In the Eyes of Grace

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“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12 (NASB)

Trying to keep eye contact with my hubby after I confessed something I had done was almost impossible. My eyes were low when I spoke the truth. To look at him was too difficult. I was ashamed and I sat across from him embarrassed, guilty, and feeling all alone. In the early morning as we sat there, I said I was afraid to tell him and I’m so sorry. I could then only sit and wait for his response. The silence of a few seconds felt like forever. And then he spoke gently, “Ok. It’s ok.”. Those three words gave me the courage to look up at him. I saw my hubby’s green eyes and his slight grin.

“It’s ok, Mary”.

Tears started to fall on my face and I lowered my eyes again. I was now sitting in amazing grace and it was overwhelming. I sighed, looked back up at him and told him how much I loved him.

It’s an amazing thing to sit in your truth, anticipating judgement or anger and to find only love, grace, and forgiveness. You have to truly tell the truth, to yourself and others - no hiding or excusing in order to know the grace they call amazing. If you still try and justify your sin, then true forgiveness cannot be experienced. And everyone should know that kind of forgiveness. It’s a forgiveness that breaks the chains of shame and guilt immediately. It is a forgiveness that cuts straight through and removes fear’s power. The fear of rejection, being unloved, and loneliness. That early morning, I felt the power of forgiveness. I mean I really felt it. The matter was settled and to this day never spoken of again. It has never been used in the heat of argument to hurt me or to bring up the past. It’s forgiven. Done. Finished.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Psalm 103:12 (NASB).

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

East and west will never meet. If you move in either direction, you’ll always been moving in that direction. God reminds us THAT is how far our sins are removed from us. Our sin will never catch up with us when He cleanses us and forgives us. When we try to bring our forgiven past to Him, I imagine Him saying, “Huh? I’m not sure what you mean.” It’s forgotten and no longer held against us.

When I experienced the power of human forgiveness, I was flooded with gratitude of divine forgiveness. If my very human hubby could extend grace to me, then how much more amazing is God’s grace.

God calls us to forgive one another. Forgiveness builds community and unity. But I also think that God wants us to experience the taste of divine forgiveness in the grace we give to one another. We get to be “God with skin on”, as the saying goes when we receive one another in their sin and instead of pummeling them with rocks in self-righteousness, we drop our rocks knowing we too are in deep need of grace.

Matt and I have been married for over 18 years. When I think of game changing moments in our marriage, moments that took us deeper, I remember that morning as an important one.

So even if the weight of our mistakes and sin makes us want to hide, God calls us to Himself and extends a Hand of forgiveness, over and over and over again.

It is finished, Jesus spoke to the Father. He says to us also. It is finished.

Mary Quillin is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. She has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.