Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Forgiveness and the Crucible of Marriage

Last night it was quiet in the bed but my heart was screaming this song.

On our wedding day when I could barely breathe because all those people had traveled from the ends of the earth to watch me so vulnerably vow my heart to this one I had finally settled on at the age of 26...

On that day I was shaking and I wondered, Could I do this? Would I be able to withstand the all the hurt that a relationship this close inevitably carries? Because it does hurt, you know. If you love hard enough you are bound to be wounded. I knew that. What was I doing?

That ceremony is all a blur and sometimes I listen to the recording of it just to hear this one guy prophesy, this guy I barely know. People gathered around us and prayed and prophesied over us, and the Holy Spirit came thick and Shane's friend, Will, said, "...and Kati, you are going to learn to forgive."

Right there, God cut straight through all the dizzy emotion to my heart. The answer to my question. "You will learn to forgive."

I wanted to shout out, "Excuse me? Whoever just said that, could you say that again? What exactly do you mean? Could you elaborate a little, please?"

Because that word "forgive" has always been a little strange and scary and foreign to me. My head knows not to keep a record of wrongs but my heart is a special needs student. And I wanted God to tell me that love wasn't going to hurt because he would protect my heart from all that and it would all be okay.

But instead He said, "You are going to forgive."

So, last night, as I laid there in bed for the seemingly thousandth time thinking about how angry I was, and for the seemingly thousandth time listening to Shane's apology... I didn't even hear what Shane was saying, actually. Because Will was a vessel but the Holy Spirit keeps speaking it: "You will learn to forgive."

This is the answer to how I will sail the storms of marriage.

And so I laid there in silence for about five minutes, just thinking, "I have to say it. Out loud. There is no way I'm saying it. I have to say it because this battle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world. They win if I don't say it. It's going to sound awkward because I am angry."

It's like the Holy Spirit was giving me a pep talk, bringing to mind all that I have heard... "Forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is not excusing what he did. Forgiveness is a choice to treat him as if he never hurt you. It is the choice that Jesus made for you."

"But Lord, it doesn't feel right for me to turn a blind eye!
But I guess it's not that much, when I think of what you've done."

And all that talk about not going to bed angry, and unilateral forgiveness, and how God forgives us as we forgive others, and borrowing the prayer of Jesus, and how forgiveness really sets the forgiver free... It was all coming at me loud, in the silence, until I finally blurted it out --

"I... forgive you."

In Jesus' name. My voice cracked as I said it and it sounded so stupid and contrived.

And with the spoken word the powers of darkness were thrown back, light was created, and heaven cheered. Kingdom come.

I didn't think he was still awake,

but he said thank you.

And we slept.

No comments: