Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sins Washed Away

     Jeffrey was your typical hard-working husband and loving father. He married his young bride right after high school graduation and they began their family right away. After the birth of their first child, the stress finally got to him with raising a young infant. The nightly feedings and diaper changes along with a colicky baby.
     He began drinking heavily and verbally abusing his wife and child. Then, the fighting came about even enough to make their child cry. It wasn't enough that the drinking was helping with his situation that he began finding sexual pleasure out in the streets with prostitutes and strange women he would meet in the bars.
     His wife, Tiffany, began seeing the signs of his immoral infidelity and tried talking to him when he was sober but it did no good. He would become enraged at her for getting into his business. He began threatening her with physical violence and even allowed his wife to come home and find that he had another woman in their bed.
     Tiffany was hurt and felt betrayed and had no idea what to do. She sought the advice of her family and no one knew what to tell her except that she should leave him with their child. It was the best advice that they could give her. She did not want to leave her husband because she still felt so much love for him and wanted him to be a part of their child's life.
     She eventually sought out a counselor to help with her situation. The counselor suggested that she bring her husband in for family counseling and she instantly knew that he would not go for it. He felt that strangers should mind their own business and stay out of theirs She became so frustrated and felt so hopeless she could not even think straight.
     She finally took some of her things and their baby and went to her parent's house to stay for awhile until she could figure out how to fix her marriage. Once he realized she had left with his child, he began calling her and going to her parent's house only to get into arguments with her where the police had to be called.
     Tiffany loved her husband but could not face the torment that he was putting her through and thought about the damage the situation would cause for their young child seeing and hearing the arguments. It was one day that while he came by to visit with his child that he finally put his hands on her and slapped her face leaving a handprint on the side of her face.
     Once the violence began, her parents, especially her father and brother took control of the situation and gave him ultimatums to stay away or there would be a restraining order taken out on him and he would not see his child. They told him to get help with his drinking and then go to counseling if he wanted his marriage to work and to be able to raise his child.
     All the talking in the world was going through one ear and out the other ear. He finally stayed away for months with no contact to even check on his child. While he stayed away, Tiffany's parents suggested that she go to church with them. She thought long and hard about it before giving in and realizing that she needed a higher power to help with her situation.
     That following Sunday, Tiffany got dressed and even put her child in some nice clothing and went to church with her parents. She had no idea that this would change her life forever. As they sat in church listening to the pastor preach, a calming feeling came over her and she began to cry. She felt that the pastor was talking directly to her with the message he delivered on forgiveness.
     That day when they had altar call for anyone who wanted to know Jesus Christ, Tiffany felt compelled to go forward and took her child with her. She went up to the front of the church and asked for the pastor to pray for her and her child. She gave him information on what was going on in her life and what was going on with her marriage.
     The pastor felt such a drawing to her situation and began to lay hands on her. Her parents got up from the seats and went forward to also pray for her. Tiffany got saved at that moment and even had her baby baptized. She was now going to walk closer to God and have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
     Once she finished reciting the sinner's prayer, she felt such a huge burden lifted from her and such a peace over her life that it made her sob and pray thanking God for forgiving her. After prayer, her parents took her back to their seats where she handed her baby to her mother and got down on her knees right there in the pew.
     While crying, she began talking to God and praying for her marriage that God would touch her husband and heal him from his alcohol addiction, adultery, and abusive ways. While she was praying, she heard a voice tell her that she should not worry about her marriage and it will soon be healed and made perfect in His eyes.
     With that said, she began crying even harder and her father placed his hand on her shoulder and prayed with her. She became so quiet and comforted that she felt that her life was about to change for the better. When the church had ended and they began to leave, the pastor stopped her at the door and informed her that a seed had been planted and it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. With that, she went home with peace and love in her heart.
     Over the next few months with no contact from her husband, Tiffany spent her free time reading the Bible that her parents bought her and even at night it became the bedtime story for her child. She prayed before every meal, every morning, and every night. She felt the presence of God in her life and it kept her with peace and love.
     Her parents bought a picture Bible for their grandbaby and Tiffany began using it at night for the bedtime story. She wanted her child to have peace and feel the love around her. Her life as a Christian brought many open doors where she began going to prayer meetings and support groups for her marriage.
     One day out of the blue, Jeffrey called her on the phone and wanted to come see his child and wife. She was hesitant at first because of her new life but remembered that God is controlling her life and that she needed to forgive him for what he has caused her. So, she agreed to allow him to come to her parent's house and visit with them.
     When he arrived, Tiffany met him outside with their child in her arms. She had no fear of him anymore and was kind of glad to see him. He was looking a little run down and unshaved but he smiled the moment he saw them. He met them halfway up the walkway and he asked to hold his child and she was happy to hand the baby over to him.
     Tiffany could sense something different about him and then remembered what the pastor had told her. They went over to the patio table and sat down before any conversation started. Tiffany sat there watching how he played with their child and could sense the love he had for his child that it made her heart melt.
     Jeffrey looked up at her and asked how they were doing? She answered him with peace in her heart that they were doing good. She wanted so much to tell him about God and that Jesus Christ was her Lord and Savior now and that she had their child baptized but was uncertain how he would react to it. She just sat and watched how their child smiled and laughed while her daddy had her on his lap.
     Then, she felt a nudging so to speak from within her body that wanted her to talk to him about God and Jesus Christ. She was hesitant at first but felt so strong to tell him. She first asked him how he felt about God to which he stated that he does not know this person. That opened up the door for her conversation.
     She began explaining that God was not a person in the physical sense and that he saved her and their child. He had this puzzled look on his face and she spoke more about how she went to church with her parents and found that God would give her peace and show her true unconditional love. He began to show interest in her conversation because he saw a new person sitting in front of him.
     Jeffrey noticed how she had changed and that their child was happier. He wanted to hear more and she was happy to hear this. Tiffany told him how her life had changed once she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and that she felt nothing but peace and love. She stated how she was forgiven of her sins and that she would have an intimate relationship with God and that he was her provider.
     He began to tear up a little as he listened to every word she spoke. He seemed to be very interested and wanted to hear more. The more she spoke about God and Jesus Christ, the more he was drawn to the conversation. Then, he asked the impossible question of her which was how does he get peace and love from God?
     Tiffany invited him to go to church with them on Sunday. He thought about it for a minute and then became ashamed of how he acted since their child was born. He thought about it for a minute and then said that he wanted to go with his family to church. This made Tiffany begin to cry tears of joy and called for her parents to come outside.
     When they came outside to where Tiffany and Jeffrey were sitting, she was excited to tell them that Jeffrey wanted to go to church with them on Sunday. This brought smiles to her parent's faces and that's when her mother went over and gave him a big hug telling him that God loved him which made him start sobbing and stating how much he has missed his family.
     They brought him inside and offered him a seat at the table for dinner. As they sat at the table and her mother brought out dinner, they all held hands and Tiffany grabbed Jeffrey's hand while heads bowed and her father prayed.
     This was all new to Jeffrey but accepted that this was how his wife and child were living. He showed how much he respected her for taking care of herself and their child. The conversation over dinner was speaking about God and his mercy for sinners. Jeffrey sat on the edge of his seat and listened to every word.
     After dinner was complete, they all went into the living room and Tiffany's father brought out his Bible and began reading to everyone. Tiffany looked over at Jeffrey and saw that he was actually listening to every word. There were even some scriptures that brought Jeffrey to tears. At the end of the night, Tiffany walked Jeffrey to the door and escorted him outside. As they walked towards his car, she made sure to remind him to be there Sunday morning to go to church with them and he agreed.
     After that night, Jeffrey called every night to check on his family which surprised Tiffany because for months he didn't care whether they were alive or dead. She looked forward to church on Sunday and anticipated the arrival of her husband to go with them. She also anticipated seeing her husband come to know Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
     When Sunday morning finally arrived and everyone was getting ready for church, Tiffany heard a horn blow outside. She walked over and opened the front door to see her husband standing there in a very nice suit waiting to go to church. She invited him inside while everyone finished getting ready before they loaded up in the car and drove over to the church.
     Once they arrived, they took their seats in the pews and waited for the pastor to start. It was a nice sermon and Tiffany loved the praise and worship music. She sat next to her husband with their child sitting on his lap very content with her pacifier. It looked as if she was listening too.
     As the pastor began preaching, he felt led to preach about marriages and adultery which touched Jeffreys' heart. When Tiffany looked over at him she watched as her husband shed tears down his face as if God was working on his heart right there in the pew. She felt sympathy for him and reached over holding his hand.
     The pastor called for another altar call for prayer and that's when Tiffany watched as her husband, Jeffrey, stood up and walked forward to the front of the church where the pastor was standing. Tiffany began crying while her father went up to meet them for prayer. Tiffany's father and the pastor laid hands on him and she watched as he recited the sinner's prayer.
     Once he finished reciting, he began crying out to God and fell to the floor instantly with his hands raised to heaven. He began talking and crying to God out loud for forgiveness and felt the presence of God touch him. All his anger and resentment left his mind and body. He felt like he was made new as a creature of God and started thanking him for blessing him with his family and a new lease on life.
     When he was he helped to his feet, he went back to the pew and sat next to Tiffany and his child. He looked over at her with tears falling down his cheeks and asked her for her forgiveness of his sins against her and against God? She began crying as she hugged him very tightly stating that she did, in fact, forgive him and how much she loved him.
     They sat and held each other for awhile there in the pew while others were receiving prayer and when service was over with, Jeffrey had a new sense of being and a new found love for his wife and child. He asked Tiffany if they could try their marriage again and at first, she was hesitant and asked if they could start dating again first and see where it goes from there? He mutually agreed and promised to show her a new husband that wants to love and respect her and raise their child together.
     They left the church that day and went back to her parents for a nice Sunday dinner. They ate and then spent time with the baby before Tiffany walked him out to his car. They spent a few minutes talking to each other about where they could go from that point on. She gave him some answers to his many questions and also told him that he would have to prove to her that he really has changed and given his life to God. He informed her that he would show her just how much he is changing. Then, he climbed into his car and began pulling out of the driveway and stopping just to wave at her.
     Tiffany went back into the house where her parents were just putting her baby down for a nap and sat with her father a bit looking for answers to some of her questions. He was willing to answer whatever he could all she had to do was ask. Her first question was how would she know if Jeffrey really has accepted God and Jesus Christ into his life? Her father looked up at her smiling and told her that she should pray about it and God would show her if it is for real.
     That night she went up to her room grabbing her Bible and laying on her bed to read it. Before she opened it, she asked God to show her if her husband was serious about giving his life over to Him and accepting Jesus Christ into his life. She also thanked Him for having the opportunity to bring her husband to hear His word. She then opened her Bible and began reading before sliding under her blankets and falling asleep peacefully.
     The next morning she joined her family for coffee before the baby woke from its sleep. They prayed together and read some scriptures from the Bible before beginning their day. Tiffany talked to her parents about what concerned her about her husband giving his life over to God and asked how she would know. Her father asked her if she prayed about it and she stated "yes" and that's when he told her to leave it in God's hands and he will show her.
     Tiffany left it alone and waited on God. Later that day her husband called to see if she was busy because he wanted to spend some time with her. She told him she was free and then he said he would be by to get her. Tiffany waited for him to show up and when he did she noticed he went out and bought a Bible. When she asked about it, he told her he wanted to spend time reading it with her which made Tiffany a little relieved and happy to know he wanted to know more about God's word.
     She got into the car with him and they went someplace quiet to sit and study. Tiffany could not believe it when she heard Jeffrey reading from the Bible but thoroughly enjoyed her time reading with her husband.  She was beginning to see a different man and the whole time she was with him there was no disrespect or abuse.
     She began falling in love with the new Jeffrey all over again. She did keep her heart at a distance to see how things were going to go. Every day, Jeffrey and Tiffany would get together to study God's word and to pray. She was seeing her husband transform in front of her to a better man and a God-fearing man. She was happy with his progress and felt more at ease around him. When they were done studying, they would go back to her parent's house and she would allow him to spend time with his child.
     A few days later, while they were at church, she watched her husband go up to the pastor and asked to be saved and baptized. The pastor laid hands on him along with some of the other church members and he recited the sinner's prayer once more and after that, he was baptized by water to which he felt the presence of God course through his body.
     He began crying and thanking God for forgiving him of his sins and asked for strength and wisdom to overcome evil. Tiffany seeing this began crying and got up from her seat and walked up to the front to be with her husband. When she grabbed his hand, he turned to her grabbing her other hand and asked her in front of everyone if she would forgive him for everything he has done to her and their family.
     Tiffany could see that he was genuine about his request to which she shook her head saying, "yes". She moved closer to him wrapping her arms around him kissing him passionately right there at the front of the church. When she moved back away from him, he asked her to move back home so they could be a family again. They would continue to go to church and study the Bible but he wanted her home,
     She looked into his eyes crying and told him she would give their marriage another try and that she would move back home to see how it would go. He became the happiest man in the world at that moment. He hugged her again and kissed her and told her that they could work on it to make it perfect.
     He was so changed in her eyes that she asked him if he really felt God's hand touch him? He looked her in the eyes and told her that, "his sin's had been washed away". A few days later, she packed up her things and moved back home where they became happy and in love with each other. Day after day, they studied the Bible and led a Christian life and were very happy. Their marriage lasted for quite a few years and never once did he abuse or disrespect. His sin was truly washed away.