Tag Archives: forgiveness

Can flowers grow on the rubbish heap?

I have been through debilitating trauma and God is helping me through.

It feels like I’m on the rubbish heap, broken and hurting and overwhelmed by the storms that this life has brought upon me. I have started writing, and it has helped and comforted me, and as I process my hurt I pray that others who read of my journey may be helped too.

My biggest prayer is that flowers will grow on the rubbish heap, and that even in our brokenness, hope will shine brightly, because with God there is always hope!

I am married with grown up children, I have supported my husband in ministry for many years and my biggest desire was that we honoured God in all that we did.

So this is where my story begins…

Late last year a tsunami hit my life and threatened to drown me when my husband announced he had been having an affair.

As my husband confessed all, everything in my head was screaming “this can’t be so!” But it was, and as the tsunami hit, wave after wave of hurt, horror and disbelief came crashing down over my head.

My prayer went something like this:

you know how I have prayed over many years for our lives to honour you, that we would be above reproach and not bring dishonour to your name, yet you haven’t answered my prayers! I don’t understand why you would allow this Lord, and yet you have. I don’t want this dishonour and I don’t want this disgrace – our family, the church, the wider community. You have given me the very opposite of what I asked for, and it’s not fair Lord!

So in the hours that followed, my life as I knew it turned upside down and inside out. my husband lost his job, his reputation, we lost our home, our community, our church. Everything was lost and I balked at the thought of telling our children.

I was numb and shocked, overwhelmed and distressed. Everything was surreal and my life would never to be the same again. In those hours I realised that there was no constant apart from God. He never changes, never lets us down, he is always there for us day or night.

Numbers 23:19 came to mind;

God is not human,that he should lie,

Not a human being, that he should change his mind.

Does he speak and then not act?

Does he promise and not fulfil?

My husband’s promises lay in tatters, but deep down I knew God would not fail me, and at that moment I only had God to cling on to.

I saw my husband’s pain and repentance, and then I saw in my mind’s eye a racetrack with many athletes running. I saw my husband on that track, crouched and doubled over and totally spent. I went over to him and gave him something to drink and helped him to his feet. We then got back onto that track and started limping along it together. Destination : heaven. God gave me a big heart for my husband and I realised at that moment that this life isn’t about fulfilling all our wants, but about God preparing us for the life to come. My marriage does not ultimately satisfy – I was learning that marriage can sanctify as we are confronted with our failings and selfishness. I knew I had to forgive but my feelings were screaming something quite different.

Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

This was the beginning of my journey with God. I was on the difficult journey of understanding how hard forgiveness was, and God was about to reveal and challenge my heart as I grappled with being sinned against.