Julie - Montana
After marrying almost four years ago, I can honestly say my husband and I now have the best marriage we have ever had – all because God brought Jon into our lives.
My husband and I have been Christians since we were young. We knew a lot about scripture and have attended church regularly under amazing, Godly teachers. But we apparently didn’t know enough about how to apply what we learned to everyday situations – especially after getting married for the first time later in life. There’s no doubt we were headed for divorce.
We knew we should be kind to one another, but we just couldn’t seem to figure out how to be kind when faced with even the simplest of disagreements. Little did we realize that we were bringing in years and years of hurt into each one of these situations. All our past hurts (even though we thought we had let them go decades earlier) came back in a single instance, causing us to explode with unrighteous anger toward one another. We had tried biblical counseling, and even though we learned some fantastic truths, we simply couldn’t figure out how to apply what we were being taught. We couldn’t get past our past. Have you ever thought someone’s reaction was not fitting for the situation? That amplified anger is a result of past hurts. Learning that was certainly an “aha” moment!
Just when I was losing all hope, God brought Jon into our lives. We attended a Break Free Workshop, and that was the beginning of our transformation as a couple. Initially, I was hesitant to authentically forgive. I thought I had already forgiven, but the memories still had a sting to them so I clearly hadn’t. Even then, I figured I would continue to hang on to my past hurts, because I knew how to manage them and was more comfortable keeping them secret rather than expose them for others to see. It wasn’t intentional, but I was choosing to keep my pain rather than be vulnerable - and more importantly, rather than being obedient to Christ.
Over the next several months, Jon guided us through all our past hurts and showed us how to finally authentically forgive. The prayer is so simple – and yet so astronomically powerful. After the first meeting, I immediately started looking forward to the next, because I was so ready to let go of more pain! It’s impossible to describe how freeing it felt each time I let go of a past hurt. Only after you authentically forgive can you truly reconcile and start rebuilding trust.
My husband and I have not yet completed the process, but we have a hope for our future that we did not possess just a few months ago. Praise God! Instead of continuing in our destructive behavior of holding on to hurts by pretending to ignore them, we are able to identify them, pray to forgive, and reconcile each issue no matter how small, and build trust. I can’t stress enough how strongly I recommend that everyone learn more about this method of authentic forgiveness and reconciliation!