When my marriage fell apart and I found myself drowning in depression, I had 3 people to forgive for about a trillion unforgivable things, yet they weren’t the most difficult to forgive — It was everyone else, and me.
Everyone else, because of the stupid things they would say, and worse, the things they wouldn’t.
Friends, that threw Bible verses at me like I was Satan, in hopes the scriptural fairy dust they were sprinkling over my heartache would magically make all the lies and broken vows in my marriage disappear (It didn’t.) And others, who oversimplified marriage by giving idiotic advice like, ‘Yah know, staying happily married is all about ‘balance’ and ‘continuing to date each other.‘….all while I stood in the wreckage left of my marriage that had just obliterated for reasons much more severe than that.
Balance?!?! I mean, what does that even mean?!?! I realize balance is good, for instance, when decorating bookshelves or when trying to not eat too much sugar, and that dating each other is ideal if, say, you want to eat your way through all the sushi joints in town. But for me, having a happy marriage had nothing to do with either of those things at the time… I NEEDED MY HUSBAND TO STOP LOOKING AT PORN! (balance and dating each other, my @$$!)
But then there was me to forgive. Arguably, the most difficult person for me to stomach at the time…
To forgive myself, for being the person whose voice now always sounded pointed and cynical, and who viewed silverware and candle warmers on a registry, a far-cry from preparing a young couple for the reality of marriage.
I had to forgive myself for being the wife who couldn’t get over the past, the mom who never had enough energy, and the christian who said awkward things at bible studies…
Like the time I said point-blank, and I quote, “I get why people commit suicide…” all while the other bible study attendees physically leaned back in their seats, away from my transparency, as if the darkness in me and the heartache that caused it, were contagious.
Which brings me to why I’m writing today… (I’m all over the place today, bear with me.) Never will I forget how I felt leaving that bible study that night, how I sobbed in the shower that night because, it was clear, I was too much for people.
I was too much emotion, too much darkness. Too many questions, too much awkwardness. I could see it in their eyes. How I hated myself for that. (How I hated the people in that stupid bible study, too.)
But more than that, how I believed God was looking down on me that night, ashamed of the despicable person I was becoming, and the battle with depression I was, so obviously, losing.
It was then, that I heard God speak, and I’ll never forget the words He said. And its the same words, years later, I want to say to you; whomever is reading this that is struggling to stomach themselves, and the person that depression, the savagery of life, or the state of your broken heart, have made you become.
You wont believe it…
God said, “Do not recoil from these afflictions, they are among my most favored gifts” *
This heartache… a gift? This awkwardness… this darkness… a prized road I’ve been chosen for? A journey not to run away from, but to get expectant of? B.S…. I can imagine you thinking.
(I thought the same.)
But understand this, 2 1/2 years from the day that I made a bunch of conservative South Carolinians clutch their bibles and hide their children when during a bible study I revealed my true identity as the Queen of Darkness... I am stunned because, God was right.
I’ve not only withstood my darkest days, I’m grateful for them. And I believe one day you will be, too.
If the road your life has taken, has you in over your head and struggling to catch your breath, understand you have also been handselected by God to be let in on a secret few people know — not only about Him, but about yourself.
Deuteronomy 8:1-5, MSG, says this, “Remember every road God led you on in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that you could know what you were made of.”
I know what I’m made of these days. I have a backbone of steel, an inner strength that is just as much impenetrable as it is unstoppable (though many people have tried!) No longer am I piggy backing off my husband’s calling, or merely tagging along to help him fulfill his God-given purpose, because I have my own significance raging through my veins; words of purpose, I now know, that God spoke over me in my mother’s womb, declarations He made that I refuse to back down until I see come to fruition.
You do, as well…
Every road… no matter how chaotic or crushing, lonely or severe, is led by a God who knows what He’s doing. He has not left you, and in no way is He ashamed of you or of what you have become along the way. And today, God wants you to know that this journey you’re on – the same one that has you crying in the shower and struggling to forgive yourself for not being the most enjoyable person in the room – is among His most favored gifts! The gift of unlocking what you’re made of, and maybe for the first time in your life, to unveil what you were made for — and it wont be in spite of your darkest days, but because of them.
You might even be grateful for them one day.
One thing is certain: you sure as heck won’t sprinkle spiritual fairy dust on people’s heartache or give marriage advice that has some bogus word like balanced in it. And the world will be better for it.
* Jesus Calling
14 thoughts on “On forgiveness, hating yourself, and God’s most favored gift”
This hit home with me today! Thank you for always being willing to be open and honest! For following God and listening to Him! He has truly given you a beautiful gift of sharing your heart and putting it in paper. Thank you Krista for following your calling and putting it all out there so others know they are not alone.
Thank you, Becky. (So much.) I’m so glad this encouraged you today! And I’m thankful for the reminder that when I follow what God is asking me to do, that he multiplies my efforts and bless others by it. Thank you for that ❤️
Wow! I can relate to this. Thank you so much for sharing.
Glad to hear that it encouraged you!
Amen Amen Amen!! Seriously – Holy Spirit inspired truth here. I follow you on Instagram as well as religiously read your blog. My husband sometimes asks me who’s IG story I’m watching… and when I tell him, I always add, “I think we might’ve been separated at birth.” The way you describe your “spriritual awkardness” in saying what always seems to astound and mortify others… the way you are prone to see the darkest side of any given situation… the way you somehow months or years later finally find beauty in the devastating past through writing out how God has performed the miracles in your life… it all resonates so much with me! And even though this comment probably feels super creepy… somehow I think you’ll laugh. (Or at least I really hope you do… ) Even if we don’t meet till heaven – I’m so thankful for your openness with your brokenness and I’m cheering you on from my little corner of the world!
Hahaha… can I just say how much I love this comment?!? Lydia, you would be correct. I think we would get along smashingly!! thank you for all of your kind words and for helping me not feel like the (only) crazy one mortifying people in bible studies and such 😂
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Krista, I love this so much.
I’m glad I’m not the only one that has said that in bible study. Thank you for sharing this Krista.
Krista, you don’t know me, but I have followed you for a long time. I always enjoy your posts. Today’s though.
Know this. If it was for no one else, it was for me. Your words have struck a chord in me, and are exactly what I needed to hear.
Keep writing from Him for us.
Thank you. ❤
Thank you Krista. I’m truly grateful for your amazing openness. My daughter is battling depression right now and has told me how much she doesn’t like herself and feels awkward all the time. I’ve been praying for some words to share with her that don’t always sound cliche. He uses you and your words more than you know. You are a blessing!
I’m a mess…bawling my freaking eyes out sitting in a parking lot. I can’t even catch my breath…thank you, Jesus, for being so present in Krista’s life and for her obedience to You in her willingness to boldly speak truth into so many lives, especially mine…love you, girl! XOXO
I enjoyed reading this, especially the gasping part from other Christians. I have to wonder when you said God spoke to you if it was a feeling or an actual voice that you heard. I actually heard the Lord speak to me saying “I love you so much” and “I believe in you.” The “I love you so much” means I get to go to heaven (via Jesus) but the second part I was like wait a minute. I thought I hope this doesn’t mean God is going to make me do a bunch of work now. Just joking but for a second I really thought that. I’m still struggling to find my calling so I wish I could believe in myself as the Lord said He believes in me.
Krista this is so wonderfully written. I love how raw and truthful you are and I ache to find this among others. Don’t let anyone look down on it, it’s what the world needs.