As I drove toward the Changed Women's Retreat, I felt hopeful. I had already told God that I knew what I needed to deal with and that I was ready for Him to meet me there
It had been two years and two weeks since my husband and 6th grade sweetheart had left. We were together from age 12 to 32, and he was my world during that time. I was confident God would help me grieve that loss at the retreat, and that would be the end of it. But as I would soon realize, God had His own plans for me at the retreat.
I was so ready to have a weekend full of time devoted to God. I was expecting the tears to fall and for the grieving process to allow God to truly heal me once and for all. But the tears weren't falling. And I wasn't feeling grief. Instead, God was talking to me about forgiveness, and I was confused.
God kept whispering to me to forgive. I forgive people pretty easily, so I was certain that I had already forgiven my ex-husband. Maybe God wanted me to forgive myself? I prayed a long prayer telling God that I was sorry for not seeing myself the way He did and for not loving myself the way that I should. I agreed with all of the amazing things that He says about me and promised to reflect on those things when I start to get down on myself. That felt really great, and I went into our next session feeling like I had made some real progress. I thought, maybe now God will have me grieve like I came to the retreat to do.
During our next quiet time, I was sure the tears would fall. I even got extra tissues in preparation for the big release. But as I walked to where I would have my quiet time, God again told me to forgive. I argued with Him, telling Him that I sincerely forgave myself a few hours before and that I was good now. I just needed to have a good cry to finish up this grieving process. Again and again He told me to forgive.
So I started to write a letter to my ex--not knowing what I'd say, but asking God to take control. The tears finally began to fall as I wrote, but for a completely different reason than I expected. I wrote a long letter of forgiveness, and the tears were tears of joy from the peace that came.
Forgiving my ex-husband and agreeing to always remember the truth about who God says I am has changed my life! It was the most amazing experience to be at the retreat; I made new friends, reconnected with an old friend, grew much closer to God, and have learned how to live a life full of the kind of love that God has for all of us!