A Journey of Forgiveness
What do I know about forgiveness?
Enough to know that it isn’t easy. Enough to know that it is a process. And enough to know what it is not.
I was raised to know the importance of forgiveness. It was an easier principle to put into practice as long as I was in the loving home of my childhood. However, as an adult, I have had more reasons to forgive and more years to face its challenges. When it comes to forgiveness, I’ve lived it, accepted it, given it, and messed it up.
It has been decades ago, but I will never forget the feeling I had when I first realized forgiveness would be a constant presence in my life. I’ll never forget where I was sitting. The way the air felt. The feeling that the bottom had just dropped out of my world. The knowledge that things would never be the same.
My husband--the love of my life, the man I saved myself for, the only man I had ever known in the Biblical sense--had just told me that he had “known” another woman. Not just any woman. A close friend.
He cried. He was SO sorry. He begged my forgiveness.
God did a healing in our marriage.
I did not believe in divorce. However, I did believe in forgiveness. He promised it would never happen again. He told me if I really had forgiven him, I would not talk about it or bring it up.
Then a few years later, it happened once again. Again, he begged my forgiveness. By then, we had a precious baby girl and pastored a large church. Again, he begged me to tell no one.
We went to six months of marriage counseling which resulted in his promise that it would never happen again--and a promise from me that if it did, I would leave. We stayed together and had another precious baby girl.
God did another healing in our marriage.
Two years later, he confessed to me that he had been involved in three additional affairs over the period of one year. Once again, he begged my forgiveness and wanted to stay together and work it out.
Something inside me broke. I was done. Done covering up. Done having my heart torn to shreds. The divorce was difficult with years of drama and pain.
So you may ask, what do I know about forgiveness?
We cannot balance the scales. Forgiveness means the scales are forever out of balance. It means that one person is always going to owe a debt. It’s only when we forgive the debt that we can heal.
Several years ago, after we had both remarried and re-established our lives, a deep healing came. As we sat visiting on the front porch after he had visited our daughters, I shared with him that although the intellectual decision to forgive him had been made years ago, only recently had I felt that I had emotionally forgiven him. I told him he did not owe me anything and I wanted him to know that I released him to be happy and free in his life. He in turn asked my forgiveness. This time there was such a feeling of peace. I am so grateful the Lord allowed us to have this conversation, because he tragically died two months later.
What do I know about forgiveness?
I know that forgiveness allows you to put the pain and hurt behind you, release it, and move beyond the hurt and heal. With all we have been forgiven in our own lives, how can we not offer forgiveness, love, and mercy to those around us?
If one word could depict a life, Julie Davenport’s would be “redemption.” As a child in the Perkin household, Julie’s character was forged within a legacy of faith, godliness, and ministry. So when she married a charismatic young pastor on the fast-track to prominence, life was everything she’d dreamed it would be . . . on the outside. But inside, alone and hidden from view, Julie endured abuse, betrayal, and infidelities that spiraled to include miscarriage, cancer, divorce, mental illness, and eventually suicide. With a BA in Art Education from Southwest MO State University, Julie served as a parent educator with the Independence MO School District for many years. She is now an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. Today, through speaking engagements and two daughters continuing the legacy of ministry, God is using Julie’s life-story to validate His immeasurable grace and prove His power to redeem what Satan tried so hard to destroy.
2/6/2019 04:26:44 pm
Julie, thank you for sharing your story! While we trust that no other woman has to walk the path you have walked, we find comfort in knowing that if she does she, too, can have the same freedom that you have experienced. No doubt, your testimony will help others who struggle with forgiveness. If God can help you walk in forgiveness, He can help others who wrestle with unforgiveness of any kind. Blessings!
2/7/2019 08:51:43 am
Thank you, dear Vicki! I pray that the God of all comfort will comfort others in the same way He has comforted, helped, and redeemed me.
Marsha D Fortin
11/21/2022 03:08:47 pm
Vicki, thank you and God bless you for your heart for helping women in ministry. You are loved ❤️ and appreciated.
2/7/2019 10:05:16 am
What courage you have, lady! To tell this story of your life takes courage and unselfishness. It can't be easy putting your life on display. What a blessing to other women, in ministry or not, to know that they are not alone in their circumstance and that peace can be found when you let go and let God. Thank you.
2/7/2019 03:37:54 pm
Julie, thank you for sharing your story. Forgiveness is something we all wrestle with. You have given us a clear picture of what forgiveness is and what it is not. What you said is so true, secrets are deadly because they give great power to sin. God's ways bring freedom and victory. It is wonderful to see what His freedom has done in your life, and to know we too can have that kind of victory.
2/13/2019 11:47:44 am
Thank you for sharing. This is so encouraging. My husband died a year and a half ago. He struggled with addiction. Although it wasn't an affair, it felt like it with the promises of getting better and then him going right back to pain pills and alcohol. I got so bitter towards him waiting for him to change. The addiction finally took his life. I wasn't able to ask his forgiveness before he died. He had stopped breathing after passing out from drinking at a friend's house. He was revived and taken to the hospital, but no brain activity. 4 days later he passed away. God has done such a healing process in my heart and life and brought me back into full time children's ministry. Thanks again for sharing!
2/28/2019 04:24:07 am
What an amazing testimony. God is so good. His healing power is so wonderful. Much love my sweet friend.
2/28/2019 11:24:00 am
A message that needs to be heard and so thankful God has given you the strength to share your story. A message of hope and forgiveness! My prayer is your story goes far and wide touching many lives. Blessings on you Julie!!!!!
Marsha D Fortin
11/21/2022 03:06:18 pm
Thank you for having the courage to share your story and not keep it in the dark. You give me hope that I, too, will be able to fully forgive and heal from my deep emotional wounds.
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