Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Am I unforgiveable?

Am I unforgiveable?

This is a question that I wrestled with for a very long time.

I had shoved God aside.   I had my reasons.  They weren't good ones. But they were my reasons; my excuses. And when Kris and I reached our lowest point in February 2012, a breaking point really, I finally began to open my eyes. At first it was just one eye, barely open.  As days and months went by and I saw God's hand at work in my life, in Kris' life, and in our marriage, I decided it was safe to open both eyes.

And now, I make every effort to live my life with my eyes WIDE OPEN.

Throughout my entire life, I've struggled with forgiving myself.  I've carried the burden of shame and guilt alone; shame and guilt that has built up over the last 20+ years of my life. And after 20 years, it gets to be unbearable.

Just over a year ago, I came to realize with ringing clarity that I had never in my life truly understood Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. I knew about it. I taught my kids about it.  I believed it was true.

But I just never fully comprehended the magnitude of it.

I carried the guilt of my sinful life, not letting it go, because if God wouldn't punish me like I thought He should, I believed that I had to punish myself.  I knew that there were natural consequences for sin.  For so long, I thought that sin and punishment went hand in hand.  You couldn't have one without the other.  I believed that consequences were synonymous with punishment.

But I knew that God was a loving and forgiving God.  And yet, I never felt like confessing my sin came with any kind of tangible punishment.   Punishment for sin plus a loving and forgiving God did not equal anything that made sense to me.  So taking what I know now was flawed logic, I held on to my sins.




The constant question playing in my mind was "Am I unforgiveable?"

Though some sins were confessed and some were not, I didn't accept God's forgiveness. I took the responsibility of punishment upon myself.  Perhaps it sounds foolish, or perhaps you too struggle to forgive yourself.

I spent decades carrying around this heavy burden, punishing myself over and over again. I just couldn't forgive myself.  For anything.   I deserved to be punished for all the wrong I had done.

On Good Friday 2012, I heard God through the words of our counselor.  Tony told me that I was right. I DO deserve to be punished for my sin.  But instead of lecturing me on "giving it to God" he gently guided me into an understanding of not God, but Jesus.  And the essence of the Cross, and Christ's death upon it.

I'm standing before God, buried under a mound of sin. I'm just a speck compared to the amount of sin that surrounds me. He is ready to punish me.  And I know I deserve it.  That is my reality.

But then, after some discussion about punishment for sin, Tony suggested, "What if today, on Good Friday, you allow Jesus to take the punishment for you?"

I finally, and for the first time, really saw the connection.  Jesus already stepped forward and offered to take my sin upon his shoulders. He offered to carry ALL of it to the Cross.  He was beaten, suffered torture at the hands of the very people he came to save, and then he died.

As a punishment for MY sin. 

Not just everyone else in the world. 

But for ME too.

I spent so many years believing in the Cross.  Believing that there was healing and forgiveness and mercy.  But that day back in April 2012, I finally understood that it extended to me as well. 

I spent so long punishing myself, because I didn't comprehend what Jesus was really offering to me.

"The Cross" always seemed like this big picture, abstract concept. That it applied to everyone in the world--excluding myself--and that's just how it was.  Until that day, I don't think I truly ever really believed that Jesus took the punishment for individuals--for every single person--and that it included me.

Because I didn't understand, and because I didn't believe it, I resisted letting Jesus take my place.  As if I ever had any control over that!

But that day, everything changed. 

I finally understood.

And I believed.

I am worthy of forgiveness!

By accepting the truth of the Cross, I let Jesus take the punishment for every evil deed that I had done.  I nailed it to the Cross that day, and I was finally free.

I now live each day under the grace and love of God, acknowledging the depth of His love for me, and just how powerful his forgiveness is.

Do you struggle to believe that you can be forgiven? 

God wants you to understand that you are NOT unforgiveable! 


  1. Jamie, that is an amazing blog post! It is hard when you look at your life and see one mistake after another to truly accept how amazingly, loving Jesus is. We serve an awesome God!


    1. Thanks Lynn! I'm so grateful that God taught me just how amazing he is and how freeing his forgiveness is! He shows me something new every day, and I pray that never changes!

  2. Simply beautiful! I believe forgiving ourselves is so much more difficult than forgiving others! Thank you for the encouragement and for linking this post up with me at Walking Redeemed last week!

    1. Forgiving myself was by far harder than anything else I've done. But once I understood Christ's death, really understood it, the next logical step was to forgive myself.

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    3. Forgiving myself was by far harder than anything else I've done. But once I understood Christ's death, really understood it, the next logical step was to forgive myself.