and under pressure, I will be able to swallow that hurt and let the moment go. Last night impacted my husband too, and as he has grown more in his love for Christ over the last months, he has become more and more devastated by this whole situation. He rang me at lunchtime totally overwhelmed and downcast and near to tears. Last night had devastated him as well as me, and while he was on his lunch break I had the opportunity to pray with him over the phone.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son. I love the way the father responds:
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
What an incredibly generous and kind God we have. Satan wants to hold us in bondage but God frees us from it all.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night. Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness Divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.