I was just listening to Dr. Charles Stanley’s message on “Forgiving Ourselves” and it occurred to me that it had taken me a while to forgive myself. You know how you can tell you’ve done it? When the memory of a past failure doesn’t “bother” you anymore. You admit your mistake, ask the Father’s forgiveness and move on. Don’t let the guilt hold you back. Look at David: he committed adultery and murder and then tried to hide it. The guilt ate him up. Once he was confronted by the prophet Nathan, he admitted his sin and received forgiveness. Of course, forgiveness doesn’t mean the consequences go away. His sin affected the newborn baby and his relationship with his son, Abasalom. But, David didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity. He did not let the enemy pull him down. He moved forward, knowing that the Father loved him and he was forgiven. That’s a HUGE deal! Forgiveness is amazingly freeing. Why would you want to continue to stay in a prison of guilt and shame?
We recently ended up in a financial mess so bad that we had to file Ch13 to save our home from foreclosure. As I sat there with my husband signing papers at the attorney’s office yesterday, I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. I just felt like I had blown it, big time. This was too close on the heels of a Ch7 from 3 years ago and this filing, according to the attorney, would never be dismissed. That hit me hard. I just kept thinking about how I would never be able to help my kids and I had so let the Lord down. But you know what? I didn’t let Him down. He knows everything before it happens and we do not shock Him.
In fact, this whole scenario was an answer to prayer. No, I didn’t pray for us to file bankruptcy, but I did pray that the Lord would bring my husband back to Him. He went to church with me Sunday morning and made the kids go, too. I also asked Him to increase my husband’s faith. It was done with this. After taking the Crown Financial class at church, I knew that I owed these debts but had no way to pay them back in our current situation. It just so happened that we could file Ch13 on the 100% plan, which would honor God—we would pay everyone back and get caught up on our mortgage. And we get to keep our home. I remember several times telling my husband that I had a peace that passed understanding about our home and we would not lose it. I didn’t know how God was going to do it, but He did.
I figured that we were screwed for the next 10 years until a lender friend of mine called last nite. I spoke to her and she just gave me such encouragement. She said that Ch13 was a good thing and that after 12 months of paying, that we would be able to refinance. Music to my ears!! I didn’t want to be stuck with two overly high interest rate mortgage payments. But, we show ourselves faithful in paying, we’ll be able to get a lower rate next year. Even if the rate jumps to 7%, we will still be coming out better than we are now. I’m just praying that the market turns around so that we aren’t still upside down in equity.
The Lord has really taught me a lot and changed my perspective on quite a few things that needed changing over the past 6 months. For that, I am eternally grateful. I didn’t ask to go through the valley but sometimes that’s what it takes to get the job done because we can be stubborn and obstinate.
God is good. He is always at work on our behalf and I believe that with all of my being. “For we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord and to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Be blessed in the Lord!