is this thing on?

Posted: September 6th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: , | 8 Comments »

I guest wrote on another blog to share the story of my affair. My goal, in general, is to use my story to help others either avoid the pitfall of an affair or find their way to the cross (often times in spite of religious roadblocks) when they’ve wandered off. I am very open about my mistakes and the thoughts I had at the time so that people can latch on to the transparent reality and learn or find hope.

I am a huge advocate for sharing your testimony (gritty and all) mostly because of this scripture:

“The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God. THEY DEFEATED HIM THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE BOLD WORD OF THEIR WITNESS.” -Revelation 12:7

The problem that most people face when considering sharing their story is the backlash they will get from others… especially other Christians. There are so many of you who read these blogs and are on the verge of entering into the freedom, through sharing your testimony of sin vs. grace, and are hesitant because of the repercussions.  I want to post a reader’s comment here and then my response to her because I want you to face how ugly it can get and then hear the encouragement to keep moving forward.

Reader:

“This is a very sad tragedy. I do not find it to be a story of restoration or beauty. You married the man you had an affair with. Sometimes life is hard. Your spouses divorced you both right away…but you didn’t fight to save your marriage. You made a vow….vows are worth fighting for. I’m sorry but this is not a good thing that you have done. It doesn’t show redemption. It just shows that you are making do with the lemons that came rolling your way. You ARE very honest which is refreshing and beautiful, but I find no encouragement in this tale. It reads like a trashy romance novel. What about fighting for what is right? Why didn’t you try to hold on your marriages? What ever happened to covenants. I know many people who’s marriages have survived serious instances of adultery.

I am not saying this to be cruel. This is just my opinion. Thank you for your honesty….but this is NOT a good story about the redemption of God. This is about ugly sin…leading to more sadness and destruction. Why get married in the first place if you’re just going to leave your mate when life get’s really hard? Just because you were pregnant..maybe you could have given your baby up for adoption. Strong horrible words….but it was a terrible horrible sin to have an affair. Yes God’s grace is bountiful and his love heals all sins. He could have restored your covenant marriage. Instead you married the man you had an affair with. I’m sorry….but……puke. That is terrible!

I believe that some things are not breakable. Covenant marriage bonds are one of those things.”

Me:

Reader’s Name‘ said on Aug 21, 2009: In response to:

http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com/home/?p=1043

“This reminds you to forgive those who hurt you….because that’s what Jesus is. He is forgiveness and redemption. Thank you for posting this story.”

Climbing Out of the Coffin’ and this post are the same story, only this time I talk about my sin in more detail. What changed? Did my sin reach an unforgivable level?

This woman’s most recent comment was not about me. It was about her. She has value and is loved and because of that, we do not need to worry about her. God will work out any issues with her faith when she’s ready.

‘But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.’ Romans 5:20 MSG

I want to encourage those of you who are thinking of coming out of hiding by ridding yourselves of the shame of past sin. People need to understand that there will always be those whose communication skills supersede their faith. You CAN tell the testimony of how your sin, at its worst, was no match for God’s ‘aggressive forgiveness called grace.’ For every unbeliever who throws rocks of doubt and condemnation at you, there are hundreds of thousands who gain the strength to stop hiding their sin (even forgiven sin) in shame. Seeing your nakedness and submission to God’s grace set other’s free is the greatest confirmation of restoration and purpose I’ve ever experienced. Those who have not seen their own personal worst still have that hell ahead of them. Patience and love are the only things to offer them and then keep walking forward. You have a job to do.

Satan was the Accuser, and your eye witness account of Jesus and the grace for which He died takes the venom out of his mouth. Even if he’s using someone else’s mouth to do his talking, your testimony trumps it. Keeping your shame hidden is exactly how he uses it against you. Anyone who wants to heap your shame on you is not working for Jesus. So, use the weapon you’ve been given. Tell your story.

“The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God. THEY DEFEATED HIM THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE BOLD WORD OF THEIR WITNESS.” -Revelation 12:7

One last bit of encouragement I want to pass on to you: When someone cannot move past the gory details of your sin and their lack of faith makes them incapable of witnessing the transformation power of God’s redemptive grace, you do not have to worry. They are speaking completely on their own behalf simply because if scripture is true, then God has no recollection of your confessed sin and has no idea why his child is accusing you of these things.

step up to the microphone

step up to the microphone


8 Comments »


8 Comments on “is this thing on?”

  1. 1 Chere said at 3:18 am on September 6th, 2009:

    I believe your posts about what led you into sin and the harm caused to so many people by bad decisions is encouragement to me that no matter how far I fall out of God's favor, He will take me back and forgive me. It's easy to look back and see where a "yes" should have been a "no", but there are many emotions and circumstances which blind us at the time, and we often make mistakes. Thankfully, your posts remind us that we will always be forgiven if we are truly sorry and may help other people notice that they are falling away as well and must say that "no". Keep writing and pray for those who consider themselves without sin–they will be tested!

  2. 2 Muthering Heights said at 7:04 am on September 6th, 2009:

    I think you make a very valid point here…whether one agrees or disagrees with you and/or the story you shared, is it any one else's place to cast stones?

  3. 3 TheNorEaster said at 7:35 am on September 6th, 2009:

    What a great gift we have been given. I certainly appreciate the reminders and the encouragement I find here.

  4. 4 Sisterlisa said at 8:45 am on September 6th, 2009:

    Serena, perhaps the woman's husband violated their own marriage and suffers from her own pain. I would imagine you did not purposefully go in that direction to purposefully abuse the grace Christ extended to you. I fought for 8 years for my marriage that was utterly falling apart. I know all the emotions that go with that. It was the hardest part of my life, but when we have tasted forgiveness, we can extend that forgiveness to others. We must do so. We are commanded to forgive.

    If Jesus spoke to us with the same words she spoke to you, then where would we be today? Defeated. I have contemplated writing our story and I just might. I was the woman who was hurt and violated by my husbands poor choices. By the Law of flesh I had every right to be angry and bitter, but grace reached further down into my pain than I ever thought it could go. I hadn't even realized just how deep and dark the pain could possibly go into the depths of my soul, but Jesus knew. ((hugs)) Again by the Law of flesh, I of all people, could be miserably angry with a woman with a testimony like yours. But Jesus Christ already showed us how to forgive and move forward when people are not faithful. He did so with us when he saw us in our idolatry.

  5. 5 Theresa said at 10:00 am on September 6th, 2009:

    Serena,

    I applaud you for your honest efforts to help those of us who have not been in your shoes to avoid them. Your honesty here and places where you fell, while not pretty, are no less deserving of God's grace than any other sin.

    What this reader may not understand is so SAD! While her and my sins have different consequences and are hidden from the public scrutiny that you endured, I truly believe that you are so right here:

    Those who have not seen their own personal worst still have that hell ahead of them.

    Sin is a lot like dog doo. If you step in it, it's going to stink. There is never a pile of doggie doo that doesn't stink and regardless of if we dare to think our pile isn't as smelly, we only fool ourselves!

    We can not compare one sin as less deserving of grace than others. While your circumstances might not have been the perfect ending, WHAT I FOUND SO AWESOME about what you wrote is that you realized that the only perfect love comes from the Lord. That no one person call fill that void! Such a very valid lesson for so many young ladies so delusional they are looking for love in all the wrong places! So many only want to hear positive stories of people making all the right decisions. While these stories are admirable, they are not deeply honest. Even our righteousness is like filthy rags to Christ. (Isaiah 64:6) So please keep writing for those of us with ears to hear and heart willing to recieve! God Bless you honey!

  6. 6 Mary said at 11:24 am on September 6th, 2009:

    For she who is forgiven much, loves much.

    Jesus.

  7. 7 tam said at 11:59 am on September 6th, 2009:

    jesus said to the accusers of the adulterous woman – he who has no sin, let him cast the first stone. then jesus began writing in the dirt. perhaps he was writing out the secret sin of her accusers. cuz really, when one is to busy pointing out others failures, theyre certainly not going to air their own at the same time.

    i, for one, am thrilled to death that you have shared your story. i know how freeing it is too.

    when i first began sharing mine – i had several people question my motives and even salvation. it didnt bother me personally…it bothered me for them.

    keep doing what youre doing girl. keep growing in grace and showing it to others.

    well done!

  8. 8 Serena Woods said at 4:14 pm on September 8th, 2009:

    Thank you for all of the feedback! I appreciate it so much. I know that these types of responses will continue, but I don't take it personally. There are way too many who are being helped.


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