It was a really dark time and place in my life—even though I brought it on myself. I was entangled in a sexual relationship with a married man, and no desire to get out. I thought I loved this person, but looking back, I think I just wanted to “win” him.
At the time, I thought he loved me, too. He certainly said it enough. All those promises of having a life together were empty words and didn’t mean anything. As soon as his wife found out, he disappeared out of my life. No phone calls. Nothing.
I remember feeling foolish and like I had been duped. I sure didn’t want to tell anyone what happened. I was the woman who had it together and the one people thought had street smarts. The last thing I wanted was for anyone to know what a fool I’d been.
At the time, I did not know the Lord, but I was starting to seek out some type of spiritual relationship. I dabbled in the occult—crystals, psychics, numerology and even tarot card reading. I guess you could say I was looking in all the wrong places, but at least I was looking, and God was merciful. He knew I was doing what I was doing out of ignorance, not out of rebellion toward Him. As odd as it sounds now, I thought those paths would lead me to God.
Things took a turn one evening as I talked to a single friend of mine in another state. She said she had started going to a church so she could join a single’s group and have friends. I thought, why not? I’d give it a try. It wasn’t really a spiritual decision. It was more of an “I’m lonely” decision. Still, I had gone to church when I was younger and enjoyed it. Maybe it would be what I needed. I did have the good sense to know something was missing from my life. I just didn’t know what.
I found a nearby church and started going to their single’s Sunday School Class. Soon after that, I started dating again and actually met a very nice man. At that time, the married man I thought I couldn’t live without came back into my life. He wanted to pick up where we left off.
Although I wasn’t where I should be yet (spiritually), I had started walking that direction and did not want to go backwards. Plus, I didn’t want to lose the relationship I was starting with the new person in my life. I shocked myself by telling the man “I’m not interested.”
Looking back, I know it was the grace of God. He was starting to move in my life. Jesus had not given up on me! I repented for my sin and surrendered my heart to the Lord.
At first, I still saw myself as the woman caught in the act of adultery—her sin and shame exposed to the world. Then I read the verse about the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47)
I stopped seeing myself as the woman caught in adultery and started seeing myself as the woman who “loveth” much. Forgiveness made that happen. Jesus forgave me. He rescued me from the occult and a life of sexual sin. And by His grace, I also forgave myself. While I wish I had never traveled down such a dark path, it certainly made the final destination that much sweeter.
–by Sheila Smith
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