In my marriage there have been more than a handful of times when God has covered me with His immeasurable grace. During these times in my marriage, I hardly think that I deserved God’s grace and forgiveness. I have made choices in my marriage that bring me shame. I have made choices in my marriage that have hurt others. I have made choices in my marriage that went against my very faith.
Yet, God chose to reach out and cover me with his immeasurable grace. His grace is endless and amazing. He has called me back to his loving arms each and every time regardless of the sins I have committed. Trust me, my sins fall into the “forbidden sins” category.
I had made a choice in my marriage several years ago that shook my faith and marriage to its very core. I made the choice to share my dreams with another man. I made the choice to share my heart and emotions with another man. I made a choice to defile my marriage bed. I had convinced myself that I was in love. I made myself believe that I was doing nothing wrong because I deserved attention, passionate love, and someone who was emotionally available for me. I made a choice that affected my marriage, my husband, my family, my friends, and most importantly my walk with Christ.
The Bible says that God knows our thoughts and actions before they happen.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
God knows our thoughts. I can go nowhere to hide from him, not under my covers in my bed, not up a tree, not sitting in my car in a parking lot crying my eyes out. Yet, even with these truths in my heart, I covered my sin and buried it deep in my heart.
In my mind, I had decided to leave my husband for this other man. I had my bags packed. While I was cleaning the house, I ran across a wedding gift we had received from Scott’s grandmother. It was a set of Bible verse cards. The card that was on the front read:
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
At that moment, I fell to the ground, tears streaming down my face, I cried out to God. What was I doing? What have I done? I caused all this to happen all because I was looking for my own desires. Who am I to decide what my desires are? I was not delighting in the LORD, I was running in the opposite direction. I had been running from God, but God was the answer this whole time. I was selfish and living in sin. God put Scott in my life for a reason. God knows my desires better than I could and I wanted to know what God’s plan was.
Healing After An Affair
The affair ended and I made the choice to fight for my marriage. But I ended up making another terrible choice; I kept my face hidden from God. I didn’t want God to know what I had done. He already knew, he as just waiting for me to confess my sins. As my marriage and friendships were healing, I was still raw on the inside. My heart and soul ached from the choices that I made. I believed that I was a bad person. I believed that I didn’t deserve love. I believed that I didn’t deserve forgiveness. I was full of shame and wanted to stay hidden.
The good news is, my husband took me back with open arms. To this very day, he has never condemned me of my past choices. He has never used my past against me. My husband has only ever loved me.
I confessed to Scott and asked him to forgive my sins and the breaking of our marriage vows. He forgave me and he let it go. I still feel that I am undeserving of his love, but I know that God’s hand was protecting our marriage. Scott forgave me almost immediately, but I struggled for a long time with asking God for forgiveness. I struggled for a long time on forgiving myself.
I am free. God has covered my sins with His immeasurable grace. God still loves me despite of my past. He died on the cross for all the sins of the world. He has laid it upon my heart to share my story with you. Most importantly, God has laid it on my heart to share about His love and His grace. My marriage would not be what it is today without the hand of God. God helped my husband and me to rebuild and repair our marriage. We have trust. We have faith. We have love. We have passion. We have God.
- Shannon Chilson
I married the love of my life in the summer of 2002. I am a former preschool teacher and now have the privilege of staying at home with my two young children. I have been called to share the story of my marriage and God’s redemptive love through my blog immeasurable-grace.blogspot.com