Everybody has a story. You don’t get to pick what your story is, and you don’t get to pick which parts God chooses to use. He weaves His beauty into the dark spaces… almost like He’s showing off. Bypassing the likely choices, He rummages through the broken bits to find pieces for His work of art. You are His work of art. He makes broken beautiful.
I’ll let Darlene tell you her own story…..
Grace is for sinners. But what about me, Lord? Is your grace for me too?
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. ~ James 1:14, NIV
I’m writing this blog through a wall of tears, in fact I’ve shed so many tears over this today that I don’t know if it’s possible to shed anymore. I don’t weep for my pain but for those around me. I grieve that my sin is touching the lives of those that I love.
I was so close to God for so long. I read the Bible so often, studying to show myself approved unto Him. I home schooled my kids for six years because I wanted nothing more than to direct them according to the will of God. Hungering for the word of God, I taught myself biblical Greek hoping to unveil the layers beneath, and I started CWO. I was serving God with all of my heart, leading one of the most popular online ministries when burnout set in. I had too much on my plate and I needed to step back from it all.
That’s when Satan crept in.
I was friends with a man, such good friends that our families spent vacations together. And when he started feeling more like family to me I started confiding in him and he in me. One text led to another, and friendship led us to down paths of darkness and sin.
Someone convincing me that he loved me more than anything else in his world was the apple I reached for. I had an affair. It wasn’t about sex necessarily, and for most women it rarely is. It was the feeling of being wanted and loved that I craved. Just one text… just one phone call… just one kiss… each step leading me into the pit of death.
I won’t say I made a “mistake.” A mistake is picking up 1% milk instead of 4. The ugly truth is that I sinned and I have no one to blame but myself.
It’s been almost a year since my husband and I have picked up the pieces. I repented of my sin, turned my life back around and have been doing what it takes to rebuild my future. I’m in awe of my husband who accepted me back with a heart of forgiveness, understanding, and grace. I never understood the depth of his love until I received his forgiveness and realized that I had the love that I craved all along.
And I’m nothing without the grace of God who has cleansed me from sin It’s that grace that gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps me moving throughout the day.
I started my ministry of Time-Warp Wife out of that place of grace, all the while wondering if God could use someone who’s broken and tarnished like me. The object of my ministry is to encourage women in their marriage in hopes that they won’t make the mistakes that I have.
I had shared my story with a few close friends, a pastor, and a family counselor, but didn’t feel the need to make it a part of my ministry. I don’t want to focus on sin when there is so much hope for our future. God had other plans.
I was recently featured in our local paper—an enormous photo of me along with a write up called “Biblical Sense.” The secular public did not take kindly to seeing an article with a focus on wives living out their Godly purpose of being that of a help-meet.
I can take their criticism with a grain of salt. What was difficult to swallow however, was facing the people who knew who I was, knew what I had done, and couldn’t comprehend the healing power of God’s amazing grace.
As long as I’m sharing the gospel, there will always be people who are waiting for me to slip up, desiring to dance on my grave; and hoping to tell you my secrets. So that you too might know what a sinner I’ve been.
Let me tell you first– I am a sinner who is nothing without the grace of our Lord. I am beaten down, broken and lost, would it not be for the saving grace of an almighty God.
Who am I to advise women on their marriage? I ask. But still I feel a nudge from the Lord to press on while His words of encouragement whisper to me:
All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. ~ 1 John 3:3
I’m definitely not good enough. But truth be told, the world as a whole isn’t either. Grace is for sinners, and it’s taking me a while to understand that and accept it, but to tell you the truth it’s all I have left to hold on to.
I didn’t want to tell my story publicly, because I didn’t see the need. I didn’t want my husband or my children or my parents affected. We have put it behind us and are building a better future that glorifies God and unifies us as a couple. I am so full of joy these days that I can’t believe I’m the same person. And I know that I have joy because of grace, nothing else.
I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for God’s forgiveness and His righteousness. I really don’t. All I know is that I truly felt dead in sin, and now I’m alive.
I wept at my father’s hospital bedside today. Sorry to cause him grief in his last days, but that’s what sin does. It not only eats away at our soul, it affects the people around us.
Dad’s advice to me was this, “God doesn’t care what you did yesterday–He cares about what you do today.”
I’m telling you this, because I believe that there is healing and hope when we confess our sins to one another. I’m not perfect—I’m just forgiven.
“He brings us to the place where hope was clear. The time before the journey made you old. The place where children live. He brings you back to yourself so you can remember you and Him.” ~ Serena Woods, author of Grace is for Sinners
You are loved by an almighty God,
Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith. Her work has been published in anthologies by Thomas Nelson, Tyndale Publishing and Adams Media. As well she has co-authored a book with actress Candace Cameron Bure called, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. You can find her blogging at Time-Warp Wife where she empowers wives to joyfully serve.