Becoming a pastor’s wife is not easy, or glamorous, but it is exciting. I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t dream of being a pastor’s wife. Some of my youth group friends received callings to missions, music, theology, nursing, etc, my calling was a little left fielded… I was called to be a loving, compassionate, pastor’s wife with the heart of a servant for my husband and my congregation (with babies in tow). To say my calling has been a breeze would be a severely incorrect statement. One of my deepest stumbling blocks was forgiveness.
My husband has been so quick to forgive, faith is so easy to him. When jobs change, when money is short, when family and friends fail us, he has faith. And when I have faith, his is stronger and more immediate.
Perhaps because he nearly lost his life a number of times, perhaps because he has learned too much, perhaps it is the concept of untouchability that boys innately have- regardless the reason or rhyme, his faith is so strong. When troubles flick the switch on my crazy-lady mobile into high gear, he’s right there pulling the e-break.
When someone wrongs him, he forgives. Someone wrong my family, my husband and myself nearly 5 years ago. Cliff forgave fairly quickly, nearly immediately, but the process for me has taken much longer. First I didn’t want to forgive, I didn’t want to accept the lies. I didn’t want to act like it didn’t matter or that they were true. I hated people thinking lies were truth, but I was instructed to not add salt to a wound. So I was silent out of respect. Time grew and I realized the only salt that was being added wasn’t to their wound, but to my own. I was poisoning myself and expecting someone else to die.
Over time people that mattered saw my heart, my personality, and the situation for what it truly was. Even family forgave. I thought I had forgiven in 2011. But I hadn’t.
While reading a book with Bible study, Choosing Forgiveness I realized how I hadn’t forgiven this person. It asked a simple question. Do you flinch when their name is mentioned?
I confess whole-heatedly I did. I feel bad now for all the poor saps with that name over the last 5 years. They were unintentionally receiving anger flinches and death stares when they were 100% uninvolved.
However, over the last month I can say I have truly begun the forgiving process– for all the wrong doing, pain, rumors and frustrations caused. While I nor my family may never hear an “I’m sorry,” I no longer feel like I am living a hypocritical faith. I’m stepping out in faith knowing my God is bigger than my situation, my hurt and my family’s hurt. I’m learning to forgive for seeing the strife my husband still is affected by even years later-from a simple lie. While he has moved past it, I still gripped it tightly, wanting to expose it for all it was, but not being allowed to by my husband and by God. And it is only by God’s mercy and grace that I have began to overcome the pain caused so many years ago.
I sang in worship Sunday morning with a new and fresh feeling. I feel free, finally free. And it rocks.