I understand how you feel right now. I understand, because I have been in your shoes more times than I would care to admit. Broken, ashamed, vulnerable; all of these things brought about by my own sinful actions. I have been exposed to the light so many times that I am starting to get a un-healthy tan. My once porcelain, untouched skin is no longer smooth, but leathery.
I have been exposed just as you, and it burns.
And, if you are like me, then right now you are probably panicking. Because of your actions, thousands have been harmed, and throughout the ages, perhaps millions will be affected. I too have caused grief and pain, and because of the things I have done, many have fled from me and abandoned what they once loved. I gave them so many reasons to leave and be unfaithful, and they took those opportunities and ran with them. I have hung my head in shame so many times, that my neck is no longer slender and beautiful, but wrinkled and aching.
I have been ashamed just as you, and I ache.
And the fear! Oh the fear, the crippling fear of having all of your deeds brought into the light for the world to see! The fear of the world disowning you and abandoning you and leaving you! I know that fear all too well, and I live in it more than I should. I confess that I have gone out of my way to make the world love me. I have tried to dress myself up in scandalous clothing, and entice the world. I have attempted to seduce it and bring it into my bedroom although it wasn’t my first love, and, in truth, I never loved it at all. I speak to you of these things, because you can relate with me. You offered affairs on demand, and too many times I have used services such as yours.
I have been used just as you, and I am spread thin.
But Ashley, I do not write this letter to list out all of our very many sins and to dwell on them. I write this letter to tell you of where I have been, and where I am going. I write this letter to tell you that there is grace, even for us adulterous spouses.
In the midst of my debauchery, my first love was always near. In the midst of your shame, that same Love is actually closer to you than you could ever guess. He is there, holding you, whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Enticing you, alluring you, reminding you that He was your first love and that He will be your last. Exposing the lies that we believed, and showing us that true satisfaction can only come from Him.
We were told that what was done in Vegas would stay in Vegas. We were duped.
We were told that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. We were swindled.
We were told that life was short, and that we should have an affair. We were fools.
Ashley, the world has seen you at your lowest and has called you names not fit to print, just as it has seen me at my lowest and done the same. And yet, there is still one who has not abandoned you. One who looks upon your brokenness and implores you to come home so that He can take care of you. He is the same one who looks upon my withered frame and calls me his beloved. He purchased me back from those who would have me in bondage, and He called me His own. And although I have often returned to the Egypt of my youth, He has never failed to hear my cries for deliverance.
He is waiting for you, Ashley.
He is waiting for all of those broken and affected by your sin.
Even now he tenderly calls out to you. Can you hear his voice?
He is ready to embrace you and to heal your wounds.
And so now you must repent.
Accept the consequences of your actions, and beg for forgiveness from those you have harmed.
If they refuse to forgive you, know that He wont refuse.
If they refuse to open their doors, know that He will be a door of hope.
If they refuse to forget, know that He has already forgotten.
As far as the east is from the west, so are your sins.
Ashley, I love you.
I have been in your place too many times to count, but the gutter wasn’t my final destination, and neither is it yours. He is waiting to give you back your vineyards…
Will you respond to his grace?
I pray that you will.