I really debated writing this post. In fact, God placed it on my heart a while ago to write this post but I kept putting it off, saying that if I told the truth about what I had done, God could never use me because people would just judge me and never hear what I had to say. But the Lord continually reminded me of all the people He has used from Bible times until now who have made wrong choices and done terrible things, but God forgave them and used them anyway, like Paul persecuting the Christians as Saul until his conversion on the road to Damascus, or Peter denying Christ when Jesus needed him the most.
Before I get into it, let me explain a little of my history. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to date until I turned 16. And even then, I’ve always prayed for my future husband and been very careful about picking the right man. I didn’t even start dating until I was in my late 20s, so I was pretty naive and inexperienced when it came to men. And, while I was attractive and used to getting attention from men, they never approached me and never did anything more than look at me.
As I go into my story, I will conceal the identities of those involved and won’t talk about details for the sake of the others involved, not for myself. And keep in mind, all this happened several years before I met Justin (my husband). Most of my family don’t know about it (except my parents and husband) and only a handful of friends know. But God told me that He can’t use me if I try to hide the truth, so here goes.
In my twenties, I got a job. My first real job in my whole life. It was full-time and I spent a lot of time with my coworkers and boss. My boss was not completely unattractive, but he was married, so even though I felt a little tempted around him I didn’t think much of it. I wasn’t really worried about it because I always told myself that he would never be interested in me anyway since he was married (again, I was naive, or just stupid).
But over a few months, it became clear that he was, in fact, very attracted to me and I’ll admit that I felt very flattered by it. And late one night we ended up beginning an affair. We never had sex, I want to make that clear, but there are other ways to have an affair. This went on for a few months.
When it first began it felt like a dream – not in a good way, but rather I felt detached from my body like I was watching a movie of someone else’s life. It didn’t feel real. In fact, when I look back on it (with disgust and revulsion) it still feels like a dream, like it never really happened. I think it’s my brain trying to protect itself from trauma, now that I’m thinking about it.
As time went on, however, I drew further away from my family and from the Lord, because I knew what I was doing was wrong, it was a sin. I felt terrible all the time. I felt dirty and disgusting and I began to hate myself. But once I was in, it was hard to get back out.
One night I was driving home from work and I was sobbing. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the sin, the lies, the knowledge of who I had become. I came very close to driving into one of those cement pylons that hold up the highways, going as fast as I could, seatbelt unbuckled in the hopes that I would die. But God stopped me from doing it. He told me I needed to go home and confess to my mom (I lived with my parents at the time). So, when I got home, my mom was asleep and I told myself I would just go to bed and go to work tomorrow and pretend this never happened. But I couldn’t sleep. I just kept sobbing. I paced the kitchen trying to get up the nerve to wake my mom up and confess. And on our kitchen wall were the 10 commandments. My eyes kept going to “You shall not commit adultery” and it made me sob even harder. Finally, I made myself wake her up. I told her everything and she forgave me and told me I needed to run from my boss, from that job, and never look back. So, I did. I quit my job that night and I never returned to it, to my boss, or to my coworkers.
I repented of my sins and received forgiveness from the Lord God, but what I had done had damaged me inside. I’d always been pretty innocent, the “good girl”, rarely doing anything wrong, never rebelling against my parents. But then I had an affair with a married man. I hated myself. And even after I ran from that job, I still hated myself. I couldn’t forgive myself for what I’d done. I was disgusted with the woman I had become. My mom made me get Christian counseling because she was really worried about my sanity and that really helped because the counselor helped me see myself through God’s eyes as the bride of Christ. I eventually forgave myself and moved forward with my life. But I still didn’t feel like the old Tara, the fun-loving girl I was once, and I was terrified to start dating because I thought no godly man could ever want me after what I’d done.
Eventually, I met this girl who became my best friend and I told her what I had done. She didn’t judge me and she helped me come back to a normal place in my life, to feel more like the old me, although that innocence could never be replaced now that it was lost. But I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing her into my life because I don’t think I would have met my husband if she hadn’t helped me to feel normal again.
A few years later I did meet my husband, Justin. And, before we got serious in our relationship, I told him about my past. He told me he didn’t care because we all have things we regret and that it was in the past. And he hasn’t brought it up since then, for which I am very grateful as well.
What I did still comes up in my mind a lot. The enemy tries to use it to keep me down, to feel terrible about myself, even to fear that my husband will have an affair as a punishment from God because of what I did to that man’s wife by taking from her what was rightfully hers. But I also know our God is a forgiving and loving God and that He doesn’t punish His children like that, especially because that would be punishing one sin with the exact same sin, and God never uses sin as a punishment. He would never cause my husband to have an affair because that would be a sin and completely against God’s nature.
When I look back on what I did, I still feel overwhelming regret and disgust. I wish to God I could go back and change it. I would never have taken the job. I wish I had made better choices, but the past is over and there is nothing we can do to change it. We need to learn from it and move forward.
I’m telling you all this so that if you’ve done something you regret, or you feel like God could never forgive you, God will forgive you! There is nothing too dirty, too big, or too small that God won’t forgive if we repent. Or maybe there’s something you really need to confess to another believer but you’re terrified you’ll be judged, please feel free to contact me! I certainly won’t judge you. You can email me if you ever need to talk. I’m always here and I’d love to hear from you!
That is my confession and I pray that you guys won’t judge me but will remember that “he who is without sin can cast the first stone.”
I love you guys and I hope that this post does some great things in the hearts and lives of others!