Have you ever done something really stupid (or mean or ugly or downright sinful)? Have you ever received forgiveness for said offense? Have you ever struggled to accept that forgiveness?
If you read my blog regularly, you've probably heard about my TV fiasco. In short, 5 weeks after my husband got his new toy (a 47 inch LCD panel TV) I broke it with the Wii-Mote. The only time I used the Wii without the strap.
We bought the TV with my quarterly bonus. We had a plan for a few other large purchases that we needed to make over the next year or two. The week before the fiasco, I learned that my company was no longer going to be giving us a bonus. When the TV broke, I was horrified. That was a lot of money to just throw away. But it didn't fall under warranty. (I even plead my case with the makers of the TV. No sympathy.)
If you read the link above, my hubby was my knight in shining armor. He never said a harsh word to me. He didn't allow the children to say a negative word. In an instant, he decided that he loved me more than he loved the TV. For the next 4 months, he watched a small (13 inch?) TV propped up on a chair. He never complained. He forgave me before I asked. He held me while I cried.
But it wasn't so easy for me to forgive myself. It was more than a week before I was able to tell anybody what happened. I still beat myself up when I think about it.
Two weeks ago, a long awaited (and much overdue) tax return arrived. We were able to replace the TV. There was no question or discussion. We both knew we would be making the purchase. (The only question was which TV.) It's a little easier to accept the forgiveness since things have been restored.
The forgiveness God offers is a free gift. As soon as we ask, He is ready to forgive. Even before we ask, He demonstrates his love for us. Whether we "feel" forgiven or not, His forgiveness is there. And He restores us to where we were meant to be.