I heard from a long-lost friend this past week. We’ve know one another for more than 20 years and have shared some special times together but because of time and space, we haven’t spoken for more than five years. We haven’t emailed, called, chatted or written. Our individual lives have continued to move forward. The stories have been written and we took some time to catch up on the narrative.
What I learned about her life in the short time we chatted was painful for her to tell and painful for me to hear. To cut right to the chase, she and her husband have struggled. Their marriage is in trouble. Wounded egos, poor choices, and shattered dreams resulted in broken vows and broken hearts. They are hanging on by a thread and there isn’t anything I can do about it: Except Pray.
I imagine you know someone in the same position. They are not evil people. They simply made decisions that hurt themselves and others. They looked for answers and followed paths that took them away from the truth. Getting back to the straight road is difficult, if not impossible.
The story isn’t so difficult to understand. In fact, it might be too familiar. You may have been one of those who caused pain to others and you know exactly how this story goes. You caused the turmoil. You made an quick decision that had far reaching consequences and nothing will change until you acknowledge your decision, own your error, and seek a new direction.
Or perhaps you find yourself on the other side of the page. You are the one who was hurt. You are the one who was betrayed. You were faithful. You were truthful. You were living life the best you could, oblivious to the storm that was building just over the horizon. And one day, out of the blue, you were hit with the hurricane that now dominates your life and shreds the very foundations of your soul. You need a life jacket. You need to protect yourself. You need to find a new normal. You need to regain your balance. And as hard as it is to believe, the best thing you can do is to offer grace.
Human nature and the wounded feelings prevent repentance and forgiveness from finding their way into the story. Anger and pain override any repentance and any grace that could bring healing.
Believe me. I know. I’ve been on both sides of this story. Truth and Grace is the only thing that will save the marriage. They are the two things that are needed more than anything else.
I’ve been praying a lot for my dear friends, for their hearts, for their individual lives and their married life. God give them wisdom, honesty, and grace. AMEN.