Have you ever been betrayed or hurt so deeply that the pain is the only thing you can think about? Your heart and mind race through thoughts of hopelessness, vengeance, sadness, anger, and all the ways to protect yourself from ever getting hurt like that again. Your life becomes an emotional roller coaster. And sometimes even after you’ve decided to forgive, those feelings still won’t go away.

In our humanness when we’ve been hurt, we tend to want these three things:

  • For the person to pay for what they’ve done
  • For the person to understand the pain they’ve caused
  • The assurance of knowing they will never hurt us again

The problem is none of those things are guaranteed, and by the way, the first two are just ways to guarantee the third. But, if we set our minds to needing these things, we are setting ourselves up to remain stuck. When you grasp onto needing all or any of those three things, it won’t take long for you to get stuck on the forgiveness journey. In fact, maybe you’ve already made the choice to forgive but you still can’t seem to move forward. Well, here lies the possible problem; God is the only one who will never fail us or hurt us, and to give those divine characteristics to a fallible human is unrealistic. 

Forgiveness doesn’t always require an apology or accepting ownership of a betrayal or wrongdoing, but if you’re desiring to move forward to find your joy again with your spouse, it will. If you’re not sure where you’re at with this, check out, How to Know if Your Spouse is Really Sorry. 

But, assuming you’ve accepted the apology, have seen change, and are stuck trying to rebuild, here’s what you need to know….

You’re going to have to be vulnerable and take a risk. 

And as scary as that is, here’s how you can do it… You trust God
You’re going to have to accept that it is possible you get hurt again…but remember, if you do, God is faithful.
You’re going to have to quit trying to control out of self-protection…ultimately trusting that God will protect you. 
And, you’re going to have to combat the messages in your mind that have only been trying to keep you safe and in control and renew your mind.

When pain enters our lives, we don’t ever want to experience it again. That’s reasonable and fair, but it’s not reality. We don’t have guarantees in this world that protect us from pain, but we do have a guarantee of a God that will be in it with us, love us through it, and pull us out of it. Those are the exact things we must set our minds on, things of Christ.

If you want to find your joy again, you’re going to have to set down your fears and take a risk. Let God build beauty from the ashes. Trust me, He’s really good at it.

If you want more encouragement for your marriage, check out the Expedition Marriage podcast where we help you find joy in the journey of marriage! 

xoxo, Chris & Jamie